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Black As He's Painted by Ngaio Marsh

Black As He's Painted (original 1973; edition 1974)

by Ngaio Marsh

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499520,441 (3.68)11
Title:Black As He's Painted
Authors:Ngaio Marsh
Info:Pyramid Books (1974), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:mystery, British

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Black As He's Painted by Ngaio Marsh (1973)


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Showing 5 of 5
Wanda McCaddon does a great narration & her voice for Inspector Alleyn's school friend Boomer was particularly excellent.

As for the book itself, I was surprised to find that this is a Marsh that I had not previously read. I have seen in some of the other reviews that some people had problems with this book's treatment of race. Certainly some of the characters were racist but just as clearly others were not. If you are sensitive about this issue, then it might be better to skip this one.

I thought that the mystery was well done but one big section of the solution was clear to me soon after the initial murder so I reduced my rating by ½ star. ( )
  leslie.98 | Feb 21, 2016 |
Good Christie-like mystery. African ambassador and an embassy murder. Good twists. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
You can't get much better for a classical mystery read than Ngaio Marsh. This time she takes on racism and emerging African countries. ( )
1 vote gypsysmom | Nov 26, 2011 |
Ngaio Marsh, being a New Zealander, was fascinated by color and racial differences and used them many times in her books. She was probably more sensitive to the Maori people than to Africans, but I enjoyed her portraits and perceptions even so.

Marsh's characters live in a richly imagined environment. I had as much fun reading about the neighborhood (especially the cat) as following the story. ( )
1 vote NormaDruid | Apr 27, 2011 |
Not really a traditional English mystery in the sense that there is a puzzle to be solved if you just follow the clues carefully enough; more similar to Patricia Moyes' Death and the Dutch Uncle in its international intrigue, but without the criminal attacks on the heroes that mark the thriller. But a fun look at colonial politics for all that. The coincidences run a bit rampant; Superintendent Alleyn is old buddies with many of the major players, and is also on the scene when the main crime occurs. The black characters are a bit coarsely drawn, not unexpectedly for a novel from the early 70's, but the colonials seem fairly realistic to my eye. I've not read many Ngaio Marsh stories, but maybe this one will spur me on to find more - she was one of my mom's favorite authors. ( )
2 vote benfulton | Feb 17, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ngaio Marshprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kokkonen, LauriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rantanen, AulisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312972792, Mass Market Paperback)

Portrait of a murder...

Superintendent Roderick Alleyn's old school chum-- whom his wife Troy longs to paint-- is now President of Ng'ombwana, a brand-new African republic. This handsome, charismatic dictator has enemies of every stripe: from ruddy-faced ex-colonists to new rivals, from dispossessed businessmen to racist crackpots. But when a ceremonial spear deals death at his lavish embassy party in London, Alleyn must decipher the victim's last utterance and expose an assassin's true colors...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When the exuberant president of Ng'ombwana proposes to dispense with the usual security arrangements on an official visit to London, his old school mate Chief Superintendent Alleyn is called in to persuade him otherwise.

(summary from another edition)

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