Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: A Man Lay Dead

A Man Lay Dead A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I have fond memories of Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn, so I picked up this book, in which he makes his debut, with a great deal of eager anticipation. The image I had of Alleyn was that of a sophisticate, well-mannered sleuth from Scotland Yard. I don't know whether my memory is all-wrong or whether he changes in the course of the series but in this he is pretty facetious, even over-bearing and rude at times.

The novel itself is a mish-mash. It begins well in a country house where guests assemble, one of them with a Mongolian dagger, to play a game of Murder. And we all know how that game would end, don't we? With hardly any suspects, it is not too hard to solve the mystery. But the writer tries to confuse the issue with some Russian brotherhoods operating in England. In fact, the book reminded me of another boring book: Margery Allingham's The Crime at Black Dudley.


First Line: NIGEL BATHGATE, in the language of his own gossip column, was "definitely intrigued" about his week-end at Frantock.

Series: Roderick Alleyn #1

Source: Open Library
Other books read of the same author: (Among others) Artists in Crime.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Hag's Nook by John Dickson Carr

Hag's Nook Hag's Nook by John Dickson Carr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first Dr. Fell. An atmospheric tale with a decent mystery. However, it also revealed to me the problems that I have with Carr. Except for The Burning Court, which I loved, and He Who Whispers, which I hated, I find it difficult to get involved with his characters. In fact, the character that I liked the most in this novel was that of Mrs. Fell. I hope to read more of her.

You can read about the book @Tipping My Fedora and @Confessions of a Mystery Novelist

First Line: The old lexicographer's study ran the length of his small house.

Series: Dr. Fell #1
Source: Open Library

Other books read of the same author: (Among Others) The Eight of Swords

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