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Dead Water by Ngaio Marsh
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Dead Water (1963)

by Ngaio Marsh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Roderick Alleyn (23)

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478521,584 (3.67)28
1960s (214)

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Showing 5 of 5
When local boy Wally Trehern's warts are suddenly cured, he explains that a lady in green appeared to him and told him that the village spring would wash them away. Then the general shop owner claims that her asthma has also been cured by the spring. The sleepy island village is soon a pilgrimage destination for those seeking cures from their ailments and the business owners and little church are making good money for the first time in their lives. But with the death of her sister, ownership of the entire island passes to Miss Emily Pride, a stubborn old woman who happens to be the former tutor of Inspector Alleyn of Scotland Yard. Her insistence that all the commercial exploitation of the spring and the desperate people who visit must stop makes her the enemy to the locals.

Even though I'd seen this particular episode of "The Alleyn Mysteries", it didn't reduce my enjoyment of the book. Marsh is an excellent writer. ( )
  mstrust | Jun 1, 2013 |
One of Marsh's later mysteries that takes place in a secluded resort town/island. There is a colorful cast of characters but in the end I did not feel they were that well drawn and fell a little flat. Despite figuring out who the murderer was about halfway through, I still found the final explanation and denouement unsatisfying and rushed. Not one of her most successful attempts, a little too formulaic.

Of the two crime "queens" who were still writing in the 1960s and 70s, Marsh's later books beat Agatha Christie's hands-down (at least Dame Ngaio could still string together a well-written sentence!). But in my opinion most of their later works (with the exception of Marsh's last book, the oddly genre-bending Light Thickens) bear the hallmarks of a golden age in decline, killed by its own success and doomed to eternal repetition of the same few plot/character elements. ( )
  sansmerci | Oct 29, 2012 |
Boring. ( )
  charlotte1918 | Jun 2, 2012 |
I thought the setting, an English seaside village, cut off from the mainland at high tide, was more interesting than the mystery per se. We also get a glimpse into Inspector Alleyn personal life. Good read. ( )
  aulsmith | Feb 22, 2009 |
An entertaining mystery. I had the guy pegged, but still fun to read. ( )
  MrsLee | Nov 12, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ngaio Marshprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saxon, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Alistair and Doris McIntosh with love
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A boy stumbled up the hillside, half-blinded by tears.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312969902, Mass Market Paperback)

Faith healing can be fatal

When intrepid octogenarian Emily Pride inherits an island, and the miraculous properties of its "Pixie Falls" healing spring, she is shocked by all the vulgarity. The admission fee, the Gifte Shoppe, the folksy Festival, the neon sign on the pub, all must go! But local opposition runs high, death threats pile up, and Miss Emily's old friend Superintendent Roderick Alleyn arrives just in time to discover a drowned body and a set of murder motives that seem to spring eternal.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Portcarrow was just an unknown rural peninsula until young Wally Trehern's wart-covered hands were healed by the water gushing from a spring. Within weeks the area was transformed into an expensive spa and tills clanged merrily - until Miss Emily Pride inherited the land on which Portcarrow stood. She would have no truck with miracles or the charlatans who exploited them. Soon there were clashes with leading citizens - and murder followed.… (more)

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