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Enter a Murderer (1935)

by Ngaio Marsh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Roderick Alleyn (2)

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8871918,215 (3.6)58
The crime was committed on stage at the Unicorn Theatre, when an unloaded gun fired a very real bullet; the victim was Arthur Surbonadier, an actor clawing his way to stardom using blackmail instead of talent; the suspects included two unwilling girlfriends and several relieved blackmail victims. The stage was set for one of Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn's most baffling cases.… (more)
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» See also 58 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
The second outing for Roderick Alleyn and it still feels like an early book. This story was not as improbable as the first book in the series but it still has a sense of "author finding her characters" to it.

I really liked the story and loved the theatrical setting. I did have a hard time with Alleyn in this. He seemed rather pompous. There were even scenes of his subordinates admiring him in this story that badly reminded me of Alexander Wilson's thriller series, in which the police's hero worship was one of the many factors to that led me to DNF both books I tried in the series.

There were a few elements in the plot that struck me as gaffes in the author's research, although I have no doubt that these would have excited the mystery-loving reader in 1935, when the book was published.

Still, I very much enjoyed the suspense of the story and the "let me tell you why I have gathered you all together here" ending. I'm a sucker for a Poirot-style solution. Especially, when it reminds me of one of my favourite Poirot novels, which happened to be published a year before Enter a Murderer. ( )
  BrokenTune | Apr 17, 2021 |
A perfectly readable, diverting, Golden Age mystery. A thoroughly unlikable actor is shot on stage in the middle of a live performance—who could have swapped out the blanks in the gun for real bullets? There are the wobbles in here that you'd expect from an author's early work, and the occasional gestures towards romantic attraction between the detective Roderick Alleyn and one of the suspects is a bit cringey. Still, I was entertained, particularly since there was something about Alleyn's affect here—glibness over seriousness, polish and a certain bite to the patter—which meant I mentally pictured him as Cary Grant circa His Girl Friday throughout. ( )
1 vote siriaeve | Feb 28, 2021 |
A bit sloggy. ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Oct 13, 2020 |
The second of Ngaio Marsh's Alleyn series. Still bedding down the characters, Alleyn hasn't quite found his form (the hint of romance with the leading lady is excruciating) and Nigel Bathgate is still the focus. However it's a more than passably enjoyable detective story set in the theatrical milieu that Marsh knew so well and returned to many times. Notable for being the first outing of Inspector Fox. Perhaps not one for the Marsh novice to start with but very enjoyable. ( )
  Figgles | Sep 9, 2019 |
Good book, but not great....not even sure why. Lots of friendly banter between Alleyn and others that just seemed a bit weird that i do not remember from previous Marsh books. And that could be British cultural lingo that i am missing. Decent story with what turned out to be a surprise ending for me, which is always good. Interesting concept where we all, including Alleyn, witness the murder onstage during a theater performance early in the book, but then have to determine who was really at fault.....and why.... I guess it just did not click with me like others, but i would not steer anyone away. ( )
  jeffome | Mar 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marsh, Ngaioprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saxon, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On May 25th Arthur Subornadier, whose real name was Arthur Simes, went to visit his uncle, Jacob Saint, whose real name was Jacob Simes.
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The crime was committed on stage at the Unicorn Theatre, when an unloaded gun fired a very real bullet; the victim was Arthur Surbonadier, an actor clawing his way to stardom using blackmail instead of talent; the suspects included two unwilling girlfriends and several relieved blackmail victims. The stage was set for one of Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn's most baffling cases.

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