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Money in the Morgue
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Ngaio Marsh Buddy Reads > Money in the Morgue - September 2020

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Susan | 9295 comments Mod
Welcome to our last Ngaio Marsh mystery - published in 2018 and started by Ngaio Marsh, but completed by Stella Duffy.

Inspector Alleyn just wants to write a letter to his wife, but World War II, for one, keeps intruding. It’s war-work, after all, that has brought Alleyn to this seedy hospital in New Zealand’s hinterlands, and it’s the war that has left the hospital swimming in convalescing soldiers – noisy, often drunk, and always over-interested in the nurses. Nor is the weather helping. A storm has killed the electrical power, leaving Alleyn, the soldiers, the medical staff and all stranded in the dark….with a murderer. It’s a good thing for everyone, including the reader, that there’s a Scotland Yard detective on hand.

We will, of course, cover any other additions to the series which may crop up...

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


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8311 comments Mod
Opening up this discussion - our very last Marsh novel, although she only wrote the start of this book. It's been quite a journey! Who is reading this one?

I read it early last year at the same time as the other mysteries set during World War II, but I don't remember it all that well now so will have a look back to join in the discussion.


Susan | 9295 comments Mod
Like you, Judy, I read this at the time - I think I got it from NetGalley. I am surprised there haven't been more additions to the series.

Am I only one who would like to see more 'Wimsey' novels? Jill Paton Walsh is quite elderly now, so perhaps will not write any more now, but I liked her sequels.


message 4: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 310 comments Yes I'd like to see more Wimsey novels and like you Susan I really enjoyed Jill Paton Walsh's contributions, particularly the first one. I've realised recently that several of the crime writers I really like are advancing in years and probably won't write any more books now.


message 5: by Jill (last edited Sep 12, 2020 06:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 1808 comments I'm about a third of the way into this now, but feel it could have been about a different man to the Alleyn I know. It somehow doesn't have that same chatty mode that previous books have had. Maybe, I will feel differently when I get further.


Sandy | 2494 comments Mod
This would be a re-read for me and I may participate here and there but will not be rereading as my book cup overflows. (I be picking up the new Louise Penny on Monday! So excited!)


Susan | 9295 comments Mod
That's good, Sandy. Hope you enjoy :)

Jill, I agree. I think it is difficult to get a 'feel' for a character straight away, which is why I was surprised there was not a second book. Especially as this was finishing off a book started by Marsh, rather than doing a novel from scratch.


message 8: by Judy (last edited Sep 12, 2020 10:32AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8311 comments Mod
Jill Paton Walsh's new Wimsey book is now available to pre-order via Amazon, so I think it is going to happen! The site says it is being published on February 21, but there is still no title apart from Wimsey Untitled.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wimsey-Untit...

I do really like Paton Walsh, but I would like to see someone else try a sequel and go back to the period of the novels.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8311 comments Mod
Jill wrote: "I'm about a third of the way into this now, but feel it could have been about a different man to the Alleyn I know. It somehow doesn't have that same chatty mode that previous books have had. Maybe..."

That's what I vaguely remember - that it's easy to see the join and he doesn't feel like Marsh's Alleyn, but I must refresh my memory.


message 10: by Judy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8311 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "That's good, Sandy. Hope you enjoy :)

Jill, I agree. I think it is difficult to get a 'feel' for a character straight away, which is why I was surprised there was not a second book. Especially as ..."


I think Duffy may still do a second book. I've just listened to this interview with her from 2018, and towards the end she starts to talk about how she might do a second Alleyn book, set in a different area of New Zealand, if the publisher wants it. This interview doesn't have any spoilers:

https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/t...


Susan | 9295 comments Mod
Judy wrote: "Jill Paton Walsh's new Wimsey book is now available to pre-order via Amazon, so I think it is going to happen! The site says it is being published on February 21, but there is still no title apart ..."

Oh, missed that one, Judy. Thank you - added to my TBR list.


Susan | 9295 comments Mod
I kind of wish, if there was a sequel, it would be in London. I must admit that it never seems really likely to me that Alleyn would, continually, be sent somewhere so far away. I think there was a couple of novels set elsewhere, like Italy, but, mostly it's halfway around the world - and I know she came from there, but as the local police have already pointed out, they have a perfectly capable police force of their own.

I feel much the same when she set a mystery in a theatre, again. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they just got too bogged down by details. Overall, that is an issue I have with Ngaio Marsh generally though - she is quite uneven for me. A few brilliant mysteries; mostly her early ones, but she had a good patch later in her career. A lot that are not nearly as good.


message 13: by Judy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8311 comments Mod
Now that we've reached the very end of the Ngaio Marsh books, I'm wondering how people enjoyed the challenge overall, and which were your favourites?

I agree with you, Susan, that the earlier books and then the later ones were probably better than some of the middle ones.

Looking back through my own ratings, I see I gave 5* to Death in a White Tie, one of the earlier books, so I think that was my favourite - it's the one with coming-out balls. Another of my favourites was Surfeit Of Lampreys.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 591 comments Judy wrote: "Now that we've reached the very end of the Ngaio Marsh books, I'm wondering how people enjoyed the challenge overall, and which were your favourites?

I agree with you, Susan, that the earlier boo..."


I think Death in a White Tie was my favourite with this group. I gave Death At The Dolphin a higher ratingbut that was more a sentimental thing, as this was a childhood favourite.


Susan | 9295 comments Mod
I would agree that Death in a White Tie was my favourite. I really liked the early books more, but there was a resurgence in some of the later novels.


Roman Clodia | 722 comments Judy wrote: "Now that we've reached the very end of the Ngaio Marsh books, I'm wondering how people enjoyed the challenge overall, and which were your favourites?"

I have to confess that I bailed after the first four or five books: I liked the characters of Alleyn, Fox and especially Troy, but struggled with Marsh's plotting, particularly long chapters where the police just interview everyone in turn, and kooky endings.

I liked the one where Troy goes on a barge trip and stumbles across a gang in disguise, sorry, I can't remember the name. The setting seemed to shake Marsh out of her comfort zone and revitalised her writing.

I'd be interested in which titles the rest of you enjoyed most in case I feel like dipping in again.


message 17: by Judy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8311 comments Mod
I think later on she gets away from the endless interviews, but I know what you mean, RC, they can get rather plodding!

I remember loving the beginning of Death at the Dolphin but then feeling it didn't live up to it. And oh yes, the barge trip one was an interesting read although again I think I got a bit fed up with it later on - but great to have Troy centre stage.


Tracey | 236 comments I think my favourite was Death and the Dancing Footman,I love a Golden age house party setting.


message 19: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 310 comments Judy wrote: "Jill Paton Walsh's new Wimsey book is now available to pre-order via Amazon, so I think it is going to happen! The site says it is being published on February 21, but there is still no title apart ..."

Sadly I've just read that Jill Paton Walsh has died. This is a nice remembrance by Martin Edwards https://doyouwriteunderyourownname.bl...


message 20: by Judy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8311 comments Mod
Oh, that is sad news, Ruth. I loved her books as a child and also enjoyed her Wimsey sequels. Thank you for sharing.


message 21: by Judy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8311 comments Mod
Ruth, I've just copied your post over to the general chat thread (White Swan) for anyone who doesn't see it here. Thank you again.


message 22: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 310 comments Judy wrote: "Ruth, I've just copied your post over to the general chat thread (White Swan) for anyone who doesn't see it here. Thank you again."

Thank-you for doing that Judy.


message 23: by Tara (new) - added it

Tara  | 740 comments Does it say anywhere how much of the book was written by Marsh? I'm not that far along, but it somehow feels like a modern person writing a vintage book, but I don't know if that's just my own preconceptions getting in the way.
Without looking back at my ratings, I would say the books I think about the most often, in no particular order are: Clutch of Constables, False Scent, Killer Dolphin and Black As He's Painted.


message 24: by Judy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 8311 comments Mod
Tara, Marsh only wrote 3 1/2 chapters and some notes, but Duffy also added some material into the completed chapters - I have linked to an interview about it in the spoiler thread.


message 25: by Tara (new) - added it

Tara  | 740 comments Judy wrote: "Tara, Marsh only wrote 3 1/2 chapters and some notes, but Duffy also added some material into the completed chapters - I have linked to an interview about it in the spoiler thread."

Thanks, I will check that out :)


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