Death in Ecstasy: Inspector Roderick Alleyn #4 (Inspectr Roderick Alleyn)

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Press: Felony & Mayhem (March 16, 2012)
Author Name:Marsh, Ngaio


Ahhh, prussic acid, that hallmark of classic Golden Age mysteries. 
Did lovely Cara Quoyne get a whiff of the bitter almonds as she raised the goblet to her lips? We’ll never know: With a single sip she transported herself to the Hereafter.
At least, that’s the romantic view.
But Inspector Alleyn has little interest in romance; he’s investigating a murder.
Cara was a deeply spiritual young woman, a novice with the House of the Sacred Flame.
It seems, however, that somebody was operating from very un-spiritual motivations.


Mystery, Thriller & Suspense,Mystery,British Detectives,Police Procedurals,Literature & Fiction,Literary

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Comment List (Total:15)

  •     One of the best English period pieces of detective fiction written by the very funny Mrs. Marsh. They are all great. In this one I especially relished the description of the not so nice temple. And the surprises that are unveiled one by one.
  •     i broke one of my rules in reading mysteries - never jump to the last few chapters to know who murdered who. but this one is sooo slow and tedious i was just plodding through it. so i did jump to the last few pages. and there was no surprise in the revelation. that is the difference between agatha christie versus most of her contemporaries. your reaction to their "murderer" is: oh, so that's the killer. whereas in a good agatha christie murder mystery, you will be shocked and surprised in a very good way. i've read all of christie's novels and i miss reading those kinds of mysteries.
  •     As usual, Detective Roderick Allen is smooth and smart, identifying the murderer with style. Interesting to read a story set in the "between wars" London.
  •     I like old British mystery books of the thirties and forties, they are so civilized and proper, yet quite unafraid of fierce action.
  •     No review
  •     loved it
  •     loved it
  •     Excellent old-fashioned murder mystery.
  •     Well, I don't care for tele-evangelists and this book certainly reminded me of them. I have started to read books in the Inspector Alleyn series, and though I didn't like the premise, I plowed my way trough it. At times it was funny in the description of the characters or in the demeanor the, supposedly, American displayed. However, I guessed almost right from the start who the villain was, so the ending was no surprise for me. That in itself is not particularly irritating if the book is well written and holds the attention otherwise. But the length of the plodding through all of the characters and their possible motives was dull work and put me literally to sleep. There are other books in this series I like better.
  •     I read this book when it first came out. If I didn't like it then would I be rereading it now?
  •     I have always liked det- inspector Alleyn. This book was different, I liked the plot, and how it was wrapped up
  •     The dialogue is quite interesting, including such English slang expressions of the times. The structure of the plot is really classic whodunit. A number of possible killers, only one to be sure and Alleyn deftly figuring out who it is. It is a psychological novel in that the murder, the place of the murder, the suspects, are all gathered in the one place for the entire story. Their answers to Alleyn's questions slowly reveals the murderer, but also each individual's faults, failings and foibles.
  •     Nigel Bathgate, journalist and friend of DCI Alleyn of Scotland Yard, happens to look out of the window of his flat one wet and windy evening and sees several people entering a doorway underneath a swinging sign of a sacred flame. Bored, he decides to go and see what it's all about and maybe find material for a story for his newspaper.He manages to talk his way into the ceremony and finds it's a mixture of many religions and he witnesses a group of initiates passing round a goblet until the final person in the circle collapses dead after drinking from the cup. Nigel sends for DCI Alleyn.The following investigation provides plenty of suspects and clues as well as a fair few red herrings. The book is well written and the plot complex. As ever the characters are well drawn and memorable and even the minor ones stick in your mind. The charismatic Father Garnette is a masterpiece as his House of the Sacred Flame and its flock. Ngaio Marsh was one of the masters of the Golden Age of British detective fiction and if you like your crime novels to keep you guessing almost until the last page then give this one a try.
  •     This is the 4th book in the Inspector Allyen Series. Although written in the 1930's, "Death in Ecstasy" has the universal & timeless themes of greed, religious cults, and drugs. Sometimes in reading this series, the language can be challenging. As certain phrases and words that are simply no longer used can be distracting. Several of the words I tried to look up in the kindle dictionary didn't pop up. But that doesn't take away from a very good book. Highly recommended.
  •     Excellent writing. This is one of her early ones about Alleyn where all the familiar team members : Alleyn, Fox, etc. are assembled early in the plot.

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