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Death in a White Tie (Roderick Alleyn, #7)
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Death in a White Tie (Roderick Alleyn #7)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  6,503 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews
The season had begun. Debutantes and chaperones were planning their luncheons, teas and balls. And the blackmailer was planning his strategies, stalking his next victim. But Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn knew that something was up."
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 19th 1999 by HarperCollinsPublishers (first published 1938)
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Description: The season had begun. Debutantes and chaperones were planning their luncheons, teas and balls. And the blackmailer was planning his strategies, stalking his next victim. But Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn knew that something was up."

Sometimes a Golden Age whodunnit is my only weakness.

3* A Man Lay Dead (Roderick Alleyn, #1)
2* Enter a Murderer (Roderick Alleyn, #2)
3* The Nursing Home Murder (Roderick Alleyn, #3)
WL Death in Ecstasy (Roderick A
Death in a White Tie is a reread for me. I discovered Ngaio Marsh back at my hometown Carnegie Library (more moons ago than we need to count) and I promptly read through all the Marsh books they had. Later, about twenty years ago, I read some of them again and Death in a White Tie was one simply because it's one of my favorites. There are so many things I enjoy about this tale of murder and blackmail amongst the London Society at the height of the Season--from the witty dialogue, to the scenes a ...more
Jun 19, 2014 Nikki rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime
I think this is the first Alleyn mystery where I genuinely felt for the victim, which helped greatly in my enjoyment of the story. It's the first one where you spend part of the book following the victim closely, too, and where Alleyn has personal feelings on the matter, both of which I think are relevant. I know that the trope of the personally involved detective can be exasperating -- and Alleyn even refers to it, in one of those unsubtle bits of meta -- but at least it's another way for the r ...more
Mar 21, 2010 Bruce rated it really liked it
Death in a White Tie was a very pleasant surprise for me. I've read three other Marsh mysteries, and found them dull and blandly written. I had this on my shelf, and thought I'd start it, give it my usual 50 pages, then get rid of it. I was hooked, however, because of how vividly the fictional world is imagined. The victim is a truly interesting, sympathetic character, and I experienced real outrage and puzzlement at his demise. I felt I had a vested interest in accompanying the detective, Roder ...more
Nov 25, 2013 Helga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Adoro estes policiais de época, onde não existia DNA e laboratórios criminais, o desfecho para mim foi inesperado, e gostei muito.
Será suficiente dizer que li no 1º dia +/-50 páginas, no 2ºe 3º não li (com uma grande constipação e febre) e depois acabei o livro de uma assentada?
This is the seventh novel of the Roderick Alleyn series and it was first published in 1938. This series comprises a total of 32 books.

Roderick Alleyn belongs firmly in the "Golden Age of Detective Fiction" which is a type of fiction which was predominant in the 1920s and 1930s.

According to Wiki, "many of the authors of the Golden Age were British: Margery Allingham (1904–1966), Anthony Berkeley (aka Francis Iles, 1893–1971), Agatha Christie (1890–1976), Freeman Wills Crofts (1879–1957), R. Aust
Jan 12, 2013 Zorena rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy-mystery
I would say this is my favourite Marsh mystery so far as it was a quick and delightful read. I think I prefer Marsh to Christie because the story tends to elaborate more on the victim and suspects than around the detective/snoop. Detective Alleyn and his friends and family are central to the stories but as a nice aside unlike Christie's Hercule etc. Where a single character tends to dominate.

If you're a Ngaio fan I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy this as the characters are engaging and the mystery ha
Apr 22, 2013 Jasmine rated it really liked it
I listened to Benedict Cumberbatch's reading of this book, so I don't know if it counts as my reading. My full intention was to enjoy BC's voice, but I end up very absorbed in the story. Traditional (Agatha, Troy) style mystery, upper-class setting, sympathetic characters and amusing tone. Engaging but not heavy.
Jun 04, 2016 Meg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's probably unfair that I swallow Sayers' tortured lovers and strain at Alleyn and Troy. There's striking similarity in the way the pairs are covered. Older bachelors assured and dominant in the rest of life, they turn to jello at the feet of their respective prickly artistic dark mistresses. Both run to their lady mothers for encouragement.

Alleyn unfortunately doesn't have the charisma to pull it off, and he utters lines so stiff even Mr Darcy would blush. "What is this intolerable love that
Rog Harrison
Feb 19, 2015 Rog Harrison rated it liked it
I first came across the author's books in the early 1960s and I think I have read most of them, some of them several times. I think I have read this one before but if I had I did not remember it. It was first published in 1938 and is a bit of a period piece but has a great deal of charm. Unlike Agatha Christie, and perhaps Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh was happy to write about posh people whilst also poking fun at them. By no means her best story but definitely worth a read.

I read this in the omni
Aug 06, 2014 Ellen rated it really liked it
First Ngaio Marsh read and it was a blessed surprise. Roderick Alleyn is a Scotland Yard detective and thus an entirely different sort from Holmes/Father Brown/Lord Peter/any of the other classic I'm-smart-and-I-do-my-own-thing types, but I enjoyed him/his approach immensely. Heartstrings are tugged when a) the victim is a close friend of Alleyn's, and b) Alleyn struggles with his feelings for Troy [who I liked a great deal]. Overall, a great read.

[Audiobook read by Benedict Cumberbatch. Amen.]
Jun 02, 2016 Miles rated it liked it
Typical Marsh: well-done social observation (albeit among aristocratic twits) for first quarter, followed by interminable, dull who-was-where-when interrogations of too many suspects led by the colorless and bland aristocrat-policeman Alleyn. The victim is a well drawn character the reader genuinely comes to like, yet the unmasking of his murderer when it comes is surprisingly anticlimactic and noncathartic. Unconvincing love scenes between Alleyn and Agatha Troy.
There's an interesting juxtaposition in this book between Alleyn's upper-classness and his awareness of people who don't quite fit in, like the embarrassed secretary and the young Jewish girl who is hating her experience of being thrust onto the London season. Of course, it's a demonstration of Alleyn's empathy and good breeding, but the reader may feel just a little uncomfortable at his well-bred pity.

Reasonably good narrator.
Mar 29, 2007 George rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: British mystery readers
Typical Marsh Inspector Roderick Allen of Scotland Yard mystery. One of her earlier ones written in the late 1930's. Plot involves black mail, murder, and associated relationship problems involving the British upper class. There are many issues which need to be resolved in order to solve the mysterywhich leads to many twists.
Dec 29, 2012 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
So, so great. Practically the perfect murder mystery -- intricately plotted, beautifully told, and peopled with quirky, funny, interesting characters.

The only flaw is the romance subplot, which was pretty bad. Not as unbearable as Lord Peter and Harriet Vane mind you, but very nearly.
Nov 02, 2016 Pendragonish rated it really liked it
Shelves: revolving-reads
One of my favorite Marsh's and one of the rare times a murder mystery has left me with an itch over loss the victim long after the book is done. Lord Robert is so finely, lovingly crafted a character that when his light goes out the reader grieves him. Marsh was a master of her craft.
Only my second book in this series but it's better than the first one I read.
I liked this debutante setting and the characters, I think it would be rather hard not to like Roderick's mother, she seems like a great lady.
Jun 29, 2016 Felicia rated it really liked it
Excellent! The characters in this one are great. You really should read the book before this one to appreciate it.
Elsa Ramos
Jun 30, 2015 Elsa Ramos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excelente! Para Mim que sou uma Fã de Policiais este Livro foi uma Agradável Suspresa. Gostei Imenso. E Não, eu Não consegui descobrir quem era o Assassino :(
Jul 20, 2016 Katrina rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one with its unusual setting in high society and the hypocrisy of the whole debutante system. I think this is the best Marsh book I've read so far.
Lise Petrauskas
Dec 04, 2013 Lise Petrauskas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime, novels
I thoroughly enjoyed this.
Jul 15, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
Book flowed well. This is a better one of this series.
Dec 24, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janis Lai
I feel like a lot of the context is missing since it's abridged. Not that I'm complaining about hearing Benedict Cumberbatch narrates the story and plays various characters in the book. (Dimitri is usually Russian no? He sounds french in this book!) Though abridging meaning only the bare bone of the crime story is left, thus takes out the fun from reading a crime story, of not knowing who did it until the last page!
Sarah Webber
Jan 11, 2017 Sarah Webber rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Fair to middlin'. The mystery was interesting and complex but the personal stuff was rather pedestrian.
Oct 21, 2016 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable listening to the story read by Mr Cumberbach with his many voices in character. Old style drawing room crime drama.
Dec 23, 2016 Nell rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Alleyn fell hard for Troy in a previous book--she for him, not so much. Or not so obviously. Perhaps this is the way things were, or were written about, in the 1930s, but in a story written now, one would expect more background about the characters' feelings for each other, or lack thereof, instead of just bolts out of the blue. (view spoiler) ...more
Lady Aeval
Narration - James Saxon - nicely done as always

Quality - a bit low due to being on a cassette originally, inconsistent clarity and some variation in tape speed from the sound of it. Changing narration speed did not help. As the story progressed it became worse to the point that it sounded as though there was a completely different narrator which is extremely unfortunate because I have heard the original and know that James Saxon does a terrific job with this. Audible should get a better quality
Sofia Teixeira
Nov 21, 2013 Sofia Teixeira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Desde que a ASA lançou a colecção Crime à Hora do Chá que fiquei imediatamente interessada, e o que é certo é que gostei tanto do primeiro volume que a espera pelos seguintes tem sido algo ansiosa. Crime de Luxo é já o terceiro lançado este ano e mais uma vez reforçou o porquê de eu gostar tanto destes policiais. Para além de estarem numa edição diferente, sempre acompanhados de um pacote de chá Lipton, abri-los e folheá-los é como entrar numa viagem para uma Inglaterra por vezes esquecida, com ...more
Oct 25, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
I will admit that the original purpose of choosing this particular book was because the audio version had an amazing narrator, Benedict Cumberbatch. While it is true that I swoon at the sound of his voice, he also happens to have a wonderful talent for reading. I especially enjoy that he does voices. Listening to the audiobook was more like listening to a radio show done by many people and less like a book being read by one man. As someone who has a hard time staying interested in one thing for ...more
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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 32 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)
  • Overture to Death (Roderick Alleyn, #8)
  • Death at the Bar (Roderick Alleyn, #9)
  • Death of a Peer (Roderick Alleyn, #10)
  • Death and the Dancing Footman (Roderick Alleyn, #11)

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“It is a curious thing that when one speaks from the heart it is invariably in the worst of taste.” 4 likes
“I tell you what,” said Troy more amiably. “I’ve always been frightened of the whole business. Love and so on.”
“The physical side?”
“Yes, that, but much more than that. The whole business. The breaking down of all one’s reserves. The mental as well as the physical intimacy.”
“My mind to me a kingdom is.”
More quotes…