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Dead Water Mass Market Paperback – May 15, 1999


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Dead Letter (May 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312969902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312969905
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It's time to start comparing Christie to Marsh instead of the other way around." --New York magazine

About the Author

From her first book in 1934 to her final volume just before her death in 1982, Ngaio Marsh's work has remained legendary, and is often compared to that of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. During her celebrated fifty-year career, Marsh was made a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, was named Dame Commander, Order of the British Empire, won numerous prestigious awards, and penned 32 mystery novels.

Now St. Martin's Dead Letter Mysteries is thrilled to make all of Marsh's novels available again for old fans to relish and new ones to discover. So sit back, draw the curtains, lock the doors, and put yourself in the hands of Grande Dame of detective novels...

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mary T. Bowers on August 21, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of Marsh's best, the story is a mixture of fun stuff -- faith healing, young love, amorous misadventures, and the crass commercialization of a pretty coastal village. When half-witted little Wally Trehern's warts dry up and fall off after a plunge in the local coldspring, "trippers" begin to zero in on Portcarrow seeking the cure. Just when everybody's making money, a starchy old spinster comes along and tries to spoil things. A classic, cozy mystery with writing that's way above average for the genre.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 3, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like many Marsh novels, DEAD WATER presents a truly unexpected plot. Portcarrow Island is little more than a sleepy fishing village until young Wally Trehern, afflicted with warts on his hands, stumbles upon a spring--where a strange woman dressed in green tells him to plunge his hands into the waters. Wally's sudden cure becomes the talk of the island, and when the story is picked up by the national press Portcarrow and the newly named Pixie Falls suddenly evolve into a minor-class Lourdes and a going business concern. Until, that is, the island is inherited by Miss Emily Pride, an elderly but formidable woman who takes an exceedingly dim view of the entire situation.

Throughout her long and memorable career, Ngaio Marsh was most greatly noted for her skill in rendering both character and locale, and this 1963 novel offers a remarkably fine example of her talents and joins them to a memorable plot as well. When Miss Pride arrives at Portcarrow, both Inspector Alleyn and murder soon follow, and the resulting puzzle will fascinate first-time readers. But still more remarkably, like many another Marsh novel, the entire novel is so well written that it bear a second, third, even a fourth visit--and that, in the field of mystery writing, is a very rare thing indeed. A personal favorite, very strongly recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Neal J. Pollock VINE VOICE on July 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the last of Marsh's 32 novels for me (she also wrote a short story collection, Alleyn and Others: The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh (Library of Crime Classics), & an autobiography Black Beech and Honeydew An Autobiography). I liked this one very much. It includes several mysteries within it, each of which is "solved" by Alleyn by the end of the novel: Who was the Green Lady? Was the victim actually the killer's target? Who was the killer? Why was the murder committed? Who was lying? And why? There's also considerable symbolism. I don't think Miss Cost & Miss Pride were randomly named, for example. Their psychologies are subtly explored in the novel, yet this one (more than her other novels) contains some violence & action/adventure by Alleyn himself. There's also a powerfully described gale. As usual, Marsh's writing is miles above most other mystery authors', yet in this one she includes quite a bit of local/rural pronunciation--phonetically spelled. The line I liked best is "Gibraltar is as butter compared to her."
Alleyn's wife Troy has a small supporting role in this one too--and IMHO she's ever a joy. Interestingly, Marsh quotes the famed Shakespeare line "By the pricking of my thumbs." This is the title of an Agatha Christie novel By the Pricking of My Thumbs (The Agatha Christie Mystery Collection) (not one of her best IMHO)--it should also be noted that Troy's 1st name is Agatha.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Lesley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Dead Water" is absolutely one of those English mystery stories straight out of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. How could it not be? Author Ngaio Marsh has filled it with characters and locations guaranteed to make any reader of old fashioned mystery stories positively salivate. There is the slightly down on his luck ex-military man, his beautiful but somewhat tragic wife, the local doctor, the Reverend and his wife and an "artistic" spinster. Add in all the local characters and a young couple destined to fall in love and you have the combination in place to collide head-on with the happening which turns the story into a murder mystery.

Young Wally Trehern is what the people of the tiny fishing village of Portcarrow call "simple". The children have been taunting him and jeering because of the warts on his hands. To escape their hurtful chanting Wally runs up the hill to the spring in the woods to be alone. While he is crying about his condition someone appears above him standing on a rock and tells Wally to place his hands in the freezing water and to believe that he will be healed. Because of the sunlight coming from behind her, Wally can only see that she is The Green Lady. He does what she tells him to do and then goes home. The next morning his warts are completely gone.

Word begins to spread that the falls have a miraculous healing property and soon people are coming to experience the possible curative powers of the water. As human nature will have it, if there is money to be made from a situation then money will be made. Everyone in the village and on the island begin to share monetarily in the tourist attraction the "Pixie Falls" have become.
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