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Artists in Crime

(Roderick Alleyn #6)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  7,273 ratings  ·  340 reviews
It was a bizarre pose for beautiful model Sonia Gluck--and her last. For in the draperies of her couch lay a fatal dagger, and behind her murder lies all the intrigue and acid-etched temperament of an artist's colony. Called in to investigate, Scotland Yard's Inspector Roderick Alleyn finds his own passions unexpectedly stirred by the fiesty painter Agatha Troy--brilliant ...more
Hardcover, 316 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Black Dog Publishing (first published 1938)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  7,273 ratings  ·  340 reviews

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Like a number of other people I enjoyed this considerably more than number 5 in the series. The story was more interesting, it had DCI. Alleyn’s full support team including Bathgate, it introduced more of his background including his esteemed mother, Lady Alleyn and last but certainly not least we were introduced in no uncertain terms to “Troy”.

A great novel, well written and worked out with numerous red herrings masking a devious killer that I didn’t get until virtually the denouement.

Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After struggling a little with Ngaio Marsh’s previous mystery, “Vintage Murder,” I was pleased to discover that I enjoyed the sixth in the series, “Artists in Crime,” a great deal more. In “Vintage Murder,” Roderick Alleyn was travelling and, in this book in the series, we see him returning to the UK. On board ship he meets, and falls for, artist, Agatha Troy. Miss Troy turns out to live at Tatler’s End House, close to Lady Alleyn, in Bucks.

Alleyn goes to visit his mother, while Agatha Troy has
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Mike Pence

Even though I was repulsed by the Sylvester Stallone-like figure on the cover, I pulled this out of the book dumpster for a quick read. It started out promisingly, with Inspector Roderick Alleyn leaning over the deck rail on a Fiji to England cruise, but once we disembarked in England stasis took over. A nude model for an art class held at a wealthy artist and teacher's estate is knifed to death, and everyone in the class becomes a suspect. Interminable discussions of the details of the knifing
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really good murder mystery. Inspector Alleyn meets an artist and falls in love. Meanwhile a model is murdered in front of a group of artist but it takes Inspector Alleyn of Scotland Yard to find the killer.

P. S. The brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch read it on youtube. Yay!!
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
I have a love hate relationship with Ngaio Marsh. I find her writing is often a mixture of snobbery (it's not her characters – Marsh herself comes across as believing the aristocracy should have special privileges. Mixed up in a murder mystery – faugh, how common) & there is often a touch of 'cultural cringe' (believing NZ culture is inferior to other cultures, usually the UK or the States)

This particular book also tested my desire to read uncensored work!

Page 17 Miss Katti Bostock, the well-kno
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really like these period stories Ms. Marsh creates and the reader who brings them to life. There is a limited cast of suspects as at a small dinner party, and by patient interrogation our hero comes to a successful end with a surprising personal touch along the way.
Somehow the writing reminds me of P.D. James, although there is no such comparison.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As nearly perfect as a book can be to please me so successfully on several levels. My approach to these Marsh books featuring Roderick Alleyn has been to grab them from the library shelf without any attention to the order of the series. I got lucky with this one!

This book begins with Alleyn traveling on a ship headed back to England after a long absence from Scotland Yard, a voyage where he first meets Agatha Troy. She manages to get Alleyn's permission to paint his head during the passage. Thei
An author I haven't read before but have always meant to read. Would best describe this as a vintage mystery with a hint of romance. Felt the mystery component was strongly delivered and I had no inkling who the culprit would be until all was revealed at the end. This novel introduces Roderick Alleyn's love interest the fiesty painter Agatha Troy.

The dialogue between Alleyn and his mother however did tend to grate on this reader. The use of "little mum" etc just didn't ring true with how Alleyn
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well she's done it again! Not for the first time, I have read the whole of a Ngaio Marsh book convinced that I've been very clever and spotted 'whodunit' only to discover I'm completely wrong. I thought I'd picked up subtle clues that others may have missed only to find I'd been led up the garden path. I love it!

This book also introduces Agatha Troy. I enjoyed seeing the developing relationship between her and Alleyn as their two very different worlds collide.
Aside from the ridiculously implausible murder method, I quite enjoyed this. The portraits of the art world are fun and well-sketched, and watching Alleyn turn into a clumsy mess as he falls for Agatha Troy is great fun. There are a few throwaway lines that using jarringly racist language.
Kirsten McKenzie
What have I learnt from reading almost all the books by Agatha Christie, and now the books by Ngaio Marsh? That I am too trusting. Too ready to believe someone's alibi. I can never pick the murderer. I'm lead astray by red herrings, and always miss the obvious clue... And to think that I was actually a trained investigator!

What these books also highlight is the incredible ability that both Marsh and Christie had in weaving a story and taking you on a merry dance down the garden path strewn with
Simon Mcleish
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Originally published on my blog here in March 1998.

Like Vintage Murder, this seems to me to be one of the very best of Ngaio Marsh's detective novels. By the time this book came out, the characters in her series (Alleyn, Fox, Bathgate and so on) were well-established, old friends. In Artists in Crime, another important series character is introduced, the painter Agatha Troy.

As so often happens in Ngaio Marsh's stories, one of the series characters interacts with one of the new characters before
It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model's pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed for ever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen.

Roderick Alley series:
3* A Man Lay Dead (Roderick Alleyn, #1)
3* Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, #6)
4* Death in a White Tie (Roderick Alleyn, #7)
3* Death of a Peer (Roderick Alleyn, #10)
3* Death and th
Excellent narrator for this.

Of the classic detective series romances, I think this is my favourite. Whimsey/Vane is better known, and I love Amanda in Campion/Fitton more, but I simply enjoy Agatha Troy and Roderick Alleyn most of all.

In all three of these romances, the woman is an independent, with a reputation, friends, and a career of her own. I love Troy's shift from gruff shyness (with most people) to complete authority (with people asking her artistic opinion), and I like how Alleyn both e
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
Detective Inspector Roderick Allen Series Book #6 - 4.5 stars

I normally have to read a series in order because it goes completely against my nature to skip around. After reading book one though, I was on the fence on whether or not to continue the series because, even though I enjoyed the mystery itself, the dialogue and British narrative was quite choppy and all over the place so I had a hard time following a long in certain parts.

I owe Themis-Athena's Garden of Books a huge thank you for recom
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
I was quite hopeful about Artists in Crime bringing Alleyn to life for me a bit more, since this is where he meets his love interest. In a way, the whole set-up of this relationship is reminding me a lot of Lord Peter, especially since Alleyn's mother has a title and so on. It's not exactly parallel, but close enough to annoy me a little.

Still, it does introduce a bit more of a human side to Alleyn. Bathgate's role is thankfully reduced, though the annoying creature does contrive to be present.
Roman Clodia
Marsh isn't living up to her 'Queen of Crime' reputation for me but this book, the sixth in her series, is the best so far. After falling for a range of unsuitable women, Alleyn is finally in love with Troy - oh, and turns out he's a titled aristocrat with the obligatory charming, scatty mother... that was kept under wraps in the first five books.

Marsh tends to follow the same structure in all her stories with a spectacularly unrealistic method of murder. There's more investigating than is cust
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Alleyn is returning from his New Zealand trip when he meets Agatha Troy on board the ship. Sparks fly between them and feel each do not like each. other Troy hosts a group of artists at her home. After a discussion of a method of murder with the group. The murder happens in front of all the artists. This book has numerous twists and turns keeping the reader alert. I read a Large Print edition from my library
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
A reasonably good tale spoiled by the poor reading of one Terry Wilton. His inflexions were odd, his attempt at different accents and mannerisms fell flat. Half the time Alleyn was using Fox's voice, or the cardboard "ozzie" accent assigned to another character. The reading felt rushed, as if Wilton couldn't wait to be through. I must read this in print and get more out of it.

I felt that Alleyn did rather lead the suspects in questioning them. Instead of saying, "What did you do Saturday?" and s
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Artists in Crime is a detective novel by Ngaio Marsh, I wonder if there is a great deal of difference between a mystery and a detective novel. Whichever it is, it is the sixth novel to feature Roderick Alleyn, and was first published in 1938. The plot concerns the murder of an artists' model; and Alleyn's love interest Agatha Troy is introduced. I am glad about that because I had the feeling that nearly everyone else in the book were met in earlier books and I felt like I was coming in the middl ...more
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-classic
The death of an artists' model brings Alleyn into contact with a community of artists who all seem to have something to hide. The artists are attending classes at the home of renowned artist Agatha Troy, whom Alleyn had previously met on his return journey from New Zealand. Alleyn has to put his growing feelings for Troy to one side in order to uncover a murderer.

This novel is my favourite so far from this series. Marsh has achieved a good balance of characters, an interesting setting, some spar
Calum Reed
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
B : The most I've liked Roderick Alleyn as a character. He finally feels human, what with his burgeoning romance with Agatha Troy and the touching relationship he has with his mother, Lady Alleyn. Because of that, this really is required reading within the series. As for the mystery, I found the method of the murders chilling but rather silly, honestly, and I'm not sure all of the characters pop (a minor character called Bobbie, who's barely in it, is hilarious, though.) It's also a little long, ...more
I'm pretty sure I read this prior to 1994, when I started keeping tracks of books I read, but I figured what the heck, I'll read it again because I don't think I will recall the killer. Well, it turns out I did recall once I started reading. Oh well, it was an enjoyable light read. I love Golden Era British mysteries. I'm working on reading the complete works of all the major writers of that period that I love. Setting my sights low haha. Only like a bazillion books to go before I reach my goal!
Alleyn had propped the canvas against the rail and now stood looking at it. She joined him, eyeing it with the disinterested stare of the painter.
"Why!" murmured Alleyn suddenly. "Why, you must be Agatha Troy."
"That's me."
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Detective Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn is on his way back to England after a year abroad for his health in Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh, published in 1938. At the port in Suva, Fiji, Alleyn comes across a woman on his ship, painting and cursing. Impressed at the way her painting of the port catches the sense of the port rather than just the image of the location, Alleyn becomes intrigued by the artist, who initially mistakes him for a vulgar critic prone to the platitude, “I don’t pretend ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2019
Best one to date. Marsh really went all in on this one; her victim(s) and suspect(s) are always very well fleshed out, but I feel like she really spent time with Alleyn on this one and made him a much more humane person. In the previous five books he's sometimes come across as cold and distant, but on this one we spent a little more time in his head to see how he felt about things, and it made all the difference. I liked him before; this is the book where I very suddenly loved him. (Also, I am s ...more
Aug 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I don't regret reading this but it was not my favorite of the Golden Age Detective books. Markedly less racist, which was a bonus, and I did like the theatricality of the narrative. Still, I did not fall in love with Roderick Alleyn.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
not a bad plot, but not very nicely written
In Artists in Crime (1938) Ngaio Marsh introduces Inspector Roderick Alleyn to his future wife. It's not exactly an auspicious beginning to a romance. Alleyn is on his way back to England by boat from his extended leave and encounters Agatha Troy on the boat deck where they both had sought solitude--he for a quiet, contemplative pipe and she to do a bit of painting away from the other passengers.

"I had an idea," said the painter, "that if I worked up here on this hideously uncomfortable perch,
Marsh seems at her strongest in artistic/creative settings, and Artists in Crime is no different. This roving band of misfits presents an interesting cast of characters that keeps the story entertaining despite a lack of action in the middle section. This is also the first glimpse of a real personal life for Inspector Alleyn, both in the familial and romantic sense. Lady Alleyn is a delight, and I hope she makes future appearances in later stories. Miss Troy is still a bit of an enigma, but perh ...more
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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

Roderick Alleyn (1 - 10 of 33 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)
  • 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)
  • Death and the Dancing Footman (Roderick Alleyn, #11)

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