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Hand In Glove (Roderick Alleyn, #22)
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Hand In Glove (Roderick Alleyn #22)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,536 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Lady Banting has an inspired flair for outrageous parties, and a treasure hunt in the pleasant English countryside seems the perfect diversion for this elite group. But when the setting and circumstances inspire murder, Inspector Alleyn must locate a killer hiding amongst the gentry.
Paperback, 239 pages
Published October 15th 1983 by Jove (first published 1962)
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Gillian Kevern
It's never possible to read just one Ngaio Marsh, is it?

I finished Dead Water and pretty much immediately picked up Hand in Glove. A really satisfying mystery with an interesting cast. A really strong, satisfying solution.
Jan 14, 2016 Anwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A period piece with characters drawn larger than life - the pretence of class showing in the stiffness of the characters. Who has killed a stuffy, pernickety and fussy lawyer? Alleyn must discover the murderer whilst pondering on the importance of a dog called Pixie. Great fun!
Dec 22, 2011 Kel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I thought the butler did it. He didn't.
Bethany Holder
Mar 20, 2017 Bethany Holder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hand In Glove is a "full" novel that proceeds along a steadfast path through and with romance, pets, parties, resentments, pride, and of course, suspicion, murder, and Superintendent Alleyn. I love Ngaio Marsh because her books seem timeless...the murders and people could all take place today, with a bit more assistance from technology:)
Lillian Carl
This is another Inspector Alleyn mystery, more or less set in a country house, with a cast
of over-the-top society characters. Published in 1962, it's set in the 50s. However, except
for one or two internal references, the story could just as well be set in the 20s. It's a
competent mystery but didn't engage me, not least because one of Marsh's writing tics---using the verb "ejaculate" instead of "exclaim" or the equivalent, over and over again---got to be very annoying very soon.
Susan Siow
Feb 09, 2015 Susan Siow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good read by Ngaio Marsh.
Sharon Fitzgerald
Feb 28, 2017 Sharon Fitzgerald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good writing style though cast of possible suspects somewhat formulaic.
Simon Mcleish
Apr 14, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in February 1999.

This is another Marsh novel which is very much in the rather unfortunate shadow of Agatha Christie. The cast of characters, upper class, Home Counties village dwellers, could come out of a number of Christie's novels, and there is not much of Marsh's personality in this book.

The plot itself is not particularly interesting; Mr Harold Carteret's dead body is found under a large, heavy pipe in a ditch being dug by workmen, following a party held
I read this book a loooong time ago; would that I had started keeping track of my reading much, much earlier! So even 1973 is just a guess, it might have been in the late 60s. I don't remember it very well, in fact I've just requested the DVD version from the library and expect to be surprised by whodunit. I remember enjoying Inspector Roderick Alleyn, another of those upper-class detectives in the mode of Wimsey and Campion, but with the difference that he has actually joined the police force ( ...more
Rob Smith
May 18, 2015 Rob Smith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
This is my first excursion into Marsh territory. As I've been reading more British mysteries, I was wanting to read a tale of Alleyn.

I liked the characterization as written. The effort is melodramatic and should have been edited. Considering how long it takes for the reader to get to the core of the mystery, alot of is tread over and over with little sustenance. Especially considering how the story ends.

The setting descriptions seemed very lacking. Again considering how the mystery eventually un
Nancy Butts
Jan 06, 2017 Nancy Butts rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
#22 in the series and this one seems “grayer,” if that makes any sense. That’s the sense I get from several of the Golden Age mystery authors: that their work lost some color and vitality from the 1930s when they began their careers to the 1960s. Perhaps they felt their books needed to get more “realistic” to meet the desires of a changing audience, or perhaps they each felt more somber and subdued after World War II. Perhaps they weren’t quite sure how to react to the social and cultural shifts ...more
May 08, 2010 Surreysmum rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 1985
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
J'avoue que j'ai été très déçue par ce livre. L'écriture de Ngaio Marsh est toujours aussi agréable mais l'histoire en elle-même, ainsi que son déroulement, sont sans grand intérêt. Il faut attendre la moitié du livre pour qu'enfin il se passe quelque chose et je dois dire qu'arrivée à ce stade-là de ma lecture, je n'étais plus intéressée. Ce livre m'a fait penser à Agatha Christie dans ses mauvais jours. La campagne anglaise, de nombreux personnages divers et variés mais au final rien de bien e ...more
Rog Harrison
Feb 16, 2016 Rog Harrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as part of an omnibus with "Dead water" and "Death at the Dolphin". This was originally published in 1962. I thought that I had read this before but the plot was unfamiliar and I did not guess the murderer so perhaps I had not read it before.

There are the usual array of bizarre characters in a village and the author describes them in an amusing fashion and pokes fun at the snobbery of some of them. There is a murder and Alleyn, who now seems to be a Superintendent, and his team are c
Oct 04, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There we go! One fun aspect of being on Goodreads with people who are actually my friends in real life is that occasionally we discuss what we are reading. One real-life friend saw my previous reviews of Ngaio Marsh books, read that I very much liked her as an author, and lent me this book, which I hadn't yet read, and very much enjoyed. Thank you! This book was more to my liking -- later Marsh, rather than earlier -- and had a denouement that, while unexpected, in hindsight was admirably foresh ...more
Katie Bee
Pleasant, but forgettable. There were only a very few suspects, and Alleyn solves the mystery within a day. It would've been more interesting if there had been a wider field - perhaps the wholesome young lovers and the comfortable butler-cook duo could have fallen under suspicion as well, instead of being quickly established as innocent. As it is, there really isn't a mystery at all - the Bad Young Lovers are obviously a red herring, and not even an interesting one at that.

Also it needed more Tr
Oct 24, 2013 Helen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was somewhat spoilt for me by the reader - I 'read' it via audio book - mispronouncing Alleyn's name from story start to finish. No unusually, the actual solution to the mystery was a letdown, and the young lovers here were far less charismatic than most - neither were really suspects in the murder, and there was therefore no tension in their relationship. Marsh both sends up snobbery and indulges in it herself. One of her less memorable books.
Mark Stephenson
Mar 01, 2013 Mark Stephenson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of the six Marsh mysteries I've read so far this is my favorite! It's as much a romance as a murder mystery and shows Inspector Alleyn and his wife Troy as the splendidly capable and warmly enjoyable couple they were intended by the author to be. Nicola Maitland-Mayne and Andrew Bantling, the young lovers, wonderfully contrasted with less savory characters, moved me. Marsh's genius for black comedy is a delight.
Aperna Deb
This was one of the whodunits where a murder doesn’t take place till half of the book. Normally, I give up. But Marsh’s writing is endearing and charming enough to make me go on. Also, it’s harder to guess who is going to die, than to guess who killed that person. In this case, the latter was surprising, but the reasons were too tenuous making the book a bit of a bore. I also am not a big fan of forced romance in a mystery.
The dialogue is great here - sort of P. G. Wodehouse set 20 or 30 years later. The slang is clever (and decipherable) but I didn't need to use a dictionary a few times to look up some real $10 words.

The story is, well, mediocre, and the mystery is lame. But most of the characters are just fab.
Dec 17, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm struck by how few of her characters NM treats kindly. Even the essentially benign are rendered ridiculous by their passion for Pekinese dogs or folk dance or genealogy. It's not that Roderick Alleyn is some kind of detective superhero that draws the reader to him. It's that he is one of the only people the reader isn't faintly embarrassed by, or actively pitying.
Ngaio Marsh is an incorrigible snob, and not even remotely shy about it. This story could have been written about any time in the early 20th century, the only thing that gave its real age away was a tiny reference to the "telly". I honestly had no clear idea of where it was going or why, even right up until the very end. She certainly writes a good mystery!
DH Hanni
Aug 03, 2014 DH Hanni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite one of her books that I've read so far. Roderick Alleyn didn't even enter the story until around page 100. The ending was too rushed and I'm confused as to how the killer could have physically committed the crime. The killer's motivation wasn't too clear to me, either. Also, it was really difficult for me to get into but once I did it was a quick read.
Nancy Wilson
Aug 05, 2014 Nancy Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was just fun--a bitch boxer in heat and being pursued by a randy Pekingese (yuck)--an eccentric wanna be aristocrat, kanoodling servants--and a dead guy in the ditch! My only criticism of Marsh is that she tends to have people fall madly in love at first sight--I find that not only unreal but a bit tedious!
Comforting, reasonably well-executed, but ultimately pretty forgettable. This book dated delightfully, and I'm not just talking about the overuse of the word 'ejaculate'. I'll probably look up some more Ngaio Marsh, but not when I want to think very hard.
P.D.R. Lindsay
Feb 23, 2013 P.D.R. Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying my jaunt through Ngaio Marsh's novels again. I'd forgotten this one set in the 1960s.

A thoroughly nasty murder, a lot of red herrings and the usual collection of memorable characters.

Another good read.
O dear another obsessive spinster (this time it's her adopted daughter who is the object, this reads like one of the awful warnings cited in Holden's The Shadow of Marriage about post-war attitudes to single women adopting), and one of her campy snobbish aesthetes.
Angela Zeman
Jul 30, 2016 Angela Zeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read, though she's written better.

Recommend, but not her best. Half the fun is discovering what place, time, and characters she's chosen to make into a story! She must've been terrific to know personally!
Feb 28, 2011 Kyrie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I don't even remember this story. I must have read it, but wow I can't remember anything about it.
Mar 25, 2010 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I'll have to reread this, as all I can remember is the letters of condolence (which were a riot!).
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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)
  • 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)

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