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Dead Water: Roderick Alleyn #23

(Inspector Alleyn #23)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,110 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
A week of death threats at a faith-healing resort ends in murder. Inspector Roderick Alleyn is then faced with the most challenging case of his career. What makes matters worse is the fact that one of the suspects is his oldest friend. In classic Marsh fashion, the other suspect turns out to be none other than the victim herself.
Kindle Edition, 198 pages
Published February 15th 2015 by Felony & Mayhem Press (first published 1963)
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Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good mystery. 83 year old Emily Pride owns an island where apparently miracles occur at a spring. However, she wants to close it down which the locals are upset about as it has become a gold mine. The crazy Miss Cost, drunken Major with a gorgeous wife, Dr Maine and the not so nice father of Wally. The murder surprised me but there are enough clues to figure out the murderer. My second Ngaio Marsh novel and I am hooked. I am also looking forward to watching the movie.
Sergei Ter-Tumasov
Как хорошо, когда получаешь от книги то, чего ожидаешь (без всяких неприятных сюрпризов)! Как хорошо, когда автор не пытается прыгнуть выше своей головы, а делает именно то, что у него хорошо получается. Очень добротный детектив с незамысловатым сюжетом. Но это отнюдь не минус. Потому что запутать сюжет могут многие писатели, а вот красиво его распутать-единицы. Когда читаю Ngaio Marsh, всегда получаю удовольствие от прочитанного и никогда не жалею о потраченном времени. Конечно же, у неё есть п ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I read any of Ngaio Marsh's books and I had forgotten how good she was. Although I don't think that this is one of her best it still warrants four stars. As always her characters are really well drawn and the plot is good. The autocratic Miss Price and her dialogue with Alleyn in this story is just marvellous. I am now going to re-read another one.
Susan Siow
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great mystery that kept me guessing.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wally Trehern, a mentally “simple” boy in Portcarrow, has been undergoing severe teasing from the other children because his hands are covered with awful, ugly warts in 1963’s Dead Water by Ngaio Marsh. Running to the local spring in tears, he puts his hands in the water, but he still has the same warts. Then, his eyes full of tears, Wally looks up and sees only what he calls The Green Lady. She tells him to plunge his hands back in the water, and the next day Wally shows his hands to his teache ...more
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
good plot but unfortunately not well written
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this very much. Loved the fact that Alleyn's former teacher was one of the characters even if she was very stubborn and set in her attitudes. It showed him in another type of relationship than we sometimes see. Enjoyed also the interaction of Fox with Miss Pride, as she is a French teacher and he is perennially trying to learn that language. Liked more of the ancillary characters, too, than I sometimes do in Marsh's tales.
Victoria Mixon
Now, I do love Marsh, and I love her Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn, and I love the tangled webs of her mysteries. But I'm afraid this is not my favorite.

In this one Marsh reveals her fundamental, telling ignorance of human character, with her portraits of both the epileptic boy with warts---since when is epilepsy a developmental disability? I have a cousin with epilepsy who's hot as a firecracker, which she inherited through our mathematical savant grandmother, from a perfectly normal if s
Gillian Kevern
Another enjoyable Ngaio Marsh! All the classic elements of a whodunnit in an interesting setting, complicated by the presence of Detective Inspector Alleyn's French teacher.
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really enjoy this book. It fails on so many levels. A very stereotypical cast of characters - sexually frustrated spinsters, the retired army Major, a doctor, a clergyman and assorted poorly educated villagers.The detective is a romantic old-school English gentleman who never really comes to life in this story. Given her interest in the theatre I felt it would have worked better if Dame Marsh had written it as a play. The dialogue is hackneyed and the whole thing feels dated. Not one of ...more
Lisa Dornell
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I'm a huge Ngaio Marsh fan and this is one of my favorites, mostly for the character of Miss Emily Pride, former French tutor of Chief Inspector Alleyn and a most formidable woman. When her life is threatened after the citizens of an island she owns object to her shutting down a spring they claim can achieve miracles, Alleyn must act to ensure the safety of his favorite "old girl."

It's a wonderful "cozy" read for a rainy weekend, filled with interesting characters and with a compelling plot with
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great mystery, yet again I failed to spot the murderer, even though the clues were there in the text and I even spotted some of them but somehow I completely failed to make them add up. I love Ngaio Marsh's books, the familiar land marks are always there: a pair of lovers, a charming young girl, an eccentric spinster and of course Alleyn and Fox. Superb!
One v elderly unmarried woman who has reached state of being admirable tough old biddy; one middle-aged psycho spinster. Not bad, otherwise
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Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book revolves around a supposedly magic spring, where a subnormal child, Wally, saw the Green Lady who told him to wash his warty hands in the spring. He does so, and lo and behold the warts fall off that very night. A local woman, Miss Cost, becomes obsessed by the 'magic' spring, and builds up an entire fantasy about it. It brings many visitors to the spring in search of healing, which benefits the residents of the island where it is located. This island is owned by Miss Pride, an old wom ...more
Diana Ridout
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully crafted crime thriller in the old style, when there really were goodies and baddies and you could tell by the accent which was which. Roderick Alleyn, Ms Marsh's iconic detective, is dragged away from his holiday with his wife, not altogether reluctantly, to solve a murder on a peninsula in Cornwall and to look after his venerable French teacher, eighty-plus year-old Miss Emily Pride.
As in all of these delightful older crime books, there are all the classic clues, pointing of cour
Jj Li
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one, even though I hardly like anyone. I wish Ngaio marsh would leave the damn young lovers out, though. They're always so irrelevant, and not at all likeable.

How the whole thing is tied together is quite fun, the puzzle is rife with red herrings, and Miss Emily's relationship with Alleyn and Fox quite fun. There are some wearisome tropes, and the murderer was not quite believable, though/

Word of warning - there's quite an old fashion caricature of how people were learning disabil
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful restrained Scottish uncanniness on a remote island, complete with isolating tides, dead water and frightful storms, featuring the inimitable Roderick Alleyn (aren't we all jealous of Troy?) and his charming French friend-cum-tutor, now 83. The pitifulness of the exploitation of a mentally-challenged child who is cured of a bully-inspiring affliction--added to murder most foul and adult love triangles and the first loves of the young--add up to an ugly murder mystery with rainbows as we ...more
Diane Shearer
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting setting. Clever story. It only gets four stars because it's rather short and the characters are all so blighted with greed and alcoholism. I found it difficult to sympathize with any of them. Our beloved Super is brilliant, of course, and the climax is beautifully written. A terrible storm adds wonderful atmosphere to the already suspenseful and tense situation. The conclusion...well, it makes the book a must read.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
One dollar very well spent! I haven't been reading too many classic mysteries lately, but when I opened this one and saw it began with a traditional cast of characters, I knew that I would enjoy it. Dead Water has a very interesting setting, a secluded island in the UK where a freshwater spring is develops a reputation for curing illnesses. It's well-realized description of an insular community changed by tourism.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Sorry to say I am on the down side of these mysteries. Already wondering what my next fixation will be.

This one is more Alleyn, less other characters, which I like better than when the book is three-quarters through before he makes his appearance, no matter how engrossing the story or appealing the characters.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book - interesting plot and characters. Like with most of her work, Ngaio Marsh's ability to create characters that the reader loves to hate really shines. The ending wasn't a huge shock so it fell a little flat, but it was still a good ride.
Sarah Webber
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This one is particularly good, even though one of the main characters is an autistic boy who is drawn very accurately, especially for the time. It wasn't recognized as autism then. Marsh must have known someone like him.
Stará dobrá anglická detektivka. Malé městečko zalidněné postavičkami, které vytvářejí typickou atmosféru, sympatický detektiv, nezdolná stará dáma, žárlivost a láska - račte vstoupit, anglická detektivka může začít .
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Young women are “girls.” Poorer people are homely. Poor people are slovenly. Bad teeth are a sign of low class, when really a sign of low income, with never a nod to economic injustice. Kiwis better lose their accents if they are going to live in England. BUT the stories are first rate.
May 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, mysteries-read
Guessed the murderer, but this doesn't mean much. The plot wasn't very interesting, unlike a few of the characters. Generally Marsh's prose is very good. This time less so.
Faith healing. I found some of the detail disturbing.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than some others I read. Set in London with the intrigue being around a dilapidated theatre a playwright/producer would like to bring back to life.
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in March 1999.

Another village crime novel by Ngaio Marsh, this one set on a small island connected to the Cornish mainland by a causeway. On the island, there is a spring, and there, a small boy, washing his hands in the water, experienced an immediate healing of the warts that covered his hands. Over the two years following this event, reported in the national press, a steady stream of people has come to the pool, seeking cures for themselves and enriching t
Rog Harrison
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as part of an omnibus with "Hand in glove" and "Death at the Dolphin". This was originally published in 1964. I think I have read this at least twice before and for some reason a lot of it stuck in my memory. From the outset I knew who was going to do it and why but this did not stop my enjoying reading this again.

This is set in a village, probably on the south coast of Cornwall, with a cast of bizarre characters. The locals are exploiting a spring with alleged healing powers but the
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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

Other books in the series

Inspector Alleyn (1 - 10 of 33 books)
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  • 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)