Saturday, July 17, 2010

Overture to Death

by Ngaio Marsh

Ngaio Marsh is, as far as I'm concerned, the Queen of weird ways to kill people. This book is a prime example.

Pen Cuckoo is the kind of English village that would normally invite images of the perfect country life, but all is not sweetness and harmony. The local Doctor is having a questionable relationship with a newcomer to the village, two spinsters are vying for the attentions of the long suffering vicar, a young couple's love is thwarted by an interfering aunt and what is deemed a socially unequal alliance. Passions come to a head when discussions on performing a play to fundraise for a new piano brings out the worst in everyone.

Come opening night, and the opening chords to the piano prelude and death strikes with the soft pedal, yes folks, it's death by piano.

Detective Chief inspector Alleyn has his work cut out for him trying to sort out the scheming and undercurrents of life in this village. A country idyll it is not!

Again I found this book a little difficult to get into, I think I just don't cope well with too much in the way of social etiquette and posturing, but I found I enjoyed it more as it went along, and by the end had definitely decided I liked it.


J.T. Webster said...

I'm enjoying your reviews of Ngaio Marsh's books. They sound intriguing. I really must read one.

Anonymous said...

Vanda - You put that well; Marsh really did come up with some absolutely ingenious ways to commit murder, and this is one good example.

Dorte H said...

Never visit an English village - they seem to be the most dangerous places on the earth!