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Died in the Wool (A Roderick Alleyn Mystery) (The Roderick Alleyn Mysteries) Audio CD – January 20, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

''Ngaio Marsh is one of the detective novelists whose books I regularly re-read, always the test of a good detective story.'' --P.D. James

''In her ironic and witty hands the mystery novel can be civilized literature.'' --New York Times

''In the front rank of crime-story writers.'' --The Times

''The finest writer in the English language of the pure, classical puzzle whodunnit. Among the crime queens, Ngaio Marsh stands out as an Empress.'' --The Sun

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

About the Author

NGAIO MARSH, (1895-1982), born in New Zealand, wrote over thirty detective novels. Many of her stories had theatrical settings, as Marsh's real passion was for the theater. She was both an actress and a producer, and almost single-handedly revived the New Zealand public's interest in live theater. In 1966 she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Roderick Alleyn Mysteries
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.; MP3CD Unabridged edition (January 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455123323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455123322
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MK Writer on August 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I should probably read a bio on Ngaio Marsh, because I'm interested in knowing if she lived on a sheep farm when growing up in New Zealand - she seems to know an awful lot about wool! At any rate, this is another classic Marsh novel, though I do still miss Fox and co., as is the case with all the Inspector Alleyn novels set in New Zealand. Alleyn is performing War duty for the Special Services branch, when he responds to a call from a house where a Member of Parliament has been found murdered by being encased in a bale of wool on her own sheep farm. While there are household jealousies and inheritances, there is also a question of secret machinery plans being stolen and given to the enemy. As usual, the characters are finely drawn, and the plot superb (not to mention a bit bizarre!).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Yet another enthralling mystery by Marsh... The characters are realistic even their flaws. Died In The Wool- is set in New Zealand during the onset of WWll. A zealous, outspoken,and very popular MP is found dead in a bail of her own wool. The question is the motive. Had she made enemies because of her shrewdness, or was she caught in the middle of international espionage? Inspector Alleyn is brought in. Thanks to emotional and often biased analysis of this formidable woman by her relatives and employees, Alleyn recreates the circumstances that forced her murder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Neal J. Pollock VINE VOICE on July 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully written murder mystery that's also, to some degree, an espionage novel. As per several of her books, New Zealander Marsh places her detective Alleyn in NZ--this time during WW II. Thus, the usual cast of supporting characters such as Inspector Fox are absent as are the local police (except by reference). As in very few of her novels, Alleyn is on his own--but of course he solves the mystery. Similarly, while the mystery is good IMHO, the best part of the book is the writing--esp. the characterizations and the phraseology. The mystery revolves around
1) a dynamic Member of Parliament-- p. 172: "It all hangs on her. The kind of woman she was."
2) her relationships with the people on her sheep station-- p. 238: "Isn't there something unsound in a happiness that fails in the light?"
3) on a remote South Island plateau-- p. 270: "When you pause at midnight in this house, the landscape comes in through the windows & sends something exciting down your spinal column."

It's told via individual expositions by the main characters in separate chapters where, of course, one is tempted to jump to logical, but incorrect, conclusions about both the happenings & the people involved. For me, It was a very fast read--and highly enjoyable, perhaps one of her most enjoyable. Unfortunately, I have but one more of Marsh's novels to enjoy. The page #s refer to a March 1945, 270 page Little Brown, Boston edition. This novel is, interestingly, included in a set of 3 by different mystery masters:
...Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter Reeve VINE VOICE on August 7, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The chief suspects in this murder mystery each describe their version of events, some eighteen months after the crime. This gives the story a most unusual and intriguing structure. The characters are well drawn, distinct without being overstated. There is also a fine sense of period and place, those being wartime New Zealand.
So why a grudging three stars? Well, the solution to the puzzle is rather plodding; a systematic analysis of details rather than a brilliant insight. Also there is a general dullness about the characters and their setting. I suppose that's not surprising, given they are on a remote farm in winter, suffering the deprivations of war and trying to come to terms with an unsolved murder. But it would have benefited from the occasional comic relief or lightness of touch that Dorothy L Sayers or Conan Doyle could have brought to it.
All in all, recommended for the unusual structure and setting (albeit the `local color' is mostly gray) and for the quality of the writing, which is very good, but don't expect a classic puzzle. The author even makes one error in the solution (don't worry, this is not a spoiler) when Alleyn says "Only (the guilty person) could have put...". Actually, one other person could have; namely the one who found said item. I will however concede that the build up to the climax is genuinely suspenseful.
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