March 09, 2003

Enter a Murderer, by Ngaio Marsh

As I noted a couple of days ago, I'm starting to re-read all of Ngaio Marsh's work in order of publication. And I was shocked, once I cracked this one open and remembered which one it was, to find out that it was only her second published work. It's far and away better than A Many Lay Dead.

Gone is the country house, gone is the absurd Russian Secret Society; instead, this is the first of a number of her books that take place at the Unicorn Theater in London. Nigel Bathgate's sweetheart being unavailable, he asks his new friend Inspector Alleyn to join him at the theater. The play is a tale of crime and betrayal, and ends with a shooting, only on this occasion the shooting is real--and it was the victim himself who was responsible for loading the gun with dummy bullets. Suicide? Or was he pushed?

Some books just become dated; others age gracefully into period pieces, and this is definitely one of the latter.

Posted by Will Duquette at March 9, 2003 03:21 PM