Reading the Detectives discussion

Overture to Death (Roderick Alleyn #8)
This topic is about Overture to Death
32 views
Ngaio Marsh Buddy Reads > Overture to Death

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Susan | 9410 comments Mod
Published in 1939, this is the eighth Roderick Alleyn novel, and our August challenge title.

A classic Ngaio Marsh novel in which she more than lives up to her reputation as a crime writer of intelligence and style.

It was planned as an act of charity: a new piano for the parish hall, an amusing play to finance the gift.

But its execution was doomed when Miss Campanula sat down to play. A chord was struck, a shot rang out and Miss Campanula was dead.

A case of sinister infatuation for the brilliant Chief Detective-Inspector Alleyn.

Please do not post spoilers in this thread.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8403 comments Mod
We've opened up the threads for the new month's books a little early, as more people are often online at the weekend.

I've read about two thirds of this one so far and am enjoying it - I think it keeps up the standard of the previous book. Nigel Bathgate fans will be pleased to note that he makes a return!


Susan | 9410 comments Mod
I am fond of Nigel :) I know not everyone is a fan, but he only has a smallish part...


Jill (dogbotsmum) | 1861 comments I liked this one and although the mode of the murder was pretty unbelievable, it was very cleverly done. It had quite an array of characters which made it entertaining. Yes, and Bathgate had a small part, which didn't upset me. In fact I felt even Allyen had ,had enough of him at times although he was a useful errand boy.


Rosina (rosinarowantree) | 661 comments I've just started re-reading this - an old copy published in 1973 (and not listed on Goodreads though I think I've created in now). I've posted the cover on 'my photos' - https://images.gr-assets.com/photos/1... (Looks pleadingly at librarians ...)


message 6: by Jill (last edited Jul 28, 2018 03:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 1861 comments Rosina wrote: "I've just started re-reading this - an old copy published in 1973 (and not listed on Goodreads though I think I've created in now). I've posted the cover on 'my photos' - https://images.gr-assets.c..."

Goodness . She is nothing like I had imagined her. My mind's picture was more like an older version of Sylvia Syms.


Susan | 9410 comments Mod
That's a great cover, Rosina. I am really warming to Marsh - she is getting better and better.


message 8: by Judy (last edited Jul 29, 2018 06:07AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8403 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing this image, Rosina. I've now added the cover to the edition in question:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...

I see from browsing "all editions" that Fontana also did two other similar covers, but with a quite different face for the victim each time.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8403 comments Mod
On Bathgate, I think it's noticeable that Alleyn becomes a little more playful and silly whenever he is on the scene.


Sandy | 2548 comments Mod
I've finally started this and loving it. The long setup with 'seven actors, six roles' discussion is an excellent introduction to the characters. The amateur play allows Marsh to use her expertise. I am enjoying this series more with each book.

And, Judy, Alleyn does revert to his school days persona with Bathgate. I have friends like that.


Susan | 9410 comments Mod
Me too, I have to say. So glad to have discovered Sayers (properly!) and Marsh through this group.


message 12: by Judy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8403 comments Mod
I liked the setup too, Sandy. On the playfulness, I was slightly surprised when at one point Alleyn actually pretends Bathgate is a policeman - that is probably going a bit far!

Susan, although I already liked Marsh, I'm not sure I would have revisited her without the group. I am very glad to have done so!


message 13: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 1861 comments I had not read Marsh before as far as I can remember, and although I have pretty much enjoyed what I have read, I still don't think she is quite up to Christie's standard. Close, but so far not quite there.


Susan | 9410 comments Mod
I had read the first couple, as I so often do. Even with Sayers, I hadn't read all the books in order. Reading groups often give me the push that I need. I am now hoping to read all of the Marsh series.

Jill, I would agree. Christie is, in my opinion, still the best. Sayers is a very close second and Marsh certainly stands just behind them. That is an excellent trio - Allingham, for me, is not in that league yet, although she is, to be fair, very different.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 591 comments I have this cover Overture To Death (The Alleyn Mysteries) by Ngaio Marsh I'm close on half way through. I found it slow to get started but picking up now.

Marsh shows a real gift for dialogue, doesn't she?


Tara  | 748 comments Like fine wine, these books get better and better over time. I am about 3/4 done with this one already, and I should finish up soon. In some of the earlier books I had a hard time separating out the characters, but the nice, slow build of the mystery helped to sort everyone out.

My favorite line thus far (and one I may try to squeeze into conversation): "Don't let the sun rise on your parentheses."


message 17: by Terri (new) - added it

Terri Barnes | 12 comments Tara wrote: "Like fine wine, these books get better and better over time. I am about 3/4 done with this one already, and I should finish up soon. In some of the earlier books I had a hard time separating out th..."

Yes! I love that line!


back to top