by Ngaio Marsh, Jeremy Clyde
(From A Surfeit of Lampreys) …for Roberta the invitation broke like a fabulous rocket, that Roberta’s mother, when Lady Charles Lamprey telephoned, was thrown into a frenzy of sewing that lasted until two o’clock in the morning, that Roberta’s father bicycled four miles before eight o’clock in order to leave at Te Moana a strange parcel, a letter of introduction on behavior, and five shillings to give the housemaid. Frid always sympathised when Roberta said her people were poor, as though they were all in the same boat, but the poverty of the Lampreys, as Roberta was to discover, was a queer and baffling condition understood by nobody, not even their creditors, and certainly not by poor Lord Charles with his eyeglass, his smile and his vagueness.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: A Man Lay Dead:
A game of ‘murders’ at Sir Hubert Handesley’s country house party becomes far too realistic for anyone’s liking. First a guest arrives with a dangerously lethal dagger and then, when the gong sounds to announce the start of the game, the victim plays dead in a very convincing manner. Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn believes the unusual dagger is a vital clue to the real-life murder, and soon he’s on the trail of a Russian secret society.
A Surfeit of Lampreys:
Like all good aristocrats, the Lampreys are charming but penniless – so a visit from the wealthy head of their family is greatly anticipated. However, their Uncle Gabriel isn’t persuaded to part with his money and a row ensues. When a body is found in the lift leading to the Lampreys’ flat, Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn finds a family immersed in hidden secrets and intrigue.
Jeremy Clyde stars as Chief Inspector Alleyn in these BBC Radio dramatisations of two of Ngaio Marsh’s much-loved mysteries.
MY THOUGHTS: I came late unto the pleasure of Ngaio Marsh, a Dame here in her native New Zealand. But although I have only recently begun to read her work, I rank her up there with, or perhaps even slightly above, Agatha Christie.
She has a great gift for placing the reader in the moment, of carrying them along on a pleasant, meandering, but purposeful ride of discovery. She captures the nuances and atmosphere of the era, and has the great knack both of getting her characters absolutely perfect and of setting the perfect scene, creating the perfect atmosphere.
Ngaio Marsh’s murder-mysteries are fun, good jolly rollicking fun. And this BBC Radio rendition is first class. It brought back fond memories of listening to plays on the radio with my grandmother when I was a child.
Although the BBC audio productions of Marsh’s books are somewhat abridged, the sheer quality of the production makes this well worth listening to.
I listened to the audiobook of The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries containing A Man Lay Dead and A Surfeit of Lampreys by Ngaio Marsh, starring Jeremy Clyde as Inspector Alleyn, produced by BBC Radio via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.
This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2336177040