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Dead Water (Roderick Alleyn, #23)
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Dead Water (Roderick Alleyn #23)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  666 ratings  ·  35 reviews
A week of death threats at a faith-healing resort ends in murder. Inspector Roderick Alleyn is then faced with the most challenging case of his career. What makes matters worse is the fact that one of the suspects is his oldest friend. In classic Marsh fashion, the other suspect turns out to be none other than the victim herself.
Published August 21st 2000 by HarperCollins (first published 1963)
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Susan Siow
Another great mystery that kept me guessing.
Victoria Mixon
Now, I do love Marsh, and I love her Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn, and I love the tangled webs of her mysteries. But I'm afraid this is not my favorite.

In this one Marsh reveals her fundamental, telling ignorance of human character, with her portraits of both the epileptic boy with warts---since when is epilepsy a developmental disability? I have a cousin with epilepsy who's hot as a firecracker, which she inherited through our mathematical savant grandmother, from a perfectly normal if s
A great mystery, yet again I failed to spot the murderer, even though the clues were there in the text and I even spotted some of them but somehow I completely failed to make them add up. I love Ngaio Marsh's books, the familiar land marks are always there: a pair of lovers, a charming young girl, an eccentric spinster and of course Alleyn and Fox. Superb!
One v elderly unmarried woman who has reached state of being admirable tough old biddy; one middle-aged psycho spinster. Not bad, otherwise
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in March 1999.

Another village crime novel by Ngaio Marsh, this one set on a small island connected to the Cornish mainland by a causeway. On the island, there is a spring, and there, a small boy, washing his hands in the water, experienced an immediate healing of the warts that covered his hands. Over the two years following this event, reported in the national press, a steady stream of people has come to the pool, seeking cures for themselves and enriching t
I thought I had read all of the Ngaio Marsh mysteries but not this one, set on the English south (?) coast. If I had lost a friend (was it just a friend?) through belief in a healing locale I would be more than likely to react as Miss Emily did. Miss Emily Pride, responsible for Roderick ("Rodrique") Alleyn's beautiful French, back when he was planning on going into the diplomatic service, has inherited a piece of land where a boy has been magically healed of terrible warts by a magic spring. Th ...more
When local boy Wally Trehern's warts are suddenly cured, he explains that a lady in green appeared to him and told him that the village spring would wash them away. Then the general shop owner claims that her asthma has also been cured by the spring. The sleepy island village is soon a pilgrimage destination for those seeking cures from their ailments and the business owners and little church are making good money for the first time in their lives. But with the death of her sister, ownership of ...more
This author is compared to Agatha Christie in style. They are very similar in how the mystery is shaped and the clues hidden, in my opinion. If you haven't read a lot of Christie's novels, the solution to this mystery might even surprise you.

Luckily, 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
As soon as I started this I realized I had read it before, when I first encountered Marsh in my early teens. The wart scene at the beginning is quite memorable, and I vaguely recalled most of the characters, especially the autocratic old Miss Pride, Inspector Alleyn's long-ago French instructor. But I didn't remember the details or solution of the mystery, not that there's anything specially thrilling about them.
Sep 14, 2014 Marian rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: crime fiction fans
I had hopes for this books as I am a great admirer of Agatha Christie and I was assured that Dame Ngaio wa just as good, sadly not, but a good read for a wet weekend.
Mary Lauer
The image of the little black shells of the fallen off warts freaked me out so much my skin twitched for most of the book. ;)
Katie Hilton
Superintendent Alleyn investigates the murder of a woman who was pushing a "miracle spring." The chief suspect is Alleyn's French teacher years ago. An interesting setup and solution.
Lia Marcoux
As much as I enjoy Marsh's books, I think we just fundamentally disagree over whether all spinsters are sex fiends.
I didn't really enjoy this book. It fails on so many levels. A very stereotypical cast of characters - sexually frustrated spinsters, the retired army Major, a doctor, a clergyman and assorted poorly educated villagers.The detective is a romantic old-school English gentleman who never really comes to life in this story. Given her interest in the theatre I felt it would have worked better if Dame Marsh had written it as a play. The dialogue is hackneyed and the whole thing feels dated. Not one of ...more
Rose Blum
Entertaining :)
I think this is one of the first traditional British mysteries I ever read. And I didn't usually read mysteries back then (going back to the mid 70s here) unless you count Trixie Belden. It came in a brown paper sack with a bunch of other books from a jumble sale. I was intrigued by the author's name more than the subject of the book at the time. It quickly became one of my keepers that I read and re-read over the years until the book finally fell apart.
Nancy Wilson
Excellent --but how did the kid lose his warts?
aPriL eVoLvEs
Interesting snapshot of an English town, isolated and scratching a living from tourists. For once, Marsh includes a low life family among her suspects, not only the usual peers and middle class couples. But it seems to me Marsh spun this one out a bit too formulaic. It would have benefited from perhaps 50 or more pages to flesh out her characters and added some needed warmth to the villagers' personalities.
Another Marsh revolving around a spinster who has 'gone wrong' at 'that time of age'. Overall a reasonable mystery, and Miss Emily is a likeable character, but the book leaves a vague sense of dissatisfaction - probably due to the continuing circumstances for the 'femme fatale' of the piece.
Extremely fluid and descriptive writer. Did break one of the rules of golden era detective fiction though -- withheld a clue from the reader (but gave it to the detective). Otherwise, another very literary story from one of the queens of crime fiction.
The curing of warts - what an odd thing to base a mystery and/or a faith healing on. And how strange for a murder to revolve around how it might have been done.
I liked the detective but there was no character development and he was hardly talked about. Way too much time spent on building up to the murder.
Matthew Mitchell
Not Agatha Christie or Ellis Peters but a fun escape to fill an afternoon. The whodunit was who I thought it was but I wasn't sure.
Gilles Duffau
Intéressante découverte, quoique tardive, d'un personnage récurrent de l'excellente collections Grands détectives chez 10/18.
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A little difficult English dialect but good plot and quirky characters. Interesting setting and mystery.
Pleasant diversion along the lines of an Agatha Christie mystery. Very British.
A good set up, great atmosphere, interesting cast of characters. A good read.
Aug 07, 2012 Jz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery, own
Entertaining, and kept me guessing. Surprised at the end, too.
Dead Water (Roderick Alleyn Mysteries) by Ngaio Marsh (1999)
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Dame Ngaio Marsh, born Edith Ngaio Marsh, was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. There is some uncertainty over her birth date as her father neglected to register her birth until 1900, but she was born in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Of all the "Great Ladies" of the English mystery's golden age, including Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh
More about Ngaio Marsh...

Other Books in the Series

Roderick Alleyn (1 - 10 of 44 books)
  • A Man Lay Dead (Roderick Alleyn, #1)
  • Enter a Murderer (Roderick Alleyn, #2)
  • The Nursing Home Murder (Roderick Alleyn, #3)
  • Death in Ecstasy (Roderick Alleyn, #4)
  • Vintage Murder (Roderick Alleyn, #5)
  • Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, #6)
  • Death in a White Tie (Roderick Alleyn, #7)
  • Overture to Death (Roderick Alleyn, #8)
  • Death at the Bar (Roderick Alleyn, #9)
  • Death of a Peer (Roderick Alleyn, #10)
A Man Lay Dead (Roderick Alleyn, #1) Death in a White Tie (Roderick Alleyn, #7) Death of a Peer (Roderick Alleyn, #10) Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, #6) Clutch of Constables (Roderick Alleyn, #25)

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