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Tied Up In Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh

Tied Up In Tinsel (original 1972; edition 1999)

by Ngaio Marsh

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5931226,075 (3.64)28
An English manor house on the moors: an ideal setting for a murder-and for one of Ngaio Marsh's classic murder mysteries. The occasion is a Christmas party hosted by Mr. Hilary Bill-Tasman, landed proprietor of Halberds Manor and authority on antiques. Attending the festivities are a number of unusual characters, several of whom are perfectly logical candidates for murderer-and one of whom will elude the most prescient listener until tracked down by the indefatigable Inspector Roderick Alleyn, whose wife, Troy, innocently involved him in all these sinister goings-on in the first place.… (more)
Title:Tied Up In Tinsel
Authors:Ngaio Marsh
Info:Minotaur Books (1999), Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
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Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh (1972)



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» See also 28 mentions

English (11)  Danish (1)  All languages (12)
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Tided Up in Tinsel – Ngaio Marsh
audio performance by James Saxon

4 stars

English country house mysteries are such perennial favorites, but I imagine it’s a challenge for an author to continually keep up appearances. This country estate drama has the further challenge of being set in what must have been the 1960’s. And, hey, ho, it’s Christmas Eve.
The master of the house Hillary Bill-Tasman, having reacquired the ancestral home, is having his portrait painted. The artist is the well known Agatha Troy, who is also, conveniently, the wife of Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn. The house is full of eccentric guests, including the fiancée, Cressida, who sprinkles her speech with ‘groovy’ and ‘it sends me’. There’s Uncle ‘Flea’ and Aunt ‘Bed’, a gruff old Colonel and his wife who arrive with devoted manservant. All of the other servants are convicted, but paroled, murderers. What could be better?

On Christmas Eve there is a traditional and extravagant entertainment planned for the village children. Uncle Flea dresses up, not as Father Christmas, but as a Druid to distribute the presents. And, naturally, the unplanned part of the entertainment is a murder.

There is actually a bit of a clever puzzle involved in the solving of the mystery. But mostly this is a spoof. It was fun. James Saxon gave just the right touch to the ridiculous characters to make them silly without being stupid.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Addictive, as I'm finding the rest of Ngaio Marsh's repertoire to be, though this one had a bit of a bizarre ending. Marsh has a turn for memorable characters and even from the space of months since I read this (amidst a binge of her novels), I clearly remember the various characters and can picture them in my head. ( )
  atimco | Apr 17, 2016 |
Hilary Bill-Tasman owns a large country estate which is staffed by ex-convicts. Alleyn's wife Troy has gone there to paint a portrait. Hilary's aunt and uncle and their servant, Hilary's fiancee, and a couple others are among the guests. Hilary holds a Christmas pageant, and his uncle's servant disappears afterwards. Alleyn ends up coming for a visit when his wife reports strange goings-on. Although he tries to leave it to the local officials, he ends up on the case. I guessed the murderer fairly early on, but I still enjoyed the way it unfolded. I listened to the audio version of this book available on Overdrive through my public library. The narrator did a good job. ( )
  thornton37814 | Dec 29, 2015 |
mystery, own
  MissJessie | Nov 14, 2014 |
With Alleyn in New Zealand on an extradition case over Christmas, Troy is staying with a client as she paints his picture.

There's a christmas pagent and afterwards the main participant disappears. Considering that many of the staff are ex-offenders (murderers) and the missing man known to be disliked by the staff, it's not long before people are worried. Alleyn returns earlier than expected and soon gets involved.

Not perhaps the best one of Marsh's - the "oncers" are a little too over wrought and some of the other characters under developed. Once again, Troy is in the forefront during the first half of the book, but is soon faded to background once Alleyn turns up. ( )
  nordie | May 24, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ngaio Marshprimary authorall editionscalculated
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my godson, Nicholas Dacres-Mannings, when he grows up
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"When my sire," said Hillary Bill-Tasman, joining the tips of his fingers, "was flung into penury by the Great Slump, he commenced Scrap-Merchant."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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