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Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh

Artists in Crime (original 1938; edition 1997)

by Ngaio Marsh

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8531910,511 (3.82)69
Title:Artists in Crime
Authors:Ngaio Marsh
Info:St. Martin's Paperbacks (1997), Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh (1938)

  1. 00
    The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers (Bjace)
    Bjace: Also about a murder among artists.

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» See also 69 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Inspector Alleyn is called in to investigate the murder, and finds among the suspects the artist he fell for on a recent cruise. They act tortured and repressed at each other in between scenes of Alleyn & co measuring marks on windowsills and the like. As always with Marsh, a large portion of this book is given over to seemingly endless natterings between characters about who was ~psychologically~ capable of murder. Eventually the murder is solved, but I'd lost all interest in the case by that point.

Putting aside the rather uninspired mystery, I was bothered that Alleyn seems set up as a perfect paragon, so much wiser and classier and richer and bluer blooded than all the rest. I was particularly bothered by this because he outright SAYS to his lady-love-the-suspect that she's totally not a suspect, and the extent of his investigation into her guilt is to have an underling check her alibi. I'd put up with that kind of favoritism from an amateur detective, but not the official investigator! ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |

What tripe, I was finally happy to get a book by Marsh (as I had heard so many good things about her writing) but if this is an example of her work, it is the last one I'll pick-up.

Inspector Alleyn is on a cruise of the South Pacific when attempting to escape the clutches of an amorous seductress he comes across Agatha Troy, a very well known artist & chats her up a bit.

However later (in the next chapter) there is a set of dreadfully written letters to & from Agatha Troy and a second set of equally dreadful letters to & from Alleyn and his "Mamma"

Then suddenly we are in England in the Agatha Troys studio w/ a group of unlikable student artists & a model w/ an attitude. The model is snarky, whiny & refuses to hold a pose, that is being used by one of the student artists for an illustration that will be used in a murder mystery....

And the model is found dead, impaled upon a dagger hidden in the folds of the drapery she reclined upon while posing for the illustration.....

Oh who did it? Oh who cares? ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Agatha Troy is a famous artist that hosts students at her estate. When their model ends up the victim of murder, Roderick Alleyn is assigned the case. Alleyn has just returned from a cruise around the world where he met Troy. Alleyn must keep his feelings for Troy under wraps as he investigates the crime for which she is a suspect. I enjoyed reading this golden age mystery. The mystery was a good one, the characters were interesting, and the resolution made sense without being too easily solved by the reader. There was not a lot of action, most of the book was interrogation where the characters were telling Alleyn their story rather than showing the reader. Overall, I liked the book and would definitely read more of the Roderick Alleyn mysteries. This is the 6th book of the series, but I do not feel I missed anything by not reading the previous 5 books. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
If I ever finish my book, and manage to have an audio edition, I want Benedict Cumberbatch reading it. Even with all the other readers I've come across whose voices I've fallen for, BC is a little bit spectacular. And I'm not even a "Cumberbitch". This is an abridged version of the novel, which normally I feel is an abomination, but for Cumberbatch's narration? I'm in.

This was the book I heard a clip of on Tumblr, the moment when Cumberbatch "does" the voice of an American woman with a heavy Southern accent who flirts heavily with Rory Alleyn, Our Hero. It was completely ridiculous – and I pretty much headed straight to Audible to buy it. I've come to be fans of several audiobook readers, but the acting chops BC brings to the job are just marvelous. On a page, this would probably be a solid four-star read; the fifth star is all Cumberbatch.

As for the book itself: it's one I read long ago, and not since, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. This is where Marsh's detective hero meets his artist lady love, and where she is brought back into his life when a model she has employed for a workshop is murdered. This is an abridged edition, but it's well done; it's coherent and lean. I loathe abridgements, but … Cumberbatch. It's pure fun.
( )
  Stewartry | Sep 9, 2015 |
I was quite hopeful about Artists in Crime bringing Alleyn to life for me a bit more, since this is where he meets his love interest. In a way, the whole set-up of this relationship is reminding me a lot of Lord Peter, especially since Alleyn's mother has a title and so on. It's not exactly parallel, but close enough to annoy me a little.

Still, it does introduce a bit more of a human side to Alleyn. Bathgate's role is thankfully reduced, though the annoying creature does contrive to be present. Inspector Fox and all the other steady, reliable characters who attend Alleyn's crime scenes are present, and I am getting fond of them, especially since Fox is just different to Alleyn, not lesser in the way that, say, Watson is. Alleyn doesn't condescend to him like Wimsey to Parker, too.

I'll need a bit more time with Troy to decide what to think about her and the relationship with Alleyn, but at least she brings in more of a personal life for him.

The mystery in itself, in this book, is typically convoluted and puzzle-like. I did catch on to most of the clues now, because I've sort of got used to the shape of these mysteries. ( )
  shanaqui | Jun 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ngaio Marshprimary authorall editionscalculated
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Alleyn leant over the deck-rail, looking at the wet brown wharf and the upturned faces of the people.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312963599, Mass Market Paperback)

The art of detection gets clouded by desire.

It was a bizarre pose for beautiful model Sonia Gluck-and her last. For in the draperies of her couch lay a fatal dagger, and behind her murder lies all the intrigue and acid-etched temperament of an artist's colony. Called in to investigate, Scotland Yard's Inspector Roderick Alleyn finds his own passions unexpectedly stirred by the feisty painter Agatha Troy-brilliant artist and suspected murderess.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

It' a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess? And yet no one can be above suspicion...

(summary from another edition)

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