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Final Curtain by Ngaio Marsh
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Final Curtain (1947)

by Ngaio Marsh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Roderick Alleyn (14)

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644222,586 (3.81)20

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Ultimately a let down. Much of this book is written as an examination of a particular type of English upper class family -- a family that wallows in the "specialness" and whose eccentricities are accepted where similar behaviour would be considered acceptable in members of another class. Marsh's obsession with this type of family goes back to her earliest books. Behaviour that would be considered narcissistic and even pathological is presented as tragic, annoying but charming or quirky if expressed by members of the correct class and educational background.

If the book were simply an examination of this type of family -- caught in amber at the last moment in time in which they could exist -- this book would be interesting. Marsh's need to cram a murder mystery into this scenario ultimates results in the book ending in a damp squib rather than a explosion let alone a satisfying conclusion.

Books like this underline how much Marsh's Scotland Yard and her detectives are mired in a world that was already dying before WWII and was moribund by the time this book reached publication. ( )
  mmyoung | May 23, 2010 |
I enjoyed this more than the other Marsh mysteries I've read. More character to it. ( )
  MrsLee | Nov 12, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ngaio Marshprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schmidgall, BenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Joan and Cecil With My Love
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"Considered severally," said Troy, coming angrily into the studio, "a carbuncle, a month's furlough and a husband returning from the antipodes don't sound like the ingredients for a hell-brew."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312966059, Mass Market Paperback)

A Shakespearean actor takes his final bow.

Troy Alleyn, Inspector Roderick Alleyn's beautiful young wife, is engaged to paint a portrait of Sir Henry Ancred, famed Shakespearean actor and family patriarch, but she senses all is not well in the dreary castle of Ancreton. When old Henry is found dead after a suspicious dinner and an unfortunate family fracas, Troy enlists the impeccable aid of her husband to determine who among a cast of players would have a motive for murder-and the theatrical gift to carry it out.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:01 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Troy Alleyn, Inspector Roderick Alleyn's beautiful young wife, is engaged to paint a portrait of Sir Henry Ancred, famed Shakespearean actor and family patriarch. ... When old Henry is found dead after a suspicious dinner and an unfortunate family fracas, Troy enlists the impeccable aid of her husband."--Cover.… (more)

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