Killer Dolphin (Roderick Alleyn, #24)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Killer Dolphin (Roderick Alleyn #24)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  617 ratings  ·  33 reviews
At the newly restored Dolphin Theatre, murder takes center stage

The once-dilapidated Dolphin Theater, now restored to its former glory, is open again-and all of London is buzzing about its new play, The Glove, inspired by the discovery of a genuine Shakespearean glove. But on one unfortunate evening, the Dolphin opens its doors to the harshest critic of all: death. Now Ins...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 15th 1999 by St. Martin's Dead Letter (first published June 1966)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 930)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Kirsty Darbyshire

The only other Ngaio Marsh book I've read was little like a crime novel for the first half and then launched into the investigation for the second half. So I wasn't surprised at this pattern in this book though I'm told that all of her books don't go like this.

I enjoyed the slow start wondering what would happen and who was going to die at the Dolphin Theatre. In fact I probably enjoyed the first half more than the second. Inspector Alleyn's investigation got a bit tedious in parts as he conduc

Killer Dolphin was more lighthearted than Light Thickens, the other book featuring Peregrine Jay, and also highly enjoyable.

In the first couple of chapters, improbable events unfold in an absurd, comic, almost Wodehousian way. Later in the book, the interviewing of the suspects is suspenseful and intriguing, as facts intermittently come to light. Police Superintendent Alleyn has a bigger and more interesting role.

The parts I found the least enjoyable in both books were the petty intrigues among...more
The snippets of history thrown in to this book were fascinating - I loved learning more about Shakespeare's life, and the theater craft, too. It was a really good blend of the past and the present (well, the recent past?) in a mystery that I didn't figure out until the end.
A great read, I liked the characters enough to wish no murder had taken place. My only caveat is the motive for the murder seemed so weak and the murderer's final thoughts completely at odds with all that is previously known. But that aside, my favourite book by her so far.
Peregrine Gay falls down a well at the disused theatre known as The Dolphin. This unpleasant event leads the owner to change his mind about demolishing the building and instead it is restored to its former glory and its first play is one especially written by Peregrine himself. Unfortunately the caretaker is murdered and a glove thought to have belonged to Shakespeare’s son which was on display at the theatre is apparently stolen.

Roderick Alleyn who had overseen security arrangements at the the...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in May 1999.

In Death at the Dolphin we return to familiar Ngaio Marsh territory, and to a higher standard of writing, after a sequence containing some of her worst novels. Like some of the best of her earlier works, Death at the Dolphin is set in the London theatre world, or rather, Marsh's slightly fanciful, old-fashioned version of it. The Dolphin is an abandoned theatre, damaged by bombing during the war, which is more or less on the point of being redevel...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bev Hankins
Killer Dolphin by Ngaio Marsh is a mystery whose title hold a double meaning. The Dolphin refers in part to the Dolphin Theatre which has been recently restored and opens to the public with a brand new play by Peregrine Jay. It also refers to the odd murder weapon used to dispatch the nightwatchman at the theatre. One of a pair of statuettes given by the theatre's patron upon its opening--it is quite heavy and quite deadly. Murder occurs when a thief tries to make off with the recently discovere...more
Andrea Hickman Walker
This is my first Ngaio Marsh (who is, along with about a dozen other women, the Queen of Crime). I was not particularly impressed. I don't read murder mysteries so that I can read half a book before someone dies. All it says to me is that the writer is not particularly good at mysteries and so can't write an entire book centred around the murder. The lead up was interesting, though in my opinion out of place in a murder mystery. Sometimes the lead up to the murder contains a few red herrings and...more
Marsh is often at her best in a theater setting, which allows her to present a motley crew of characters in a confined space. Peregrine is charming, and Alleyn cuts to the chase as usual.
Better than "Colour Scheme" as it moves along faster despite the fact that once again the murder doesnt occur until middle of the story.[return][return]This wasnt the best recording (downloaded from Audible) I've had, as the narrator's voice changes enough to make it appear that there are more than one narrator.[return][return]Once again, the story is set in a theatre, where a derelict theatre is resurrected, and a new play is performed, having been inspired by the discovery of a glove belonging...more
This is one of several theatrical mysteries written by Marsh, who had worked in repertory touring company in her early years. There is some interesting Shakespeare trivia included as the plot revolves around a found artifact...a glove belonging to Shakespeare's son, Hamnet. I read it long ago and that is about the only detail I remembered so the mystery was fresh for me. The characters reappear in "Light Thickens," Marsh's last book. That one, unfortunately, in not available on Audible as yet.
I'd never read a pulp murder-mystery before, and apparently Ngaio Marsh writes better than Christie, plus the CWA library had plethora of books in the genre - so I chose the one with the cleanest smell and gulped it down.
It was an easy read, but I can't say I'll become a subscriber.
Good if you're distracted by travel and can't pay attention to things like plot and characters.
Luckily the clues were repeated over and over so I knew what I had to think about.
There are two books that feature the fictional Dolphin Theater; this is the first one. I read them in the wrong order so some of the plot points were already old hat to me.

Not one of Marsh's strongest mysteries but still a wonderful beach read. Or sick bed read. Her characterizations of professional actors are always a hoot and the prim attitude of Alleyn always makes me half-smile.
Back to Marsh's strength with a theatrical murder. Structurally this is an unusual mystery, spanning over a year and a half. In many ways it is more paean to Shakespeare, to theatre, than it is mystery. Overall it works well, and the primary protagonist is a likeable type. It doesn't quite capture me enough to be a favourite, but definitely one of Marsh's better books.
This was the other Ngaio Marsh mystery left in our apartment in Paris. i enjoyed this much more than Clutch of Constables. i'm not sure if it's because I've gotten used to he writer or because the story line involved Shakespeare and the theater. Whichever, the book definiely kept my attention, and I enjoyed it (learned a bit from her literary allusions as wel).
aPriL meows 'n growls TLDR
Exceedingly well written! The words and sentences sing in clever word usage! Worth reading for that alone. The characters are intensely and sharply drawn and all so interesting I wanted far more of them on the page. Really fun read, if murder doesn't distract you from having fun reading...
I don't remember this book all that well, but I'm pretty sure I liked it. This is one where you don't judge the book by its cover. It's about a theater (called the Dolphin Theater) and a murder, and I rememer it being suspenseful.
Good in many ways, but there were a couple of places near the end wher Marsh was deliberately and annoying ofuscatory in indicating that people were talking about some important point of evidence but not saying what it was.
Aug 16, 2008 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Agatha Christie readers and lovers of 20th c. British mysteries
Shelves: brit-lit, mystery
In this first book that features the playwright Peregrine Jay, a glove belonging to Shakespeare's son Hamnet shows up under mysterious circumstances, and Jay's play about it brings all the characters involved onto the stage.
Fun mystery, especially for lovers of Shakespeare and/or the theater. I really appreciate how much Marsh develops before "the crime" hits. It's not genius, but a reasonably creative entry in a heavily represented genre.
I love Marsh, but I didn't love this book. I've tried several times to finish it, but it was just plain boring. When a mystery goes bad, you just want everybody killed! A shame.
Maureen E
Inspector Alleyn mystery. One of Marsh’s theatre mysteries, but not my favorite. Almost no one comes off well, and the whole thing seems sort of awful. [July 2011]
Jul 25, 2007 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: british mystery fans
Good mystery, easy to read. Author is from New Zealand and apparently has background in theater as a good number of her books take place in these settings.
Lynn Kay Vogt
A classic story where the main character finds out "if its too good to be true it probably is"
Brilliantly read (acted? - though I'm usually suspicious of too much acting ...) by James Saxon!
referred in one line to Death of a Peer. very enjoyable, large cast, hard to keep track of.
Great book, characters continue to develop. Never quite sure of the ending or the culprit.
Killer Dolphin (Roderick Alleyn Mysteries) by Ngaio Marsh (1999)
The glove business was interesting. However, the plot seemed to drag.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Beckoning Lady (Albert Campion Mystery #15)
  • Pilgrim's Rest (Miss Silver, #10)
  • The Singing Sands (Inspector Alan Grant #6)
  • The Documents in the Case
  • No Wind of Blame (Inspector Hemingway Mystery #1)
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
More about Ngaio Marsh...
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)

Share This Book