Ngaio Marsh Books

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Ngaio Marsh was a crime fiction author from New Zealand who also dabbled in theater. To many critics, she was one of the greatest mystery writers of her time, on par with the likes of Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham, not to mention Dorothy L. Sayers.

Order of Roderick Alleyn Series

1A Man Lay Dead 1934Description / Buy
2Enter a Murderer 1935Description / Buy
3The Nursing Home Murder 1935Description / Buy
4Death in Ecstasy 1936Description / Buy
5Vintage Murder 1937Description / Buy
6Artists in Crime 1938Description / Buy
7Death in a White Tie 1938Description / Buy
8Overture to Death 1939Description / Buy
9Death at the Bar 1940Description / Buy
10Death of a Peer / Surfeit of Lampreys 1940Description / Buy
11Death and the Dancing Footman 1941Description / Buy
12Colour Scheme 1943Description / Buy
13Died in the Wool 1945Description / Buy
14Final Curtain 1947Description / Buy
15A Wreath for Rivera / Swing, Brother, Swing 1949Description / Buy
16Night at the Vulcan / Opening Night 1951Description / Buy
17Spinsters In Jeopardy / The Bride of Death 1953Description / Buy
18Scales of Justice 1955Description / Buy
19Death of a Fool / Off With His Head 1956Description / Buy
20Singing in the Shrouds 1958Description / Buy
21False Scent 1959Description / Buy
22Hand in Glove 1962Description / Buy
23Dead Water 1963Description / Buy
24Killer Dolphin / Death at the Dolphin 1966Description / Buy
25Clutch of Constables 1968Description / Buy
26When in Rome 1970Description / Buy
27Tied Up in Tinsel 1971Description / Buy
28Black As He's Painted 1973Description / Buy
29Last Ditch 1976Description / Buy
30A Grave Mistake 1978Description / Buy
31Photo Finish 1980Description / Buy
32Light Thickens 1982Description / Buy
33Alleyn and Others / The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh 1989Description / Buy
34Still Unsolved 1990Description / Buy
35Money in the Morgue ( With: Stella Duffy) 2018Description / Buy

Order of Ngaio Marsh Short Story Collections

1Alleyn and Others / The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh 1989Description / Buy
2Death on the Air and Other Stories 1995Description / Buy

Order of Ngaio Marsh Non-Fiction Books

1Black Beech and Honeydew 1965Description / Buy
2New Zealand 1989Description / Buy

Ngaio Marsh Anthologies

1 Chapter and Hearse1985Description / Buy
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To her biggest fans, she even exceeded Christie in many ways. Not only was her writing better but she was more mature and cultured. And she brought that sophistication to the novels she wrote. Born in 1895 in Christchurch, New Zealand, no one knows for certain how old Marsh was when she died.

Her age was always a mystery because her father, Bank Clerk Henry Marsh, only registered her in 1900, sometime after her birth. The date of her birth that has been recorded is an estimate. Some people believe that she was born in 1899.

The only child of Rose and Henry, Marsh’s parents were active readers. They also loved to act, though they never pursued the field professionally. One of the very first students to enroll at St. Margaret’s College (Christchurch), the author had a passion for art.

She eventually went to the Canterbury College in New Zealand where she studied painting. It was during her days in art school that she wrote a play that secured her a place with a touring company (Rosemary Rees). Her work with the theater allowed her to travel. She went so far as to tour Australia.

But her passion for art never waned which is why she eventually joined an art association in Christchurch (The Group), using their platform to exhibit her work in the years that followed. The author’s path to publishing success was not straightforward.

Besides touring with a repertory company, she also worked as an interior decorator. Certain opportunities allowed her to spend time in London as a party-giver. Finally, after writing a few short stores and making contributions to magazines, an encounter with a Sayers story compelled Ngaio Marsh to try her hand at writing.

Despite coming up in the so-called Golden age of crime fiction, Marsh still managed to make a name for herself with Roderick Alleyn, her most prolific creation. Like some of the other English detectives of the time, Alleyn appealed to readers because of his charm, practicality, and intelligence. But he also stood out because of his down to earth persona.

Ngaio Marsh became a dame in 1966. She never married and neither did she have children. Some people speculated that she was a lesbian because she preferred the close company of women but she refuted these claims. Marsh died in 1982 at the age of 86.

Ngaio Marsh Awards

She received an Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination in 1973. She also received the Grand Master Award (Lifetime Achievement) in 1978 as well as an honorary doctorate (University of Canterbury).

Ngaio Marsh Books into Movies/TV

‘Death in Ecstasy’ and ‘Artists in Crime’ were turned into TV episodes in the 1960s. Four other novels were adapted for TV in New Zealand. The entire project was called ‘Ngaio Marsh Theater’.

‘The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries’ was a BBC detective show that premiered in 1993. It adapted nine more Marsh novels.

Best Ngaio Marsh Books

Marsh partially imputed her success to the fact that she wrote what she knew; this prevented her from having to do copious amounts of research. Some of the best books in her bibliography include:

A Man Lay Dead: The handsome but mysterious Charles Rankin is dead but this isn’t part of the game. The people who congregated for Sir Hubert Handesley’s Country House Party were playing the game of ‘Murder’. But when the lights came on, Rankin was well and truly dead. Now it is up to Inspector Roderick Alleyn from Scotland Yard to get to the bottom of the matter. He must collect alibis and make sense of the intricate puzzle that has been placed before him.

Death in a White Tie: It is the season for debutantes and chaperons to plan their balls, dinners, and luncheons. Everyone is looking forward to the party Sir Herbert and Lady Evelyn Carrados are planning throw for Evelyn’s daughter. However, Alleyn has other matters on his mind. There is a blackmailer on the loose, one who can mix with society’s most glamorous members with ease. Alleyn needs Lord Robert Gospell’s help to catch him.

When Does The Next Ngaio Marsh book come out?

Ngaio Marsh doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Money in the Morgue and was released on November, 7th 2018. It is the newest book in the Roderick Alleyn Series.

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