Vintage Murder / Death in Ecstasy / Artists in Crime, Paperback

Vintage Murder / Death in Ecstasy / Artists in Crime Paperback

Part of the The Ngaio Marsh Collection series

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Commemorating 75 years since the Empress of Crime's first book, the second volume in a set of omnibus editions presenting the complete run of 32 Inspector Alleyn mysteries.

DEATH IN ECSTASY Who slipped cyanide into the ceremonial wine of ecstasy at the House of the Sacred Flame?

The other initiates and the High Priest claim to be above earthly passions.

But Roderick Alleyn discovers that the victim had provoked lust and jealousy, and he suspects that more evil still lurks behind the Sign of the Sacred Flame...VINTAGE MURDER New Zealand theatrical manager Alfred Meyer is planning a surprise for his wife's birthday - a jeroboam of champagne descending gently onto the stage after the performance.

But, as Roderick Alleyn witnesses, something goes horribly wrong.

Is the death the product of Maori superstitions - or something more down to earth?

ARTISTS IN CRIME It starts as an art exercise - the knife under the drape, the pose outlined in chalk.

But when Agatha Troy returns to her class, the scene has been re-enacted: the model is dead, fixed in the most dramatic pose Troy has ever seen.

It's a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. Is the woman he loves really a murderess...?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 752 pages, Illustrations
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic crime
  • ISBN: 9780007328703



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Death in EcstasyThe book reflects the attitudes of its time which dates it rather. But the mystery is interesting - I was surprised by the identity of murderer when finally unmasked - and its nice to see Alleyn and his team bonding and sharing in some banter. Alleyn is an interesting character, showing degrees of compassion and understanding in this book which seem to go against the grain, especially in the context of some of the comments he makes about some characters.Vintage MurderAnother book that reflects the attitudes of its time which dates it and the mystery is quite complex - hinging on a number of alibis showing who could and couldn't have climbed the over stage grid. But what sets this apart is Marsh's description of New Zealand, the forests, the people (remembering that the attitudes of 1936 are very different to the attitudes of 2014), the mountains and the townships which are vivid and demonstrate Marsh's love for her homeland. Artists in CrimeWas quite pleased with the outcome of this book as the eventual murderer was the person that I'd hope it would be throughout the book, but couldn't quite see how they could've done it. By the sixth book of the series Marsh was getting into her stride, Alleyn's relationships with Fox and Bathgate have developed nicely and this is the book in which Alleyn meets his future wife, Agatha Troy, who is a character I look forward to seeing in later instalments of the series. The mystery is good to, at first it seems an open and shut case, but as the story develops doubts set in and the unmasking of the murderer is very satisfying and works within the devices of the plot.

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