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Death in Ecstasy Hardcover – September 1, 1982


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Amereon Ltd (September 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884114783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884114789
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,063,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'A novelist of glittering accomplishment.' Sunday Times 'She writes better than Christie!' New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dame Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand in 1895 and died in February 1982. She wrote over 30 detective novels and many of her stories have theatrical settings, for Ngaio Marsh's real passion was the theatre. She was both actress and producer and almost single-handedly revived the New Zealand public's interest in the theatre. It was for this work that the received what she called her 'damery' in 1966. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Dobrenis on September 30, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of Ms. Marsh's earlier mysteries and it shows in how soon into the novel the murder occurs as opposed to the mid-novel murder that takes place in later efforts. As usual, it is well written and this time has a rather exotic beginning as action opens in the confines of a cultish "church" where strange goings on occur.

The start of the story is seen through the eyes of Nigel Bathgate, an up and coming journalist who became friends with the lead character, Inspector Alleyn, in Ngaio Marsh's first novel, A Man Lay dead. His presence adds "fresh" eyes to the investigation as opposed to the efficient and logical views of Alleyn. In other words, Nigel plays Watson to Alleyn's Holmes.

A strange ceremony in the above mentioned place of worship, involves the communal drinking of a sacred mixture by a select few congregants. This leads to the poisoning of the Chosen Vessel (the last to drink from the cup). The cast of suspects are pretty varied including some spinsters, a young couple facing problems of their own, a stereotypical (from the then British point of view) American, a rather slimy leader of the congregation and Frenchman with refined tastes.

As always, all the loose ends are neatly tied up. If one concentrates, one can usually solve a Ngaio Marsh mystery as all the clues you need are placed before you. Her style is not of the Agatha Christie, shock twist, but rather relies on a careful examination of the facts by a likeable lead detective of perfect manners who has a keen insight into people. Her later novels reveal characters of greater depth, but for all the briefness of this novel, it is still a pleasant read as we can take pleasure in the sparkling prose of Ms Marsh and tickle our minds with a neat little mystery.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roger Long on April 1, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First published in 1936, this mystery is just a bit dated, as one might expect. It is a little too polite by today's standards: the detective and his confidants are never in jeopardy. There is but the one murder and no real foreshadowing of another possible homicide. The plot might well have been improved by more action or at least the threat of something dire. Despite this, the ambience and characterizations are superior to most present-day whodunits. The only flaw in the characterizations is in Ms. Marsh's attempts to write grating American slang. If the reader likes Agatha Christie and the novels that are more puzzle than danger, this is a very good choice.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MK Writer on July 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not my favorite Marsh, but still very good. Nigel Bathgate (AKA Inspector Alleyn's "Watson") is simply a bored journalist looking for something to do on a rainy day. He spies the mysterious "church" across the street from him, sneaks in to a secret ceremony, and quite by accident, ends up witnessing a murder. Who does he call but his own favorite Scotland Yard detective, Roderick Alleyn. An interesting blend of spiritualism, money, drugs and murder.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book from the 30s. Christie, Sayers, marsh : top 3 British mystery writers of the thirties. One of marshes best books.
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