Monday, June 7, 2010
Death in a White Tie
By Ngaio Marsh (1938)
The debutante season is a highly competitive display of social standing in London. Debutantes and their chaperones plan grand events to ensure the young woman are properly brought out into the world.
It is a cut-throat world and into the mix a blackmailer is stalking prey. Chief Detective-Inspector Roderick Alleyn has planted his good friend Lord Robert (Bunchy) Gospell into the scene, but when Bunchy meets his untimely demise the race is on to find the blackmailer and see if murder has been added to the list of crimes.
The back cover blurb of my copy of the book includes this endorsement from Dashiell Hammett - "Ngaio Marsh's Death in a White Tie is the best detective story I have ever read..."
I have to confess I struggled with this book. I think it I got bogged down in all of the social stuff, getting overwhelmed trying to figure out my Halcut-Hacketts from my Carradoses, and a myriad of people in between. I did enjoy the book more towards the end when the pace picked up and everything was starting to unfold. I also enjoyed seeing more of Alleyn's relationship with Troy unfold.
It was okay, but it wasn't my favourite Ngaio Marsh book