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A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh

A Man Lay Dead (1934)

by Ngaio Marsh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Roderick Alleyn (1)

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8233311,024 (3.53)62
  1. 10
    Hamlet, revenge! by Michael Innes (themulhern)
    themulhern: A much superior country house murder, with an obligatory romance, a murder within a play (rather than a game), and a detective who lives in London. Published just a few years later (1937) when war was definitely in the air.

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The first Roderick Alleyn book. ( )
  TanteLeonie | Apr 21, 2016 |
The first of Marsh's Roderick Alleyn - Scotland Yard Detective series. Enjoyable adventure in a country house weekend party gone awry. Some Russian gang violence thrown in for a bit of confusion, in fact so much so that i lost some interest. A nice old Bentley and fast British sports car play some minor roles, which always makes me happy. And eventually, we witness Alleyn and his nontraditional methodology conquer the bad guy. These always seem interesting, fun and quick, and i will continue to gather up more to complete my set of all of them. ( )
  jeffome | Mar 16, 2016 |
A young reporter is enjoying an upper-class British house party when abruptly, someone is found dead!

I can't say I enjoyed this. There's an entire subplot concerning a Bolshevic satanic cult (?!) that goes nowhere, and isn't even an effective red herring. This is the first Inspector Alleyn book, and it's clear that Marsh isn't sure how to write him yet. His personality is all over the place: one moment he's burbling Bright Young Things slang, the next he's cold and remote, the next he's romantically morose. It doesn't read like a complex character so much as one without any fixed characterization. The mystery itself is very frustrating, because there's no way it should have worked. The murderer springs out of the bath, pulls on gloves, slides down a bannister face-first, yoinks a dagger conveniently nearby, and stabs his victim who just so happens to be standing with his back directly in front of the bannister? No one on earth would plan a murder that way! And there's no way that Alleyn figured out that the murderer did it that way, when his only evidence was that the murderer wore a glove! How does that prove that someone slid down the bannister face-first, let alone which person did it? Ridiculous!

I'll try one more Marsh book, by virtue of her reputation, and then I think I'll call it quits. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This is the first book in the Roderick Alleyn series and I am glad it was not the first one I read. The idea behind the story was all right -- a murder at a country house party where the guests are playing "the murder game" -- but I found the method of murder preposterous and the Russian aspect caused me to roll my eyes. (I was having flashbacks to The Nursing Home Murder, which also contains some sort of Communist/"foreign" plotline.) Also, this book doesn't contain Foxkin! I missed him. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 13, 2016 |
Very typical of older English mysteries (consider the author)...Reminiscent of Christie. There are not many clear clues to go upon....but it's good none the less. I will read more by this author.

Nigel & his Rupert are invited to a "Murder Party" at the country estate of Sir Hubert Handesly....Unfortunately for Rupert he becomes the victim of a very real murderer. There is also a subplot of a Russian "brotherhood", which adds to the intrigue.

If you like old time "Classic" mysteries, then Ngaio Marsh is for you. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ngaio Marshprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saxon, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For My Father and in memory of My Mother
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Nigel Bathgate, in the language of his own gossip column, was "definitely intrigued" about his week-end at Frantock.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Ngaio Marsh's classic first novel

Wealthy Sir Hubert Handesley's original and lively weekend house parties are deservedly famous. To amuse his guests, he has devised a new form of the fashionable Murder Game, in which a guest is secretly selected to commit a "murder" in the dark and everyone assembles to solve the crime.

But when the lights go up this time there is a real corpse with a real dagger in the back. All seven suspects have had time to concoct skilful alibis - and it is Chief Detective-Inspector Roderick Alleyn who has to try and figure out whodunnit...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312963580, Mass Market Paperback)

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Murdered.

At Sir Hubert Handesley's country house party, five guests have gathered for the uproarious parlor game of "Murder." Yet no one is laughing when the lights come up on an actual corpse, the good-looking and mysterious Charles Rankin. Scotland Yard's Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives to find a complete collection of alibis, a missing butler, and an intricate puzzle of betrayal and sedition in the search for the key player in this deadly game.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Ngaio Marsh was one of the queens (she has been called the empress) of England & rsquo;s Golden Age of mystery fiction. And in true Golden Age fashion, her oeuvre opens with, yes, a country-house party between the two world wars & ndash; servants bustling, gin flowing, the gentlemen in dinner jackets, the ladies all slink and smolder. Even more delicious: The host, Sir Hubert Handesley, has invented a new and especially exciting version of that beloved parlor entertainment, The Murder Game.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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