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Overture to Death (1939)

di Ngaio Marsh

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

Serie: Roderick Alleyn (8)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
8262121,497 (3.74)81
Who in the quiet village of Chipping would kill wealthy spinster Idris Campanula? Plenty of people-among them her fellow cast members from a troubled charity production. Miss Campanula was a spiteful gossip, gleefully destroying others' lives merely for her own excitement. But once Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives, he quickly realizes that the murderer might have killed the wrong woman-and may soon stage a repeat performance.… (altro)
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» Vedi le 81 citazioni

I listened to both the Abridged and Unabridged versions of this from Audible. The narrator for the Unabridged was less ( )
  nordie | Apr 18, 2022 |
The Piano Did It
Review of the Felony & Mayhem paperback edition (2012) of the 1939 original

Overture to Death is is a fairly early work (No. 8 of 33) in the Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn of Scotland Yard series by New Zealand writer Ngaio Marsh. Alleyn is now engaged to painter Agatha Troy, but the latter makes only an indirect appearance through a letter that he writes towards the end of the investigation.

Overture... manages to incorporate Ngaio Marsh's interest in theatre by having the murder take place in a village where a fund raising theatrical performance is to be acted. The first third of the book introduces the characters involved with the play and sets the scene for the murder which occurs on the evening of the performance in front of a live audience. The murder method is an elaborate device whereby the victim instigates their own death by pressing the soft foot pedal of a piano. The local authorities are overwhelmed with a concurrent series of burglaries and call in Scotland Yard CID to assist.

Alleyn is in good form throughout with his usual banter and classical references, including a nod towards Sherlock Holmes with this exchange:'The play was got up by a group of local people.'
'Of whom you were one," said Alleyn.
'Hullo!' Dr. Templett took his pipe out of his mouth and stared at Alleyn. 'Now, did anyone tell you that, or is this the real stuff?'
'I'm afraid it's not even up to Form 1 at Hendon. There's a trace of grease paint in your hair. I wish I could add that I have written a short monograph on grease paint.'

and manages to come down hard when he needs to:‘Won’t you?’ said Alleyn mildly. ‘That’s a pity. We shall have to do the Peer Gynt business.’
‘What’s that?’
‘Go roundabout. Ask servants about the relationship between Miss Prentice and her young cousin. Tap the fabulous springs of village gossip – all that.’
‘I thought,’ flashed Dinah, ‘that nowadays the CID was almost a gentleman’s job.’
‘Oh, no!’ said Alleyn. ‘You couldn’t be more mistaken.’

I found Overture... to be thoroughly enjoyable and another confirmation that Ngaio Marsh is my new favourite of the Golden Age of Crime writers.

Overture to Death was part of my current newly read and/or re-read project of works from the Golden Age of Crime of which many are still in my collection after first being read in the 1970s and 1980s. ( )
  alanteder | Jan 10, 2021 |
A wonderful cozy mystery, great puzzle. I figured it out pretty early on, but the journey was delightful. Quite the page turner for me! I love Inspector Alleyn. Wonderful reader. Made me feel so comfy, I just sat back and enjoyed! ( )
  njcur | Dec 11, 2020 |
I confess that I get bogged down in the police questioning that makes up 75 percent of the book, but there are quick lovely or humorous exchanges in some places, and the descriptions of places and people are worth it. ( )
  ReadMeAnother | Aug 6, 2020 |
There's some discontent among the members of the amuteur dramatic society in a small country village. Jealousy and rivalry are headlining the act and then there's a murder... With all the drama of a modern soapie, this mystery from one of the greats of the genre is so full of embittered characters that they're all up for either the victim or the culprit roles.
  DevilStateDan | Feb 11, 2020 |
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» Aggiungi altri autori (6 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Ngaio Marshautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Azimi, RoxaneTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
May, NadiaNarratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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For the Sunday Morning Party:
G.M. Lester
Dundas and Cecil Walker
Norman and Miles Stacpoole Batchelor
& My Father
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Jocelyn Jernigham was a good name.
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Who in the quiet village of Chipping would kill wealthy spinster Idris Campanula? Plenty of people-among them her fellow cast members from a troubled charity production. Miss Campanula was a spiteful gossip, gleefully destroying others' lives merely for her own excitement. But once Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives, he quickly realizes that the murderer might have killed the wrong woman-and may soon stage a repeat performance.

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