Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Death and the Dancing Footman Hardcover – February, 1983
|New from||Used from|
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
About the Author
Top customer reviews
The biggest drawback of this mystery, for me, was that there was no mystery; I thought the solution was rather obvious and I spotted the murderer and had things figured out even before the murder was discovered. So, the rest of the book, for me, was just watching how Marsh laid her red herrings and dropped clues as to the solution. Also, how the murder was committed was not terribly plausible; it was not the sort of thing that would have been thought up and executed on the spot - too complicated.
Still, I liked the setup and the claustrophobic setting, and the characters were interesting. Marsh knows how to put on a show even when some of the machinery shows. Not her very best, but certainly worth reading.
The flamboyant Jonathan Royal cruelly invites six guests who are mortal enemies to a house party, counting on an upcoming wintry storm to keep them housebound and at each other's throats. Such is the twisted Royal's idea of fine entertainment. So far, so good. However, some of the other characters never transcend into three-dimensional characters: the Complines, Francis Hart, and Madame Lisse descend into exaggerated archetypes rather than real people. By the time of the murder, halfway through the book, I was ready to chuck it in, and I very nearly didn't finish the book! I never thought I'd say that about a Ngaio Marsh book! Additionally, as others have mentioned, Inspector Roderick Alleyn doesn't put in an appearance until two-thirds of the way through the book. The book could have easily be trimmed by 50 pages and have been vastly improved.
If you're looking to skip a Ngaio Marsh book, make it this one.
When a murder finally takes place it leaves the guests shocked and chastened - and for a while without the police to investigate. Roderick Alleyn does not appear on the scene until two thirds of the way through the book - thanks to the snow. When he does appear, he and his team very quickly sort the wheat from the chaff and solve the murder. Another guest has died before the murderer is unmasked and the guests sent home.
I enjoyed this book and thought the relationships between the house party guests were well done. There are plenty of clues scattered around for the observant reader to pick up but it is all too easy to become mired in the detail and completely fail to spot the murderer. In my opinion you can't beat Ngaio Marsh's plotting skills or her ability to create believable characters.
Most recent customer reviews
Of Human Bondage (Signet Classics) is about a fellow with a club foot,
so the playwright here isn't...Read more