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A Man Lay Dead (1934)

de Ngaio Marsh

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Roderick Alleyn (1)

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1,1494412,622 (3.5)99
Ngaio Marsh was one of the queens (she has been called the empress) of England & rsquo;s Golden Age of mystery fiction. And in true Golden Age fashion, her oeuvre opens with, yes, a country-house party between the two world wars & ndash; servants bustling, gin flowing, the gentlemen in dinner jackets, the ladies all slink and smolder. Even more delicious: The host, Sir Hubert Handesley, has invented a new and especially exciting version of that beloved parlor entertainment, The Murder Game.… (mais)
  1. 10
    Hamlet, Revenge! de Michael Innes (themulhern)
    themulhern: A much superior country house murder, with an obligatory romance, a murder within a play (rather than a game), and a detective who lives in London. Published just a few years later (1937) when war was definitely in the air.
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I have attended "Murder Mystery Dinner Parties" held at restaurants where the actors and actresses are also the wait staff and while dinner is being served there is a murder to solve and all of the guests of the restaurant are the sleuths to solve the crime. It has always been a delicious evening of dinner and entertainment in every way. However, I have never played the game of "Murder" in a private home and with or without the customization by a host like Hubert Handesley. It is journalist Nigel Bathgate’s first time to attend one of Hubert’s infamous weekend house parties at Frantock in England although Nigel’s cousin Charles Rankin has often been in attendance.

To me, this mystery seemed an easy comparison to classic Agatha Christie mysteries where there is a particular group of individuals as a filmmaker would classify as a “closed set” that all become the suspects of the murder whether invited for dinner or aboard a train or invited to an island for a weekend.

In searching for more information about Ngaio Marsh I learned that that there are striking similarities and differences between the 2 novelists. It is no wonder that Agatha Christie’s name came to mind as I read "A Man Lay Dead." However as I read the novel and closed the book cover for the final time I do not feel that I formed any attachment or continued interest in Inspector Roderick Alleyn. Perhaps if I continue reading the series interest in the inspector might "grow over time" but at the moment the flicker of interest is very small. I have more curiosity as to whether Ngaio Marsh and Agatha Christie ever met.

Snippets from my quick research:

Marsh is formally known as Dame Edith Ngaio Marsh, DBE, appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1966. Born: 23-April-1895 Death: 18-February-1982. Home Country: New Zealand. Occupation(s): Writer and Theater Director. Ngaio Marsh has been called the “Empress of England’s Golden Age of Mystery Fiction.” The Ngaio Marsh Award is awarded annually for the best New Zealand mystery, crime and thriller fiction writing.

Marsh created the character of Inspector Roderick Alleyn, a gentleman detective who works for the Metropolitan Police (London) and is introduced in a mystery first published in 1934.

Christie is formally known as Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, DBE, appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1971. Born: 15-September-1890 Death: 12-January-1976. Home Country: England. Occupation(s): Novelist, Short Story Writer, Playwright, Poet, Memoirist. Christie has been called the "Duchess of Death", the "Mistress of Mystery", and the "Queen of Crime."

Christie created 2 different detective characters with one a professional and one an amateur sleuth. Hercule Poirot, a detective with Belgian heritage solving murders in England first appears in a mystery published in 1920. The character of Miss Jane Marple living in the village of St. Mary Mead, England, and acting as an amateur consulting detective is not introduced in publication until 1930. Christie also created amateur detectives Thomas Beresford and his wife, Prudence "Tuppence" née Cowley, Harley Quinn, and Parker Pyne. ( )
  FerneMysteryReader | Aug 17, 2020 |
The classic! Just as good as remembered. Written in the 1930s. House party, murder game, real murder.... might seem trite if you don't realize what a new idea it was when she wrote it. Her descriptions and character building are also tremendous as well. This is the first of the Alleyn of Scotland Yard books - she went on to write about 30 of them. ( )
  mirihawk | May 21, 2020 |
Alleyn looked at him with a curious air of compassion.
‘Not even yet?’ he said.
‘Whose were the prints?’
‘That I am not going to tell you. Oh, believe me, Bathgate, not out of any desire to figure as the mysterious omnipotent detective. That would be impossibly vulgar. No. I am not telling you because there is still that bit of my brains that cannot quite accept the QED of the theorem.

Well, that was one of the silliest GA detective stories I have read. Not bad or horrible or totally off-putting, but entirely implausible. So, implausible that I even want to call it "cute".
So, when Alleyn stated (see quote above) that the QED had not been established, yet, I may have laughed out loud. I may also have laughed again at the end of the book.

I am glad I have read A Man Lay Dead after having already another of Marsh's books, because I already know that Marsh can write a splendid mystery. It's just that A Man Lay Dead is not it.

Now that this first book is out of the way, I look forward to the rest of the series, tho. ( )
  BrokenTune | May 16, 2020 |
Revisiting Roderick Alleyn
Review of the Fontana/Collins paperback edition (1988) of the 1934 original

I've enjoyed Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey series so much in the past few years that I've decided to revisit some of my other favourites of the Golden Age of Crime from my early reading days. A Man Lay Dead is the first of Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Roderick Alleyn series of 33 books but does not actually give much backstory about the gentleman detective. It is a fairly standard sort of locked house mystery with all of the suspects being guests at a country home. The only thing that keeps it away from '5 out of 5' territory is that the solution is perhaps a bit too silly. ( )
1 vote alanteder | Feb 26, 2020 |
This is a new series for me. I love the 30’s setting for the novel. The mystery was good and made for a great read. ( )
  BookishHooker | Dec 16, 2019 |
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Marsh, Ngaioautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Saxon, JamesNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Nigel Bathgate, in the language of his own gossip column, was "definitely intrigued" about his week-end at Frantock.
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Alleyn asked for an adjournment; the whole affair ended, leaving the onlookers with a sense of having been served with treason when they ordered murder.
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Ngaio Marsh was one of the queens (she has been called the empress) of England & rsquo;s Golden Age of mystery fiction. And in true Golden Age fashion, her oeuvre opens with, yes, a country-house party between the two world wars & ndash; servants bustling, gin flowing, the gentlemen in dinner jackets, the ladies all slink and smolder. Even more delicious: The host, Sir Hubert Handesley, has invented a new and especially exciting version of that beloved parlor entertainment, The Murder Game.

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