Saturday, January 1, 2011

Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh

This past year New Zealand 's first Ngaio Marsh award for a Best Crime mystery went to ‘Alix Bosco. Many people thought that it was about time that Marsh was recognized as one of New Zealand's premier mystery writer . She is New Zealand's Agatha Christie.

Artists in Crime is a wonderful romp and it is also the book that first introduces Miss Agatha Troy, an artist, who will eventually marry Inspector Alleyn. They meet on a ship heading back to England from New Zealand. Within a short period of time the inspector receives a call from Scotland Yard calling for investigation of the murder of a model. This particular model was employed by Miss Troy for the class she teaches at her home.

Marsh introduces a number of interesting characters —all of whom are students in the class. One person is immediately suspected of the killing and when he disappears his guilt is assumed. While the investigation proceeds the secondary story evolves between the inspector and Miss Troy.

The manner of murder is both inventive and bit of a stretch; however, because Ngaio Marsh is so convincing and you want to believe the manner of murder you suspend that incredulous raising of an eyebrow. Inspector Alleyn, always one to follow the correct procedure, spends a due time investigating and is finally able to put the puzzle together and arrest the culprit.

I do want to read the next book in the series—to find out how the romance proceeds.

Vintage Mystery Challenge
Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge


  1. Terrific review! I've added you to the tally on the progress post.

    I love the relationship between Troy & Alleyn. My favorite of the books with both of them is Death in a White Tie.

  2. Thanks for the comment and the title of another book "featuring" Troy and Alleyn.

  3. I loved this book. I read all of Ngaio Marsh's books last year and this one was a definite favorite. I love how Alleyn and Troy meet. My favorite Troy/Alleyn book is SPINSTERS IN JEOPARDY. (Love the relationship between Alleyn/Troy and their little son.)