Read Final Curtain: Inspector Roderick Alleyn #14 by Ngaio Marsh Free Online
Book Title: Final Curtain: Inspector Roderick Alleyn #14|
The author of the book: Ngaio Marsh
Edition: Felony & Mayhem
Date of issue: December 15th 2012
ISBN 13: 9781937384487
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 872 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.4
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The reviewer notes on the cover said it was "time to stop comparing Marsh to Agatha Christie, and start comparing Christie to Marsh", implying (and elsewhere boldly stating) that Marsh was the better writer. I've read just about everything Christie put out, and quite a bit of Marsh's oeuvre, and while I like Marsh's work, it doesn't seem to be any better than Christie's. (Yeah, I used the word "oeuvre" in a sentence. Jealous much?)
This particular work is pretty good, but (of course) there are a couple things I don't like about it. There are a number of instances of the writer playing the "I think we all know what I'm talking about here" game, where I got completely lost. I got the references to Cedric being a pouf (and I realize that when this was written, in 1947, Marsh would not have been able to come right out and say Cedric was gay), but there are a number of other instances where I felt like everyone else was in on the joke and I was left out. Marsh also spent a bit of time exploring the relationship between her detective, Roderick Alleyn, and his wife. The crux of the issue here was whether, after being separated for so long by the war, the two would be able to pick up where they left off, relationship-wise, or whether they would have lost any feeling for each other. All very interesting, and probably very vital to the post-war readers of Marsh's books, but really? In a mystery novel? It just seemed to muddy the waters.
As I said, overall an enjoyable example of the genre, but definitely not worthy of the "better-than-Christie" hype.
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Read information about the authorDame Ngaio Marsh, born Edith Ngaio Marsh, was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. There is some uncertainty over her birth date as her father neglected to register her birth until 1900, but she was born in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Of all the "Great Ladies" of the English mystery's golden age, including Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh alone survived to publish in the 1980s. Over a fifty-year span, from 1932 to 1982, Marsh wrote thirty-two classic English detective novels, which gained international acclaim. She did not always see herself as a writer, but first planned a career as a painter.
Marsh's first novel, A MAN LAY DEAD (1934), which she wrote in London in 1931-32, introduced the detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn: a combination of Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey and a realistically depicted police official at work. Throughout the 1930s Marsh painted occasionally, wrote plays for local repertory societies in New Zealand, and published detective novels. In 1937 Marsh went to England for a period. Before going back to her home country, she spent six months travelling about Europe.
All her novels feature British CID detective Roderick Alleyn. Several novels feature Marsh's other loves, the theatre and painting. A number are set around theatrical productions (Enter a Murderer, Vintage Murder, Overture to Death, Opening Night, Death at the Dolphin, and Light Thickens), and two others are about actors off stage (Final Curtain and False Scent). Her short story "'I Can Find My Way Out" is also set around a theatrical production and is the earlier "Jupiter case" referred to in Opening Night. Alleyn marries a painter, Agatha Troy, whom he meets during an investigation (Artists in Crime), and who features in several later novels.
* Roderick Alleyn
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