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Book Title: Vintage Murder|
Date of issue: February 1st 2000
ISBN 13: 9780754004127
The author of the book: Ngaio Marsh
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 944 KB
Edition: Chivers Audio Books
Read full description of the books Vintage Murder:Three and a half stars, rounded up to four because of the excellent audiobook narrator, who enjoyed himself mightily taking off classic British ack-tohhrs whose voices and mannerisms are recognisable to any listener of a certain age. We don't get Olivier's over-the-top emoting, but it needs only that. Some of the lower orders are certainly recognisable! His "New Zealand" accent had a tendency to slip over to Sahth Effrica, but nobody's perfect.
Classic theatre mystery which starts on a train, giving the golden-age mystery lover a twofer...which is about right for Happy Hour, as the murder weapon is a jeroboam of champers. For the uninitiated colonial, a jeroboam is one of those huge bottles that holds six normal wine bottles' worth, and is often wasted at sporting events by being shaken and sprayed over the winning athletes. If wineries have any sense, they're probably filled with cheap plonk and sold high. After that, it's all who was where when, and could they have been there at all. Added to the murder there's the theft of about a hundred pounds from a silly young miss (the ingenue of the company, natch--in every sense of the word). I have to admit I tried to read this one and couldn't get into it; on audiobook it was bearable, but mostly due to the reader.
Ngaio Marsh shows of the glories of New Zealand as seen through the eyes of our Inspector, who is meant to be very open-minded about the Maori character...and yet. There's a little too much reference to his "savageness" and how light his colour is, and how all the good Maoris are "aristocrats" for my taste. I know it's all very 1930s, and one really can't superimpose Third Millenium attitudes on a period piece which was written in the period, but her superior attitudes get the better of her, even in Alleyn's mind.
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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