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Clutch of Constables (Roderick Alleyn #25)
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Ngaio Marsh Buddy Reads > A Clutch of Constables - Jan 2020

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Susan | 10028 comments Mod
Welcome to our continuation of Ngaio Marsh as Buddy Reads.

As even two years was not enough to finish the adventures of Roderick Alleyn, we will continue the series here, with a title each month.

The remaining titles are:

Remaining Ngaio Marsh titles are:

25. (Jan) Clutch of Constables (1968)
26. (Feb) When in Rome (1968)
27. (March) Tied Up in Tinsel (1972)
28. (April) Black As He's Painted (1974)
29. (May) Last Ditch (1976)
30.(June) A Grave Mistake (1978)
31. (July) Photo Finish (1980)
32. (August) Light Thickens (1982)
33. (Sept) Money in the Morgue (2018) (with Stella Duffy)

We start 2020 with A Clutch of Constables and Troy taking a pleasant cruise on the river...

Please do not post spoilers in this thread. Thank you.


Jill (dogbotsmum) | 2064 comments I thought this was one of the better books by Marsh. I wasn't particularly looking forward to it as it centered on Troy, but found it was done well.


Susan | 10028 comments Mod
I haven't quite finished this yet, but am enjoying it so far. I like the way that Alleyn is included, as he is using the events for a lecture. it works well, I think.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8965 comments Mod
I was pleased to get back to Marsh and Alleyn, and was really pleased to see Troy taking a starring role.

I enjoyed this but, as with Hag's Nook, I did have one or two problems with the plot which I will mention over in the spoiler thread later. Both of these are probably really a 3 1/2 for me.

Who else is joining in on this one?


Lesley | 384 comments I've just started this - three chapters in - and am quite enjoying having Troy as a major part of the story. I think I said on one of the last two challenge reads that I felt that Marsh was becoming more relaxed in her writing. This, so far, is confirming that for me.


Sandy | 2792 comments Mod
I liked Troy's involvement and also the technique of Alleyn relaying the case in retrospect to a class. One of my favorite Marsh's.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8965 comments Mod
I really liked the relaying of the case to the class, too - a fun change to the normal way the books unfold. It's nice to see Marsh increasingly getting way from the slightly procedural feel of some of her earlier books, with all the interviews of everyone in turn.


Lesley | 384 comments Now I’ve finished I have to say this would be my favourite Marsh to date. I too really enjoyed the relaying of the case to the class as a way to follow the events, as well as the more active involvement of Troy. A clever plot.


Susan | 10028 comments Mod
I agree that this is a good edition in the series. Marsh seemed to grow as a writer and be more willing to experiment. Perhaps she, finally, decided that her writing was not just another strand in her life - alongside the theatre, for example, but her prime source of income, and greatest success.


Tracey | 254 comments Last day of the month, and just starting this. Glad to see Troy in a prominent role.


message 11: by Annabel (new)

Annabel Frazer | 301 comments This is my favourite Ngaio Marsh (I have to admit I'm not a huge fan). I love the setting - detective stories set on trains, boats and planes are always a good thing. And the characters are well developed, although there's the usual Marsh patronising snobbishness (which to be fair was of its time). In fact if I can find a copy I think it's time for a reread.


message 12: by Sue (last edited Feb 03, 2020 03:59AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sue (mrskipling) | 250 comments I just started this one as I found a copy at the library and liked the look of the story. I'm really enjoying it! I think the joint perspective of Troy and Alleyn works well. I had to look up what a 'wag on the wall' clock was. Has anyone heard of that before? It just means a clock with the pendulum and weights hanging down underneath, but I've never heard it called that!


Susan | 10028 comments Mod
I hadn't heard that before either, Sue. I do agree that mysteries on boats, trains and planes tend to work well. I have mixed feelings about Ngaio Marsh, but I like her earlier ones and later ones best. I think she had quite a dull period in the middle, but that's just my opinion.


ShanDizzy  (sdizzy) | 152 comments Whaat?!?!?! How did I miss this one last month???!!! Local library here I come!!! Sorry I am behind. Yes. I am still repairing from stupid hurricane Michael.


Susan | 10028 comments Mod
Don't worry, take your time, ShanDizzy. We look forward to hearing your thoughts :)


Tara  | 809 comments I quite enjoyed this one as well. I agree with others that Marsh's writing gets stronger with each outing (although the plots of some are not as good as others). Having Troy as the primary narrator provided an alternate and interesting way to pace out the story, and I just love any mysteries on trains or boats. It certainly sounded like a lovely cruise (aside from the criminal aspect).


Sandy | 2792 comments Mod
I would also love to take that cruise.


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