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Last Ditch (Roderick Alleyn, #29)
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Last Ditch (Roderick Alleyn #29)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  544 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Horseplay turns deadly...
Young Ricky Alleyn has come to the picturesque fishing village of Deep Cove to write. Through the sleepy little town offers few diversions, Ricky manages to find the most distracting one of all: murder. For in a muddy ditch, he sees a dead equestrienne whose last leap was anything but an accident. And when Ricky himself disappears, the case become
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 15th 2000 by Minotaur Books (first published December 28th 1976)
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I wish I'd discovered these during my long-ago Christie phase, because while I don't think Marsh's plots are as neat as Christie's, her writing is better. However, I was still fairly meh about this one: police procedurals are just not my cup of tea, even though I like the characters.

I may see if I can find the book or two which come after Artists in Crime, out of curiosity to see the progress of Alleyn and Troy's romance, but other than that, I don't think I'll seek out more Marsh.
Ricky Alleyn, son of Scotland Yard detective Roderick Alleyn,is spending his college break on a lovely channel island, working on writing a book. However, all is not as peaceful as it seems. When a horrific riding "accident" that kills a young woman begins to look like murder, Ricky's curiosity and amateur sleuthing may make him the next target of violence. Marsh has been compared favorably to Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, her contemporaries. This is only the second of her mysteries I have ...more
The second appearance of Ricky Alleyn, who makes a good showing at the beginning of the novel, managing to nicely encompass aspects of both his parents, but then unfortunately catches a bad case of too-stupid-to-live and fades off the screen. More a 2.5 than 3 star novel, dragging considerably in the middle.
What a fun golden-age mystery. I loved the characters, setting, mannerisms of the time and pacing of the story. I don't know why I've never read Ngaio Marsh before, but I've already ordered the first few books in this series to start from the beginning. I look forward to catching up with Inspector Alleyn.
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in August 1999.

By Last Ditch, one of her last books, Marsh has had to allow at least some of her serial characters to get older. Ricky, son of Chief Inspector Alleyn, is now twenty-one, though his parents seem to be little older than in the earliest books written some forty years earlier.

Ricky has just completed an English degree and wants to write a novel; he goes to stay on a fictional island with strange geography (it seems to be near both the French and D
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The Last Ditch is about my favorite detectives son, Alleyn Jr. all grown up and with plans to write his novel on a scenic and inspiring british island. What follows is exactly something the senior Alleyn doesn't want, his son getting involved in the mystery behind a violent death... will Rodeick junior follow his dad's footsteps and get to the truth? Or are those shoes too big to fill?

What I find amazing about Marsh is that every book of hers is completely different from the previous one and yet
Katie Hilton
Alleyn's grown son visits an island off the coast of France in order to focus on his first novel. As he is getting to know an old friend of his father's, a young equestrienne dies in a terrible jumping accident that might not be an accident. Meanwhile, some of the natives seem to be involved in drug-running. Alleyn arrives to investigate both situations, and to rescue his son from danger. A good read.
Oct 04, 2012 Jz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery, own
It's been close to 40 years since the first Roderick Alleyn book, and it shows. It still reads like a cozy, though, with a limited number of suspects, and even a reluctance to kill an innocent meddler, and very old-fashioned customs. One wonders why she continued to write. She's trying to be up on the contemporary scene with the drug element, but she's fairly clueless. That seems way beyond her ken. The paint angle is ludicrous.

I'd say that Ms. Marsh was having fun with this one. It's a little d
Victoria Mixon
Again, Chief Detective-Inspector Alleyn--witty, deadpan, and chock full of hopelessly perfect dialog--has my undivided attention. And this time his son--a young adult desperately aspiring to become an author--does, too.

Of course Troy Alleyn, the Chief's wife and the independent artist woman making up the third part of this charming family trio, who is plenty smart and charming herself, goes a bit overboard in her effort to avoid being seen as a clinging mother when she casually assures Alleyn sh
I read about Ngaio Marsh in a piece about the golden age of mystery writers and as I have read all of Sayers and a lot of Christie I was very excited to discover Marsh who was put in the same category of writer. It appears, based on this book that she deserves to be in the list.
I was surprised by the solution to this mystery and I really liked the characters. Marsh's detective reminds me of Louise Penny's detective. The family at the center of this story had a very Great Gatsby feel about them,
Ricky Alleyn is spending the summer trying to overcome writer's block and work on a novel in the village of Deep Cove on the Channel Islands. The village, of course, is filled with colorful characters who all seem to be leading rather complex lives. Everything seemed routine until a young woman is killed while horseback riding. Or was it an accident? Before it's over, Ricky's father, Inspector Roderick Alleyn, is sent to the island to fugure out what is going on. Ngaio Marsh wrote during the Gol ...more
Ricky Alleyn, son of Troy and Roderick Alleyn, is taking an island break in an attempt to write a book.

The niece of the local riding school owner dies after making a difficult jump and is found later in a ditch. Meanwhile one or more people are involved in drug running between France and England.

Not long after Rory arrives in town, Ricky disappears.

Lateish story (I think written in the mid 70s), where the story line is grittier than Marsh's contemporaries(no cream teas here, heroin addiction an
Richard Stueber
This one starts with Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn's son "Ricky" as the protagonist. He is staying on a fictional Channel Island within sight of the Normandy coast. Ricky is writing a novel, but being his father's son, gets involved in seeking out the truth about a suspicious-looking accidental death.
The plot thickens with characters who may may be involved in the drug trade and Ricky's life is son at risk. When Ricky is rendered hors de combat father Roderick finds an excuse to look into
An Inspector Roderick Alleyn, Scotland Yard C.I.D. mystery. Set on a British Channel Island near France, the story line centers around Alleyn's son who has gone to the island for time to work on a scholarly book he is writing. He becomes involved with various island characters and mysterious night time doings. Soon there is a murder and his father is called in to investigate and there appears to be drug smuggling connections.

It is good mystery with some interesting characters.
Faye Snyder
A little difficult to follow the abundant colloquialisms
I had not read a Ngaio Marsh in a few years; however, I have no idea how I missed this one. Much of this book features the character of little Ricky Alleyn, all grown up. His father the Scotland Yard detective and Sergeant Fox come into the story a bit later. Nevertheless, it is a gripping mystery, full of twists and turns, with an interesting setting, and the usual cast of British characters. Great entertainment!
aPriL eVoLvEs
This wasn't a story that was put together. It was like someone getting dressed in the dark and ends up with functioning articles of clothing such as pants, blouse, socks, but the bits do not match in color or style. It really read as if Marsh hurriedly meshed three incomplete short stories together and forced the plots into one in order to get a 200 page book done. Anyway, it didn't work.
Last Ditch is a solid mystery in Marsh's usual Golden Age style. It's a little funny to see that style translated to the 1970s (this is one of her later novels), as Marsh describes things like leisure suits and heroin smuggling in a manner better suited to country houses and parlour maids.
Roderick Alleyn and Troy's son is a grown man and becomes embroiled in a mystery while trying to write a book. Of course, there is detecting to be done and his father is soon on the scene. Another of Dame Ngaio's enjoyable mysteries
I enjoyed this Inspector Alleyn mystery but it was a little diffused or maybe less coherent because of the multiple viewpoints--told at times from his son's perspective but then ending up mostly from Alleyn's. Good story overall.
I prefer the Inspector Alleyn mysteries set a bit earlier in time; the 1970s isn't my favorite time setting. I did enjoy Ricky, Alleyn's grown son, and the plot was interesting.
I'd been avoiding Marsh, since she's always compared to Agatha Christie and I HATE Agatha Christie, but this was good! More believable characters and everyday humor.
John Carter
It was very interesting to meet little Ricky all grown up. And, like his mother so often did, dragging Alleyn accidentally into a case of murder.
Not one of her best, only to be read by fans, but interesting to see how someone who started publishing in the 1930s dealt with the 1970s.
I like the way the same characters or relatives of characters are woven into these stories
I grew up with Roderick Alleyn and enjoyed every book as it came out. Dated now but still appealing
Nancy Wilson
I have now read all the Marsh novels and pretty much in order. She truly was great!
I feel badly. I love Alleyn and Troy and I just don't care at all about their kid....
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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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