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Overture to Death by Ngaio Marsh
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Overture to Death (1939)

by Ngaio Marsh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Roderick Alleyn (8)

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5491118,108 (3.7)45
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» See also 45 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The murder method is ingenious. The talkative constable is fun. Some of the characterizations are just deeply annoying. Nigel Bathgate is still around and annoying as ever. Alleyn is still terribly irritating and pretentious.

Published in 1939, but no hint of the war. ( )
  themulhern | Mar 23, 2014 |
Grand traditional yarn with the usual characters well built up before the action - some borderline cariacature, some more complex. Setting conventional English village, method quirky and cunning. Police detective lovely and witty. I'm rereading a whole shelf of these Ngaio Marsh so won't review all of them, but I do enjoy them - and am rather surprised, since I'd forgotten most of them, how much they seem to have influenced my own writing. Hum. ( )
  lexieconyngham | Jan 29, 2014 |
A classic cozy British mystery from the 30's, and so a little dated, but not as much as might be.

The life and times of a small English village are described to a tea (at least the upper crust of said village), and the book in many ways makes one wish for simpler times and makes me wish a little that I lived in such a place. Simple, straightforward, uncomplicated (except by murder), every in their place as they understand it.

It is interesting to note how Marsh is able to take several sexual situations that could have been quite steamy and keep them G or maybe PG if one is prudish and yet still indicate quite adequately the general drift. Today's authors could take an example.

This is a fairly light read, certainly not "deep", but makes a great book to read on a snowy day in front of the fire. Would also work on a cruise ship, I wish.
  MissJessie | Oct 16, 2013 |
Barely a three stars. It's slow and a bit all over the place with redundant plot points. The spinsters, the young lovers, the scarlet woman and the two middle-age men easily manipulated.

The whole religious hysteria, mania and the pastor being the focal point of the spinsters whole lives didn't reach me at all. It's an historical social thing that I can't put my head around.

But it's well written, Alleyn and his cohort of DS, DI and journalist do their job but it's a weak plot and even the lovely writing of Marsh couldn't really save it for me. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Apr 15, 2013 |
My favourite Ngaio Marsh. Religion, sex, Rashomon-style witness statements. A treat to read and re-read.
  booksaplenty1949 | Sep 29, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ngaio Marshprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Azimi, RoxaneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For the Sunday Morning Party:
G.M. Lester
Dundas and Cecil Walker
Norman and Miles Stacpoole Batchelor
& My Father
First words
Jocelyn Jernigham was a good name.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312964250, Mass Market Paperback)

Amateur actors set the stage for murder...

Who in the quiet village of Chipping would kill wealthy spinster Idris Campanula? Plenty of people, among them her fellow cast members from a troubled charity production. Miss Campanula was a spiteful gossip, gleefully destroying others' lives merely for her won excitement. But once Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives, he quickly realizes that the murderer might have killed the wrong woman-and may soon stage a repeat performance...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:51 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When wealthy spinster Idris Campanula turns up dead at Chipping's troubled charity production, Inspector Roderick Alleyn realizes she may not have been the intended victim and sets the stage for a repeat performance. Reprint.

» see all 3 descriptions

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