Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Vintage Murder, by Ngaio Marsh

Inspector Roderick Alleyn #5
First published 1937
Jove paperback, 1978; 272 pages

In Vintage Murder Chief Inspector Alleyn is vacationing in New Zealand (Ngaio Marsh’s homeland), and finds himself traveling with a group of English actors touring the country with their latest play. Alleyn thinks their company intriguing and slightly amusing, until one of the group is rather gruesomely murdered. Naturally, the New Zealand authorities are delighted to find the famous policeman in their midst and all but beg him to aid them in their investigations. At first, he's reluctant to join in, but of course cannot keep his nose out for long.

Not my favorite of the Roderick Alleyn mysteries. Lots of long discussions about how the murder was committed and the various relationships among the actors in the company. Not a great deal of action. And I missed the presence of stalwart Sergeant Fox and Alleyn's artist friend Agatha Troy. But it was nicely plotted and did keep me guessing the identity of the murderer right up to the final few chapters. So definitely worth a read -- any Inspector Alleyn is better than no Inspector Alleyn, after all.

Rating: ★★★

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