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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colorful characters and a quaint English fishing village.
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...
Published on August 21, 1999 by Mary T. Bowers

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1 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad
This was a horrible book. It had no meaning, no adventure, and litteraly was disgusting. I recommend You not to read this book.
Published on September 1, 2003


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colorful characters and a quaint English fishing village., August 21, 1999
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This review is from: Dead Water (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Among Marsh's Finest Works, January 3, 2005
This review is from: Dead Water (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
5.0 out of 5 stars My final Marsh novel--boo hoo!, July 21, 2009
This review is from: Dead Water (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. Science Fiction author Ray Bradbury, BTW, took the next line from Shakespeare for the title of his book: Something Wicked This Way Comes. In Summary, this is a very enjoyable book. I found it a satisfying ending to reading Marsh in toto. Have fun!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic "nice" murder mystery., March 1, 2009
This review is from: Dead Water (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. Miss Emily Pride inherited the property on the death of her sister and she wants nothing to do with these unsubstantiated claims of cures. Miss Emily plans to stop all commerce associated with The Green Lady and Pixie Falls. After receiving anonymous threats Miss Emily decides to travel to Portcarrow to see exactly what is going on.

I love to read one of Ngaio Marsh's mysteries because she doesn't give you just one mystery to solve. In this one the question was: who did the murdered really want to kill? And that question goes on until the very end of the story, it isn't settled instantly so that you can concentrate entirely on who the murderer is. One victim would involve one set of suspects, another victim would have involved a different set of suspects. The locale is wonderfully described and adds to the enjoyment of the story. Twice a day the tide was - as the locals referred to it - dead water, meaning it was at its complete lowest tide so that a low-lying causeway was useable to walk between the island and the village. Obviously, if it was connected to land then it wasn't actually an island but circumstances of the tides tended to isolate the two sets of people into "villagers" and "islanders". The circumstance surrounding the tides played a huge role in who could have committed the murder which took place. This book also contains one of the best sea coast storms I've ever read. And, of course, the solving of the murder takes place during this storm.

I enjoy all of Ngaio Marsh's stories. In this novel Superintendent Roderick Alleyn, C.I.D. Scotland Yard, is already married to Troy. I tell you that just as a little information for anyone reading the Alleyn stories in chronological order. This is a story written by one of the classic writers of detective fiction. This particular book was written in 1963 and is a very good example of what I like to call a "nice" murder. If you do not find that to be a contridiction of terms, then you probably have read many mysteries written by classic writers such as Marsh, Christie, Sayers, Wentworth, Berkeley, Heyer, van Dine or Crispin just to name a few.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent mystery, but I wouldn't read again, December 20, 2008
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Debbie (Harrison, AR United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Dead Water (Paperback)
This author's style is compared to Agatha Christie's. In my opinion, they are very similar in how the mystery is shaped and the clues hidden. I like Agatha Christie's novels better, though.

The characters were enjoyable so I enjoyed reading the book even though I had the murderer correctly chosen within pages of the body showing up. And, of course, it's always fun to figure out the why's and see that you're correct.

I read this book with two other people. Neither of them identified the murderer until near the end of the book, though one correctly guessed who the Green Lady was before the end of the prelude. As in, the answer to this mystery's puzzle is easier than some books but not necessarily completely obvious.

The pacing was good, though there were enough misspellings-to-imitate-dialect to make reading slower and difficult in spots. There is little cussing and no explicit sex. For those who don't like paranormal, let me assure you that the "Pixie Falls" don't actually have a pixie living near them.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery story, December 1, 2013
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This review is from: Dead Water (Mass Market Paperback)
This book will remind you of what is going on everywhere now - the commercialization of everything. It's a pretty interesting mystery and I enjoyed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, January 3, 2015
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This review is from: Dead Water (Audio Cassette)
Wonderful Tape in great condition. Thanks
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1 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars bad, September 1, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Dead Water (Mass Market Paperback)
This was a horrible book. It had no meaning, no adventure, and litteraly was disgusting. I recommend You not to read this book.
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Dead Water
Dead Water by Ngaio Marsh (Mass Market Paperback - May 15, 1999)
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