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Extended Audio Sample Death at the Bar Audiobook, by Ngaio Marsh Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (584 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ngaio Marsh Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455172924
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Accidental death-by-dart, or murder?

At the Plume of Feathers in south Devon one midsummer evening, eight people are gathered together in the tap-room. After an evening of friendly darts and vintage brandy, a distinguished, although amorous, barrister is in no condition to drive—or walk. The poor fellow’s expired, leaving one less lawyer in the world. Everyone in the cozy pub swears that the untimely death was caused by a dart that punctured the victim’s finger. But to inspector Roderick Alleyn, the “accident” was really a case of murder.

A distinguished painter, a celebrated actor, a woman graduate, a plump lady from County Clare, and a Devonshire farmer all play their parts in the unraveling of the problem.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s time to start comparing Christie to Marsh instead of the other way around.”

    New York magazine

  • “Full marks...a really clever problem in detection. It will need a really sharp brain to discover the criminal.”

    Times Literary Supplement

  • “Read just one of Ngaio Marsh's novels and you've got to read them all.”

    Daily Mail

  • “The finest writer in the English language of the pure, classical puzzle whodunit. Among the crime queens, Ngaio Marsh stands out as an Empress.”

    Sun

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 2/19/2014

    " This had been sitting on my shelf for several years. It's not my favorite type of mystery, but I still enjoyed trying to figure out who done it. I would read more by this author, but probably would not put her book at the top of the TBR pile. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 2/19/2014

    " This was an audiobook download of this audio recording from myilibrary via my local library. Excellent book and recording. My first Ngaio Marsh, but definitely not my last. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 2/19/2014

    " not bad, but not as good as Christie. Slow in parts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Wall | 2/19/2014

    " I don't usually do this, but I had a completely different outcome in mind! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyrie | 2/14/2014

    " Just couldn't get into the main characters enough to care what had happened to them, but the plot was intriguing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 2/11/2014

    " I am just discovering these early Inspector Alleyn mysteries... Classic drawing room mystery without the drawing room and an interesting ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trudy | 2/9/2014

    " Another audiobook that I listened to recently as I cleaned up around the house. While I prefer Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh is still an enjoyable listen. While Allen has made an appearance in all of Marsh's books that I have listened to lately, she takes her time setting the scene and introducing the characters before the murder takes place in this novel. I am still trying to decide whether I like this technique. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Carter | 2/7/2014

    " When rereading this one I always remember who, I always remember why, but Marsh stumps me on the how over and over. To use "Marsh" and "great" in the same sentence is redundant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristyh | 2/5/2014

    " I really enjoyed the lead up to the murder section of this book, but the sluething left me cold. I found it very repetitive - we went through the scenario once when it happened, once when Alleyn investigated and then again when the Chief Constable rehashed the whole thing. Marsh's cleverness lies in her ability to turn suspicion in every direction so the reader has no idea who is the actual culprit, but she could have wound this one up alot more quickly in my opinion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 2/2/2014

    " During a dark and stormy night (I've always wanted to type that), a well-known barrister's hand is punctured by a dart during a demonstration in the private taproom of the pub in a small village in Cornwall. Within minutes, he is dead. Inspector Roderick Alleyn is called in to sort through the plentiful suspects--most of whom seem to have a motive--sift through the clues, and discover what happened. An enjoyable mystery with plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 aPriL MEOWS often with scratching | 1/31/2014

    " Christie is fun and traditional, but Marsh is a genius. Her Alleyn novels are far superior in plot, characterization and writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 1/27/2014

    " This was an audiobook download of this audio recording from myilibrary via my local library. Excellent book and recording. My first Ngaio Marsh, but definitely not my last. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vivl | 1/26/2014

    " I feel no guilt at the pleasure I get from reading Ngaio Marsh novels. Her writing is superb, her characters are intensely human and her mysteries are excellent. What more could one want? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phyllis | 1/22/2014

    " Not as good as most of the other books in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Spencer | 1/20/2014

    " It's hard to go wrong with Rodderick Allyn on the case, he's the classiest detective among the Queens of Crime. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 1/17/2014

    " I didn't figure this one out at all. Once Inspector Alleyn explained what happened it was clear as glass, but before that I had suspicions of nearly everyone. Very well done! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 1/17/2014

    " I have been able to figure out the culprit in several of the Ngaio Marsh books I have recently read. This one had me fooled up till the end! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Madison Turner | 1/12/2014

    " An intricate, well written puzzle mystery as you can expect from Marsh, but ultimately disappointing to me because the murder, once solved, just isn't psychologically compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Carter | 12/3/2013

    " When rereading this one I always remember who, I always remember why, but Marsh stumps me on the how over and over. To use "Marsh" and "great" in the same sentence is redundant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 pjreads ♫ | 12/1/2013

    " Well-written, but reflects prejudices of 1939. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 11/21/2013

    " not bad, but not as good as Christie. Slow in parts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brainorgan | 11/19/2013

    " Death at the Bar (Roderick Alleyn Mysteries) by Ngaio Marsh (1998) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 11/5/2013

    " This had been sitting on my shelf for several years. It's not my favorite type of mystery, but I still enjoyed trying to figure out who done it. I would read more by this author, but probably would not put her book at the top of the TBR pile. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 10/27/2013

    " I have been able to figure out the culprit in several of the Ngaio Marsh books I have recently read. This one had me fooled up till the end! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phyllis | 10/20/2013

    " Not as good as most of the other books in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 10/11/2013

    " My first Ngaio Marsh - lovely descriptions but a little convoluted in places. But in general good characterization and a very promising pair of detectives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jz | 10/3/2013

    " Not one of her best, I'd say. Character development was too shallow for me to care. It didn't take too long to figure out who would die, andit seemed that there were really only three viable suspects, but it did keep one guessing until the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 7/29/2013

    " On the whole, this is not a story which emotionally captures me - I did not feel any great bond for any of the players, but it is a neat and very deceptive mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Spencer | 6/7/2013

    " It's hard to go wrong with Rodderick Allyn on the case, he's the classiest detective among the Queens of Crime. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 6/6/2013

    " On the whole, this is not a story which emotionally captures me - I did not feel any great bond for any of the players, but it is a neat and very deceptive mystery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brainorgan | 3/15/2013

    " Death at the Bar (Roderick Alleyn Mysteries) by Ngaio Marsh (1998) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 2/8/2013

    " I didn't figure this one out at all. Once Inspector Alleyn explained what happened it was clear as glass, but before that I had suspicions of nearly everyone. Very well done! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brett | 1/20/2013

    " One of my all-time favorites. I want to live in this book. The mystery is interesting, the characters are fantastic, & some of the passages are laugh-out-loud funny in a uniquely "British golden age" way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyrie | 12/2/2012

    " Just couldn't get into the main characters enough to care what had happened to them, but the plot was intriguing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 9/26/2012

    " This mystery starts slowly but builds as the book goes on to a clever climax. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jz | 8/22/2012

    " Not one of her best, I'd say. Character development was too shallow for me to care. It didn't take too long to figure out who would die, andit seemed that there were really only three viable suspects, but it did keep one guessing until the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Wall | 8/9/2012

    " I don't usually do this, but I had a completely different outcome in mind! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 7/28/2012

    " This mystery starts slowly but builds as the book goes on to a clever climax. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brett | 7/7/2012

    " One of my all-time favorites. I want to live in this book. The mystery is interesting, the characters are fantastic, & some of the passages are laugh-out-loud funny in a uniquely "British golden age" way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 2/19/2012

    " I have a tough time warming up to Marsh at times, and this book was one of them. I just didn't much care about anyone in it, with the possible exception of Fox. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 aPriL MEOWS often with scratching | 12/18/2011

    " Christie is fun and traditional, but Marsh is a genius. Her Alleyn novels are far superior in plot, characterization and writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michale | 12/14/2011

    " Still enjoying this series, although I did come across one jarring sentence that nearly made me put the book down: "They've found Parrish's affairs are in a muddle and he's been to the Jews." Must remember this was finished in New Zealand in May of 1939. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hillary | 10/5/2011

    " I was rather disappointed in this book. I didn't have much sympathy for any of the characters, murderer and murderee included. The narrator on my audible version was excellent, but doesn't quite hold a candle to James Saxon. But then, who could? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 7/4/2011

    " My first Ngaio Marsh - lovely descriptions but a little convoluted in places. But in general good characterization and a very promising pair of detectives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 6/18/2011

    " I have a tough time warming up to Marsh at times, and this book was one of them. I just didn't much care about anyone in it, with the possible exception of Fox. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 4/23/2011

    " I am just discovering these early Inspector Alleyn mysteries... Classic drawing room mystery without the drawing room and an interesting ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 4/3/2011

    " I am just discovering these early Inspector Alleyn mysteries... Classic drawing room mystery without the drawing room and an interesting ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 12/27/2010

    " This had been sitting on my shelf for several years. It's not my favorite type of mystery, but I still enjoyed trying to figure out who done it. I would read more by this author, but probably would not put her book at the top of the TBR pile. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 12/11/2010

    " On the whole, this is not a story which emotionally captures me - I did not feel any great bond for any of the players, but it is a neat and very deceptive mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 10/3/2010

    " I have a tough time warming up to Marsh at times, and this book was one of them. I just didn't much care about anyone in it, with the possible exception of Fox. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Madison | 8/21/2010

    " An intricate, well written puzzle mystery as you can expect from Marsh, but ultimately disappointing to me because the murder, once solved, just isn't psychologically compelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brett | 7/11/2010

    " One of my all-time favorites. I want to live in this book. The mystery is interesting, the characters are fantastic, & some of the passages are laugh-out-loud funny in a uniquely "British golden age" way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 5/11/2010

    " My first Ngaio Marsh - lovely descriptions but a little convoluted in places. But in general good characterization and a very promising pair of detectives. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brainorgan | 4/2/2010

    " Death at the Bar (Roderick Alleyn Mysteries) by Ngaio Marsh (1998) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jay | 1/7/2010

    " Dame Marsh brings along another twisted mystery that will keep the reader guessing to the last few pages.
    A cosy game of darts between enemies ends with death by poisoned dart... Go along for the ride and just try and beat Marsh at her own game! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 11/15/2009

    " This mystery starts slowly but builds as the book goes on to a clever climax. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jz | 2/24/2009

    " Not one of her best, I'd say. Character development was too shallow for me to care. It didn't take too long to figure out who would die, andit seemed that there were really only three viable suspects, but it did keep one guessing until the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hillary | 12/7/2008

    " I was rather disappointed in this book. I didn't have much sympathy for any of the characters, murderer and murderee included. The narrator on my audible version was excellent, but doesn't quite hold a candle to James Saxon. But then, who could? "

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About the Author
Author Ngaio Marsh

Ngaio Marsh (1895–1982), born in New Zealand, wrote over thirty detective novels. Many of her stories had theatrical settings, as her real passion was for the theater. She was both an actress and a producer and almost single-handedly revived the New Zealand public’s interest in live theater. In 1966 she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.