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Extended Audio Sample Death of a Fool 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 (554 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: 9781455178490
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A ritual dance becomes a murderous mambo…

The village of South Mardian always observes the winter solstice with an ancient, mystical sword dance, complete with costumed performers. But for one of them, the excitement proves too heady, and his decapitation turns the fertility rite into a pageant of death. Now Inspector Roderick Alleyn must penetrate not only the mysteries of folklore but the secrets and sins of an eccentric group that includes a surly blacksmith, a domineering dowager, and a not-so-simple village idiot.

From her first book in 1934 to her final volume just before her death in 1982, Ngaio Marsh’s work has remained legendary and is often compared to that of Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, and Dorothy L. Sayers. So sit back, draw the curtains, lock the doors, and put yourself in the hands of the Grande Dame of detective novels.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Among the crime queens, Ngaio Marsh stands out as an Empress.”

    Sun (London)

  • “[Narrator McCaddon] enlivens an eccentric cast of characters led by the town matriarch, a crotchety old blacksmith, and the village idiot…[McCaddon’s] narration soars.”

    AudioFile

  • “The supporting characters…radiate warmth and charm.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

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

    " Interesting look at (Marsh's adapted) ancient English folk dancing. And, of course, great detecting by Alleyn. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen | 12/24/2013

    " All of the Roderick Alleyn series by Marsh are terrific. The characters and relationships are so vivid and the story keeps you guessing to the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 12/16/2013

    " A wonderful insight into Teutonic ritual dancing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/11/2013

    " A robust description of the odd charcters living in an remote English village, and a well-plotted mystery solved by the very likeable Inspector Alleyn. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 10/2/2012

    " Not as good as Final Curtain, but nothing is. Little too creepy and the folklore was too hard to track. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Conrad | 9/25/2012

    " Cute, but not really my taste. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beverley | 8/29/2012

    " I love the relationship between the protagonist: Alleyn, and his side-kick: brer Fox. Unique in detective fiction, as far as I can tell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 3/22/2012

    " I've gotten quite good at picking up on the little tiny clues Marsh leaves along the way--much harder, it turns out, in the audiobook. But, I enjoyed it all the same. These books are so satisfying in their fullness and lengthiness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney | 9/22/2010

    " As a huge Agatha Christie fan, I was urged to also read Marsh's books. I truly enjoy them, and find her to be as enjoyable as Dame Aggie herself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kellyann | 1/21/2010

    " Okay; interesting tidbits about British folklore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lesley | 3/22/2009

    " Another good book in the series "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 kami | 11/18/2008

    " Enjoyable read. Another book from the shelves that's seen better days though and needs to unfortunately now be recycled. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie | 6/13/2007

    " Took a while for me to get into it, but once I did, it was a typical Marsh read--fun and well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Merry | 10/11/2006

    " Ancient dance in English village with the Betty, the Hobby Horse "

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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.