Thursday, February 08, 2007

Another Mystery

Not long ago, I read my first mystery by Ngaio Marsh, considered to be one of the divas of British detective fiction in the 20th century. There are a few of her books available at my library here, and I just finished my second read, Death at the Dolphin.

I had only read a couple of chapters when I realized that the general setting of the novel involved theatrical people. I thought that was a bit of coincidence, as the central character in the last novel was a theatrical person as well. I may have been wrong. Chapter five begins, Alleyn was not altogether unused to the theatrical scene or theatrical people. He had been concerned in four police investigations in which actors had played--and 'played' had been the operative word--leading roles. Perhaps it wasn't coincidence at all

So I know that at least a few more of the Superintendent Alleyn mysteries involve the theater, but I am left wondering if that is true of all 32 that Ngaio Marsh wrote? Does anyone know?

I enjoyed the story well enough, but I'm not in the mood for mystery right now, so I won't be reading any more in a hurry. I have a stack of absolutely fascinating books shouting for my attention, and some of them are getting downright hoarse from calling so long. That makes them vulnerable to being drowned out by the ever-so-loud newest purchases. I want to read everything all at once!

But if you like mysteries that also peek into the British theatrical world, and if any reference to Shakespeare makes your blood quicken, you might like this one.


At 12:55 AM , Blogger Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Ngaio Marsh is a favorite of ours, and while several of her mysteries are centered in theaters, I don't think it's even so many as half. She herself was interested and involved in amateur theatricals, and perhaps did some professional theater in a small way, hence the interest and knowledge that made her books so interesting.
The art world also features in a handful of the books (A Clutch of Constables is one of our favorites), for similar reasons, and I believe she has said that she would love to meet Agatha Troy, as she found her one of the most likable people she knew (have you met Troy yet? I can't remember.)

At 6:15 PM , Blogger Dominion Family said...

I just read one of hers that took place in the theatre. It was extremely similar to Michael Innes's Hamlet!Revenge, so I can't keep them straight in my mind. I think the Marsh one dealt with Macbeth.


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