Ngaio Marsh Books In Order

Roderick Alleyn Books In Publication Order

  1. A Man Lay Dead (1934)
  2. Enter a Murderer (1935)
  3. The Nursing Home Murder (1935)
  4. Death in Ecstasy (1936)
  5. Vintage Murder (1937)
  6. Artists in Crime (1938)
  7. Death in a White Tie (1938)
  8. Overture to Death (1939)
  9. Death at the Bar (1940)
  10. Death of a Peer / Surfeit of Lampreys (1940)
  11. Death and the Dancing Footman (1941)
  12. Colour Scheme (1943)
  13. Died in the Wool (1945)
  14. Final Curtain (1947)
  15. A Wreath for Rivera / Swing, Brother, Swing (1949)
  16. Night at the Vulcan / Opening Night (1951)
  17. Spinsters In Jeopardy / The Bride of Death (1953)
  18. Scales of Justice (1955)
  19. Death of a Fool / Off With His Head (1956)
  20. Singing in the Shrouds (1958)
  21. False Scent (1959)
  22. Hand in Glove (1962)
  23. Dead Water (1963)
  24. Killer Dolphin / Death at the Dolphin (1966)
  25. Clutch of Constables (1968)
  26. When in Rome (1970)
  27. Tied Up in Tinsel (1971)
  28. Black As He’s Painted (1973)
  29. Last Ditch (1976)
  30. A Grave Mistake (1978)
  31. Photo Finish (1980)
  32. Light Thickens (1982)
  33. Alleyn and Others / The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh (1989)
  34. Still Unsolved (1990)
  35. Money in the Morgue (With: Stella Duffy) (2018)

Short Story Collections In Publication Order

  1. Alleyn and Others / The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh (1989)
  2. Death on the Air and Other Stories (1995)

Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order

  1. Black Beech and Honeydew (1965)
  2. New Zealand (1989)

Anthologies In Publication Order

  1. Chapter and Hearse (1985)

Roderick Alleyn Book Covers

Short Story Collections Book Covers

Non-Fiction Book Covers

Anthologies Book Covers

Ngaio Marsh Books Overview

A Man Lay Dead

Ngaio Marsh’s classic first novel, which introduced Inspector Alleyn and set Ngaio Marsh on the path to international recognition. Wealthy Sir Hubert Handesley’s original and lively weekend house parties are deservedly famous. To amuse his guests, he has devised a new form of the fashionable Murder Game, in which a guest is secretly selected to commit a ‘murder’ in the dark and everyone assembles to solve the crime. But when the lights go up this time there is a real corpse, with a real dagger in the back. All seven suspects have had time to concoct skilful alibis and it is Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn who has to try and figure out whodunit…

Enter a Murderer

Exit an ambitious actor…

The script of the Unicorn Theatre’s new play uncannily echoes a quarrel in the star’s dressing room. And the stage drama gets all too real when charming Felix Gardener shoots his blustering rival, Arthur Surbonardier, dead with a gun Arthur himself loaded with blanks. or did he? How the live bullets got there, and why, make for a convoluted case that pits Inspector Roderick Alleyn against someone who rates an Oscar for a murderously clever performance.

The Nursing Home Murder

Ngaio Marsh’s bestselling and ingenious third novel remains one of the most popular pieces of crime fiction of all time. Sir John Phillips, the Harley Street surgeon, and his beautiful nurse Jane Harden are almost too nervous to operate. The emergency case on the table before them is the Home Secretary and they both have very good, personal reasons to wish him dead. Within hours he does die, although the operation itself was a complete success, and Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn must find out why…

Death in Ecstasy

. cs2654AE3A text align:left;text indent:0pt;margin:0pt 0pt 0pt 0pt . cs2CAA79F6 color: 000000;background color:transparent;font family:Arial; font size:10pt; font weight:normal; font style:normal; Ahhh, prussic acid, that hallmark of classic Golden Age mysteries. Did lovely Cara Quoyne get a whiff of the bitter almonds as she raised the goblet to her lips? We ll never know: With a single sip she transported herself to the Hereafter. At least, that’s the romantic view. But Inspector Alleyn has little interest in romance; he s investigating a murder. Cara was a deeply spiritual young woman, a novice with the House of the Sacred Flame. It seems, however, that somebody was operating from very un spiritual motivations.

Vintage Murder

A touring theatre company in New Zealand forms the basis of one of Marsh’s most ambitious and innovative novels. New Zealand theatrical manager Alfred Meyer wanted to celebrate his wife’s birthday in style. The piece de resistance would be the jeroboam of champagne which would descend gently into a nest of fern and coloured lights on the table, set up on stage after the performance. But something went horribly wrong. Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn witnessed it himself. Was Meyer’s death the product of Maori superstitions? Or something much more down to earth?

Artists in Crime

One of Ngaio Marsh’s most famous murder mysteries, which introduces Inspector Alleyn to his future wife, the irrepressible Agatha Troy. It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model’s pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy, artist and instructor, returns to the class, the pose has been re enacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed for ever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen. It’s a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess? And yet no one can be above suspicion…

Death in a White Tie

Mystery Guild in Association with Little Brown and Company. Hard cover. 352 p.; 0. 94′ x 6. 78′ x 4. 17′. Innercover: Wealthy, charming bon vivant Sir Robert Gospell was a star of London’s champagne and caviar circuit. Then on the morning after the most glittering ball of the season, someone finds a reason to asphyxiate Gospell in a taxi headed across town. But who would want to kill ‘Bunchy’ Gospel? Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate the murder of his old frined and to uncover a nefarious scheme that began far from the ballroom floor…

Overture to Death

Amateur actors set the stage for murder…
Who in the quiet village of Chipping would kill wealthy spinster Idris Campanula? Plenty of people, among them her fellow cast members from a troubled charity production. Miss Campanula was a spiteful gossip, gleefully destroying others’ lives merely for her won excitement. But once Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives, he quickly realizes that the murderer might have killed the wrong woman and may soon stage a repeat performance…

Death at the Bar

A classic Ngaio Marsh novel in which a game of darts in an English pub has gruesome consequences. At the Plume of Feathers in south Devon one midsummer evening, eight people are gathered together in the tap room. They are in the habit of playing darts, but on this occasion an experiment takes the place of the usual game a fatal experiment which calls for investigation. 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 unravelling of the problem…

Death of a Peer / Surfeit of Lampreys

Ngaio Marsh’s most popular novel begins when a young New Zealander’s first contact with the English gentry is the body of Lord Wutherford with a meat skewer through the eye…
The Lampreys had plenty of charm but no cash. They all knew they were peculiar and rather gloried in it. The double and triple charades, for instance, with which they would entertain their guests like rich but awful Uncle Gabriel, who was always such a bore. The Lampreys thought if they jollied him up he would bail them out yet again. Instead, Uncle Gabriel met a violent end. And Chief Inspector Alleyn had to work our which of them killed him…

Death and the Dancing Footman

A winter weekend ends in snowbound disaster in a novel which remains a favourite among Marsh readers. It began as an entertainment: eight people, many of them enemies, gathered for a winter weekend by a host with a love for theatre. They would be the characters in a drama that he would devise. It ended in snowbound disaster. Everyone had an alibi and most a motive as well. But Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn, when he finally arrived, knew it all hung on Thomas, the dancing footman…

Colour Scheme

A spa goer resorts to murder. Even down in New Zealand, war fueled spy fever is running wild. Near the decaying sulphur springs of Colonel and Mrs. Claire, the strange lights and signals being sent to foreign ships at sea mean there’s a spy in their midst. Soon an even darker sign appears a health seeker with untoward intentions meets his demise in the mud baths. And when meets his demise in the mud baths. And when a new arrival appears, one who possesses the cunning of a criminal and the insight of a psychologist, can Scotland Yard’s Inspector Roderick Alleyn be far behind?

Died in the Wool

An M.P. meets a woolly demise. Member of Parliament Florence Rubrick has the wool pulled over her eyes quite literally. She’s been found dead, her body pressed into a bale of wool. When Inspector Alleyn pays a visit to her New Zealand country home, he meets two fine, handsome men and two lovely young women, all of whom have reason to be grateful to dear Flossie for saving their lives. But as Inspector Alleyn learns, there are secrets aplenty hiding in the floorboards of that sheep station, and one in particular conceals a murderous motive that has the look and smell of treason.

Final Curtain

A country house murder, artistic insight and the post war reunion of Alleyn and Troy combine in Ngaio Marsh’s wittiest and most readable novel. Agatha Troy, world famous portrait painter, is inveigled into accepting a commission to paint the 70 year old Sir Henry Ancred, Bart., the Grand Old Man of the stage. But just as she has completed her portrait, the old actor dies. The dramatic circumstances of his death are such that Scotland Yard is called in in the person of Troy’s long absent husband, Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn…

A Wreath for Rivera / Swing, Brother, Swing

Red hot jazz meets cold blooded murder. When Lord Pastern Bagott takes up with the hot music of Breezy Bellair and his Boys, his disapproving wife Cecile has more than usual to be unhappy about. The band’s devastatingly handsome but roguish accordionist, Carlos Rivera, has taken a rather intense and mutual interest in her precious daughter Felicite. So when a bit of strange business goes awry and actually kills him, it’s lucky that Inspector Roderick Alleyn is in the audience. Now Alleyn must follow a confusing score that features a chorus of family and friends desperate to hide the truth and perhaps shelter a murderer in their midst.

Night at the Vulcan / Opening Night

At the venerable Vulcan Theater, tensions are running high on opening night. There are the usual problems muffled lines, a late curtain, egos butting heads but the show must go on. And it does…
until the entire production is upstaged when the leading man is found backstage, dead. Was it suicide or murder? Sir Roderick Alleyn assumes his role as detective in a puzzle that might be a macabre encore to a long ago murder in the same behind the scenes quarters. Ngaio Marsh’s mystery takes the listener into something far more intriguing than ordinary backstage squabbles.

Spinsters In Jeopardy / The Bride of Death

An exotic end for an English spinsterEn route to a family vacation on the French Riviera, Inspector Roderick Alleyn glimpses from the train a shocking tableau. In a moonlit window a white robed figure raises a knife to a woman’s shadow. Thus begins his incognito exploration of the Chateau of the Silver Goat…
where a jet set cult’s ‘Way of Life’ could spell death for a maiden lady of a certain age and even for Alleyn’s own young son unless he can unveil its illicit mysteries…

Scales of Justice

A brutal murder with a golf club and an ingenious plot bursting with snobbery, suspicion , adultery and secrets to say nothing of the dreadful crime of catricide…
The lives of the inhabitants of Swevenings are disrupted only by a fierce competition to catch the Old Un, a monster trout known to dwell in a beautiful stream which winds past their homes. Then one of their small community is found brutally murdered; beside him is the freshly killed trout. Both died by violence but Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn’s murder investigation seems to be much more interested in the fish…

Death of a Fool / Off With His Head

Pagan revelry and morris dancing in the middle of a very cold winter set the scene for one of Ngaio Marsh’s most fascinating murder mysteries. When the pesky Anna Bunz arrives at Mardian to investigate the rare survival of folk dancing still practised there, she quickly antagonizes the villagers. But Mrs Bunz is not the only source of friction two of the other enthusiasts are also spoiling for a fight. When the sword dancers’ traditional mock beheading of the Winter Solstice becomes horribly real, Superintendent Roderick Alleyn finds himself faced with a case of great complexity and of gruesome proportions…

Singing in the Shrouds

On a cold February night the police find the third corpse on the quayside in the Pool of London, her body covered with flower petals and pearls. The killer walked away, singing. When the cargo ship, Cape Farewell, sets sail, she carries nine passengers, one of whom is known to be the murderer. Which is why Superintendent Roderick Alleyn joins the ship at Portsmouth on the most difficult assignment of his professional career.

False Scent

In a poisonous cloud of spray, the curtain falls on a drama queen. Little did beloved British actress Mary Bellamy know that she would be done in at her own birthday party choked by toxic mist from the bottle of ‘Slaypest,’ a deadly insecticide. Basking in the glow of her most adoring fans who all happened to be her most duplicitous enemies Mary would make her final performance. When Superintendent Roderick Alleyn arrives, he smells a rat amongst the contemptuous collection of theatre types detained at the party, for this case has the unmistakable scent of murder…

Hand in Glove

Who had a hand in the murder of a country gent?All manner of friction fills the English country house shared by genteel retiree Percival Pyke Period and fuddy duddy lawyer Harry Cartell. Until one of them, after a flamboyant dowager’s treasure hunt party, is found murdered face down in the mire of an open drain. Which of Superintendent Roderick Alleyn’s suspects linked by a tangled set of relationships wore a crucial, missing pair of gloves to commit this dirty deed?

Dead Water

A quirky Roderick Alleyn mystery about faith, greed and murder. Times are good in the Cornish village of Portcarrow, as hundreds of unfortunates flock to taste the miraculous waters of Pixie Falls. Then Miss Emily Pride inherits the celebrated land on which Portcarrow stands and wants to put an end to the villagers’ thriving trade in miracle cures, especially Miss Elspeth Costs’s gift shop. But someone puts an end to Miss Cost herself, and Miss Pride’s guardian angel, Superintendent Roderick Alleyn, finds himself on the spot in both senses of the word…

Killer Dolphin / Death at the Dolphin

The restoration of a bombed out London theatre ends in violent death and one of Marsh’s most vivid and dramatic novels When the bombed out Dolphin Theatre is given to Peregrine Jay by a mysterious wealthy patron, he is overjoyed. And when the mysterious oil millionaire also gives him a glove that belonged to Shakespeare, Peregrine displays it in the dockside theatre and writes a successful play about it. But then a murder takes place, a boy is attacked, the glove is stolen. Could it be that oil and water don’t mix? Inspector Roderick Alleyn is determined to find out…

Clutch of Constables

A classic Ngaio Marsh novel which features blood curdling murders in the confines of a riverboat, the Zodiac, cruising through Constable country. ‘He looks upon the murders that he did in fact perform as tiresome and regrettable necessities,’ reflected Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn on the international crook known as ‘the Jampot’. But it was Alleyn’s wife Troy who knew ‘the Jampot’ best: she had shared close quarters with him on the tiny pleasure steamer Zodiac on a cruise along the peaceful rivers of ‘Constable country’. And it was she who knew something was badly wrong even before Alleyn was called in to solve the two murders on board…

When in Rome

Two full cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Ngaio Marsh short stories. In Opening Night, a leading actor is found gassed in his dressing room. It looks like suicide, until it transpires that he was widely detested. Inspector Alleyn quickly realises that almost everyone in the theatre had a motive for his murder. Jeremy Clyde stars as Inspector Alleyn. When in Rome finds Inspector Alleyn joining a group of highly suspicious tourists on a visit to a Roman catacomb. The corpse he finds in an ancient sarcophagus has been very recently murdered…

Tied Up in Tinsel

A Christmas pageant turns unholy. Holed up at Hilary Bill Tasman’s manor estate for Christmas, Troy Alleyn is to paint the man’s portrait and, while she’s there, view the Druid Christmas pageant. Along with a pack of eccentric guests, Troy enjoys the festivities until one of the pageant’s players mysteriously disappears into the snowy night. Did the hired help each a paroled murderer from the nearby prison have a deadly hand in this Christmas conundrum? Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives to join his wife in finding the lost man and unraveling the glaring truth from the glittering tinsel.

Black As He’s Painted

One of Ngaio Marsh’s most popular novels, this time featuring one of her best creations Lucy Lockett, the crime solving cat. When the exuberant president of Ng’ombwana proposes to dispense with the usual security arrangements on an official visit to London, his old school mate, Chief Superintendent Alleyn, is called in to persuade him otherwise. Consequently, on the night of the embassy’s reception the house and grounds are stiff with police. Nevertheless, an assassin does strike, and Alleyn finds he has no shortage of help, from Special Branch to a tribal court and a small black cat named Lucy Lockett who out detects them all…

Last Ditch

Young Richie Alleyn had come to the island to try to write, but village life was tedious until he saw the stablehand in the ditch. Dead, it seemed, from an unlucky jump.

It might have ended there had Richie not noticed some strange and puzzling things. But Richie’s father, Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn, had been discreetly summoned to the scene, and when Richie disappeared, it was the last straw…

A Grave Mistake

A spa stay turns into a homicidal holiday…
A bit snobbish and a trifle high strung, Sybil Foster prides herself on owning the finest estate in Upper Quintern and hiring the best gardener. In fact, she is rapturous over the new asparagus beds when a visit from her unwelcome stepson sends her scurrying to a chic spa for a rest cure, a liaison with the spa’s director…
and an apparent suicide. Her autopsy holds one surprise, a secret drawer a second. And Inspector Roderick Alleyn, C.I.D., digging about Upper Quintern, may unearth still a third…
deeply buried motive for murder.

Photo Finish

Murder and mayhem strike when a small group of people are confined to an island in the middle of a New Zealand lake in one of Ngaio Marsh’s last and best novels. The luxury mansion on New Zealand’s Lake Waihoe was the ideal place for the world famous soprano to rest after her triumphant tour. Chief Superintendent Alleyn and his wife were among the house guests but theirs was not a social visit. When tragedy struck, the peace of the island was shattered. With a houseful of suspects, now isolated by one of the lake’s sudden storms, Alleyn was to face one of his trickiest cases…

Light Thickens

The complete series of Ngaio Marsh reissues concludes with the re publication of this 20th anniversary edition of this, her final novel. Peregrine Jay, owner of the Dolphin Theatre, is putting on a magnificent production of Macbeth, the play that, superstition says, always brings bad luck. But one night the claymore swings and the dummy’s head is more than real: murder behind the scene. Luckily, Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn is in the audience…

Death on the Air and Other Stories

The only collection of Ngaio Marsh short stories, first published in 1995 to celebrate her centenary, now with two additional stories. A man dies with his hand on a radio dial. A disguised aristocrat finds murder at the opening night of a play. A cryptogram produces death in an English churchyard. These are the short cases of Scotland Yard’s Inspector Roderick Alleyn who, with his lovely wife Agatha Troy, charmed his way through more than thirty novels. The book concludes with a script written for the television series Crown Court, in which the lead was played by Joan Hickson who later became famous as Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Death on the Air and Other Stories serves both as the perfect introduction to Ngaio Marsh and as a nostalgic journey for the aficionado, each story echoing the themes explored in her detective novels.

Black Beech and Honeydew

What sort of person was Ngaio Marsh, whose detective novels made her name known throughout the world? With all the insight and sense of style her readers have come to expect of her, her autobiography reveals the influences and environment that have shaped her personality. ‘Black Beech and Honeydew‘ provides a sensitive account of Ngaio Marsh’s childhood and adolescence in Christchurch and the establishment of her theatre and writing careers both there and in the UK. It captures all the joys, fears and hopes of a spirited young woman growing up and transmits an artist’s gradual awareness of the special flavour of life in New Zealand and the individual character of its landscape. This edition has been reissued as a commemoration of Ngaio Marsh’s life and work.

Related Authors

Leave a Comment