Black As He's Painted (Roderick Alleyn #28)
Portrait of a murder...
Superintendent Roderick Alleyn's old school chum whom his wife Troy longs to paint is now President of Ng'ombwana, a brand-new African republic. This handsome, charismatic dictator has enemies of every stripe: from ruddy-faced ex-colonists to new rivals, from dispossessed businessmen to racist crackpots. But when a ceremonial spear deals death at his...more
It's a mildly patronizing plot,and some obviously dislike that tone towards the African characters; but actually, in my opinion, Marsh is consistently patronizing and ironic in eve ...more
A quirky storyline with the President of an African country involved in the murder of one of his household ... but was he, himself, the intended victim? And who would want to kill him as he was only visiting the UK and had no known enemies.
Syuperintendent Roderick Alleyn gets the call, mainly because he was a school chum of the President, who was educated in Engla ...more
The comments by some readers about racism are puzzling. The comments and attitudes of some of the less pleasant characters are still heard today. Just as loudly and nastily.
For Troy and Rory fans the glimpses of their relationship in the novel is another pleasure. Troy the artist is always fun to 'watch'. And Rory ...more
Close to the Embassy there are several suspicious characters including a brother and sister called Sanskrit who make and ...more
'The best Ngaio Marsh for a long time' is how the Daily Telegraph greeted the appearance of Black As He's Painted (according to the front cover). By 1975, she have produced quite a long string of disappointing novels, and it wouldn't have taken a great deal to deserve this tag; but in fact Black As He's Painted is one of the best of all Marsh's novels.
The story concerns a visit made by the President of the Commonwealth nation of Ng'omwana, know ...more
As a secondary note, I read the Jove paperback, published in the 70s. Very, very obvious what was selling then; the back cover blurb talks about ...more
I'm enjoying Ngaio Marsh's books, but I was pretty much able to guess where this one was going pretty early on. Still, the story itself was enjoyable so I listened through till the end.
It sure left me wanting to see Troy's paintings.
One of the characters is a funny old bachelor with a cat and I found him quite charming. There was a lot about Alleyn's relationship with his old school chum (now President of an African nation) which I liked as it showed me another side of our hero. I thought the conspiracy at the heart of the mystery was a bit overl ...more
Ngaio Marsh is one of the great dames of mystery for two very good reasons: her uncanny ability to create full-bodied portraits of her characters and imbue them with personality and life that rings ever true and her skill with complex, engaging plots that end in satisfying conclusions. In Black as He's Painted, both of those aspects of her writing are at displayed at their best. One of the more delightful of the Alleyn mysteries, the book revolves around the thwarted murder of the Ng'ombwana pre ...more
For me though, Marsh 's strength here is the characters. Inspector Alleyn is as intelligent and polite as always. He is a gentleman, a member of the upper class, as this episode reminds us. I like that his wife, Troy, who ...more
So for story and writing it's close to 5 star but for readability and enjoyment it's only a 3 for me.
Of all the "Great Ladies" of the English mystery's golden age, including Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh ...more