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Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh
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Colour Scheme (1943)

by Ngaio Marsh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Roderick Alleyn (12)

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6801320,922 (3.6)39
Recently added byprivate library, lakbear, Themis-Athena, mmorgan1000, Porua, murderbydeath
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» See also 39 mentions

English (12)  Dutch (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I disliked almost every character in this book, especially Geoffrey Gaunt and Simon Claire. The native characters are sympathetically portrayed, but the tinge of racism never entirely leaves the narrative. The plot does have some redeeming points, such as the method of the murder. But there is an overall unevenness here (the randomness of the motive(s) and the identity of the perpetrator, for example) which makes liking this book rather impossible. A so-so read for me.
  Porua | Jan 6, 2019 |
I haven't read any Ngaio Marsh for ages - I'd forgotten how much I enjoy her writing. This is a good who done it, and she had me completely fooled on the murderer. It is brought to life by interesting characters and a great setting: mist shrouded hot springs and mud pots. Some are therapeutic, some are deadly. I particularly liked her description of the local Maoris and their uneasy relationship with the transplanted British culture. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
A mystery set in New Zealand during WWII written by Ngaio Marsh, a mystery writer from the Golden Age and one of the Queen's of Crime. I've read three of the four authors and have Margery Allingham left. This was an okay story. I read it for the GeoCAT. The story is in New Zealand area of thermal activity and close to Maoris reserve. Ms Marsh is also a theater director and there is a bit of Shakespeare to the whole as well. I read a library copy printed in 1943 (I am surprised it was still on the shelf) with a back cover "This book, like all books, is a symbol of the liberty and the freedom for which we fight. You as a reader of books, can do your share in the desperate battle to protect those liberties--Buy War Bonds. ( )
  Kristelh | Jun 27, 2016 |
While I enjoyed the north New Zealand setting, this WW2 mystery/spy thriller struck me as more dated than some of her more traditional mysteries. Even though this came across to me as more of a spy story than a murder mystery, Marsh did 'play fair' with the clues being there for the observant reader (which wasn't me this time!)

I did appreciate how Marsh managed to get in a touch of the theater world even among the mud pots of Rotorua with visiting actor Gaunt and his entourage! :) ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 16, 2016 |
A rather suspicious and unbelievable set of circumstances finds Inspector Alleyn in New Zealand. In the midst of the thermal springs of northern New Zealand, a rather unpleasant character meets his death by drowning in a pool of boiling mud. The blundering Claire family owns the local resort, and they are well in debt to Maurice Questing, the unfortunate victim. Many wanted Questing dead.

At first I found the setting of this mystery to be quite interesting. The landscape is dramatic. That said, the solution to the mystery, the how, is deceptively simple. The who is rather unsatisfying, as the killer's character is not as developed as it could be. The side-plot about WWII spies operated at such a level of simplicity as to be somewhat absurd. A significant part of this mystery is figuring out how, exactly, Alleyn will come to be involved. I had that part figured about well before the end. This is not the best of Marsh's work. Her New Zealand mysteries never are. ( )
  lahochstetler | Feb 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Ngaio Marshprimary authorall editionscalculated
may, nadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the family at Tauranga
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When Dr James Ackrington limped into the Harpoon Club on the afternoon of Monday, January the thirteenth, he was in a poisonous temper.
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Book description
Seething Springs
The bizarre assortment of people living at a health spa in New Zealand during World War II could set off almost anything - and they do.

Colonel Claire and his wife live with their two children an awkward daughter and a son studying Morse code - and Mrs. Claire's brother, a hot-tempered physician. Into their midst come a seedy inebriate named Smith and an unscrupulous businessman named Questing, who all suspect to be an enemy agent.

Questing suddenly dies under violent and macabre circumstances, and takes to his death a secret that promises far-reaching effects on each of his accusers...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0006512380, Paperback)

Often regarded as her most interesting book and set on New Zealand's North Island, Ngaio Marsh herself considered this to be her best-written novel. It was a horrible death - Maurice Questing was lured into a pool of boiling mud and left there to die. Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn, far from home on a wartime quest for German agents, knew that any number of people could have killed him: the English exiles he'd hated, the New Zealanders he'd despised or the Maoris he'd insulted. Even the spies he'd thwarted - if he wasn't a spy himself...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:53 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

It was a horrible death - Maurice Questing was lured into a pool of boiling mud and left there to die. Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn, far from home on a wartime quest for German agents, knew that any number of people could have killed him: the English exiles he'd hated, the New Zealanders he'd despised or the Maoris he'd insulted. Even the spies he'd thwarted - if he wasn't a spy himself...… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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