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Death Of A Fool by Ngaio Marsh
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Death Of A Fool (original 1956; edition 1983)

by Ngaio Marsh

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647824,005 (3.65)12
At the winter solstice, South Mardian's swordsmen weave their blades in an ancient ritual dance. But for one of them, the excitement proves too heady, and his decapitation turns the fertility rite into a pageant of death. Now Inspector Roderick Alleyn must penetrate not only the mysteries of folklore but also the secrets and sins of an eccentric group, including a surly blacksmith, a domineering dowager, and a not-so-simple village idiot.… (more)
Member:anabernathy
Title:Death Of A Fool
Authors:Ngaio Marsh
Info:Jove (1983), Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
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Death of a Fool by Ngaio Marsh (Author) (1956)

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» See also 12 mentions

English (7)  Danish (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
mysterious death in the midst of an ancient village mumming at Winter Solstice. Too much left to guess but characters good.
  ritaer | Mar 16, 2020 |
Fun bit of escape. Nice cozy mystery. Not great but fun for the moment. ( )
  njcur | Dec 22, 2017 |
I had high hopes for this book. Murder and morris dancing in an English village - what's not to like? But this did not capture my interest. I enjoy folklore and would have liked to learn much, much more about the origins of morris dancing and the mysterious figures of the ritual: the Hobby-Horse, the Betty, and the Fool. But the characters and setting were just props for the puzzle-mystery. I don't know if this is the case in all the books, but the Inspector Alleyn of this work was boring: a mystery-solving non-entity. And the puzzle-mystery itself was unsatisfying. The who was easy to figure out; the how was confusing. ( )
  CasualFriday | Nov 30, 2016 |
My parents liked Ngaio marsh and I read a umber of them but overall found them too gloomy for my taste and did not keep many. I got this one because it involves traditional English village dancing. ( )
  antiquary | Aug 13, 2015 |
February was a month of first tries of well-respected authors. I grew up loving Agatha Christie – and I don’t know how I never heard of Ngaio Marsh before a couple of years ago. (And I’m not sure that, without the Internet, I would be familiar with her yet today.)

This was my first Marsh because I won it from Bev at My Reader’s Block for completing a mini-challenge in last year’s Vintage Mysteries Reading Challenge, but it’s #19 in the Insepctor Roderick Alleyn series.

I liked Alleyn and I thought the mystery was fairly clued, if a little confusing, since there was a heavy country dialect and an apparent assumption that the reader would have some knowledge of British country folk theatre.

I’m definitely going to read lots more Marsh. This first try: 3½ stars

Read this if: you have an interest in folk theatre, particularly in winter solstice dance rituals. ( )
  ParadisePorch | Mar 20, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marsh, NgaioAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For John & Bear 'with love'
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Over that part of England the Winter Solstice came down with a bitter antiphony of snow and frost.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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published as 'Death of a Fool' and 'Off With His Head'
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