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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (12 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: December 2008 ISBN: 9781455171002
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An English manor house on the moors is an ideal setting for a murder—and for one of Ngaio Marsh’s classic murder mysteries.

The occasion is a Christmas party hosted by Mr. Hilary Bill-Tasman, landed proprietor of Halberds Manor and authority on antiques. Santa Claus is in attendance, played by a highly unpopular servant. When he goes missing after his performance, foul play is immediately suspected. There are a number of unusual characters attending the festivities, several of whom are perfectly logical candidates for murderer—and one of whom will elude the most prescient listener until tracked down by the indefatigable Inspector Roderick Alleyn, whose wife, Troy, innocently involved him in all these sinister goings-on in the first place.

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Quotes & Awards

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

    New York magazine

  • “Agreeably effortless telling.”

    Guardian (UK)

  • “One of her best and most baffling mysteries.”

    Daily Express (UK)

  • “So entertaining that I recommend it unreservedly.”

    Daily Telegraph (UK)

  • “Dame Ngaio has yet to write a mystery that is less than perfect.”

     Oregonian

  • A 1973 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Babete | 3/14/2011

    " ( Morte de Gravata Branca ) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrea | 2/1/2011

    " One of my least favourite Marsh's. Another where I cannot like it because of who the murderer is.

    [spoilers removed] "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 1/10/2011

    " What a joy to rediscover Ngaio Marsh and her detective, Roderick Alleyn. Sharp wit, decent plotting, and good character studies make these old books true classics of the genre. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 1/5/2011

    " A pleasant, straightforward mystery with a good set-up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 1/4/2011

    " A great audiobook - abridged, of course. Read by Benedict Cumberbatch, who does a fantastic (and sometimes hilarious) job with all the voices. I can't say it was the most amazing mystery ever, but a fun romp in the Gentleman Detective genre. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 9/14/2010

    " Beautifully mastered mystery.
    spoiler.....


    this is the one where Troy accepts Rory. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colin | 9/5/2010

    " Troy is trapped in a house by a heavy snowfall over Christmas at a country house staffed by ex-cons. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tara | 7/12/2010

    " Sometimes you read what you've got because you've got it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 7/7/2010

    " I've enjoyed the movies BBC made of some of these mysteries, but now that I'm going back and reading the books, WOW are they SO much better! Death in a White Tie had all the good bits of the movie, but a lot more complexity to the plot, and some sweet Troy bits to boot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brett | 5/24/2010

    " A marvelous foray by Marsh into the haute monde of 1930's London. "

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

    " Death In A White Tie (Roderick Alleyn Mysteries) by Ngaio Marsh (1997) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Starfish | 2/10/2010

    " Lovely characterisation, good plot, enough of a mystery to be interesting but not too much that you felt burdened with it. Unlike the last Ngaio Marsh I read, I didn't feel weighed down with needless details. Some lovely moments, and the added bonus of including Troy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vanda | 1/1/2010

    " I read this before Christmas as it had a nice seasonal theme. A very enjoyable and beautifully written book, just perfect for some Yuletide reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara Kate | 12/7/2009

    " Excellent! A proper British mystery. And as it's set during a Christmas party, just perfect for this time of year. I don't really know why Ngaio Marsh doesn't seem to be as well-known or widely read as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. Her mysteries are just as fun as theirs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 11/10/2009

    " I quite enjoyed this book, but I found the mystery itself a bit more muddled than normal for Ngaio Marsh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Slarson6 | 7/28/2009

    " Ngaio is often compared to Agatha Christie, but I find her more detailed and in some ways a better writer. This book reflects the English upper class life of the '30s woven in a very good mystery. Lots of fun to read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee Ann | 6/24/2009

    " This is a good one. The story is engrossing and the love angle is veddy briddish. Some things tied together a little too easily but the central mystery held together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jz | 2/24/2009

    " 7th in series. 1938.

    Typical Golden Age of Mystery story with Ms. Marsh's touch. Lovely character development of Roderick Alleyn. A verfy good addition to the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 8/22/2008

    " Not the best mystery I've ever read -- was disappointed by the victim chosen, as she allowed the reader to get a little too attached to him -- but I liked Detective Alleyn, his mother, and the time period in which it was set. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/31/2008

    " I love Ngaio Marsh books. Superintendent Roderick Alleyn is prodded into a murder investigation after his wife Troy innocently involves him in all the sinster events. If you want a fun, easy mystery this book is perfect.

    "

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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.