Light Thickens (Roderick Alleyn #32)
"Is this a dagger which I see before me..."
Four murders. Three witches. A fiendish lady. A homicidal husband. A ghost. No wonder Macbeth is considered such bad luck by theatre people that they won't mention its name out loud. But the new London production of "the Scottish play" promises to be a smash until gruesome pranks begin plaguing rehearsals. And when the last act e...more
It is perhaps fitting that Ngaio Marsh's last novel should have a theatrical setting, given the importance of the theatre in her life. (Symmetrically, her first novel, Enter A Murderer, is also set in a theatre during a production of Macbeth.) It does use the hoary old device of the acted death of a character turning out to be a real killing of the actor, one which she herself has used at least three times, but the story is well enough written ...more
The action centers around the Dolphin Theater, where director Peregrine Jay is assembling what critics will call a flawless production of "the Scottish play." He doesn't believe in the bad karma that supposedl ...more
However, I found the mystery aspect of it rather underwelming. For someone who is advertised ...more
theatrical murder. As a producer in her day job., she knows whereof she writes. Marsh is not as hard on the brain cells as Sayers; I enjoy her more than Christie. A fine mystery.
Light Thickens was Marsh’s last book, published posthumously. The murder in the book takes place during a production of Macbeth.
What distinguishes this book is the author’s intense admiration for Shakespeare and the theatre. As you read, you find out what it is like to choose a cast and direct a play. ...more
The setting is a London theatre putting on a production of Macbeth. Now apparently this is known as an unlucky play, so we have tension between the superstitious and the not, with an unscrupulous character playing on it. We also have a distinc ...more
So far.... this book begins with the rehearsal of the Shakespearean play Macbeth. We are getting to know the actors their pasts, relationships w/ the other cast members.....and personally, I just might be able to live without th ...more
This particular whodu ...more
The characters and setting she created were still excellent and interesting. It was set in a production of Macb ...more
It was totally up to her best standards, a very enjoyable read.
One must keep in mind the gendre and the era in which Marsh wrote - even this one takes place decades ago. Some readers may not enjoy these old timie stories taking place in London, and if so
they might not agree with my rating. It would be difficult to argue, though, with the author's gift
for detail a ...more
Marsh's writing is clear, her characters are well-imagined and the stage is well set for the crime to occur. The Chief Inspector does not arrive until after the murder -naturally- but that murder will not happen until well through the book.
As a personal note I would have preferred if the plot of Light Thickens had made its wa ...more
Enjoyable as all Marsh novels are. Nostalgic, given that this is a 1982 publication yet the action all could have taken place just as comfortably and without editing in 1955. Plot-driven rather than mystery-driven, one really feels that what Marsh really wanted to tell us about was her ideal production of Macbeth.
On the whole this effort is a readable, and short farewell tour for Inspector Alleyn and Braer Fox sweetened with a bloody behea ...more
Marsh's last mystery. Brings back some characters from Killer Dolphin (Death at the Dolphin in the UK). The murder itself doesn't happen until the final 50 or so pages. But, as I say again and again, who the hell cares? Excellent writing, intriguing characterization and, bonus, makes one feel more literate about that Scottish play.
Of all the "Great Ladies" of the English mystery's golden age, including Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh ...more