A Surfeit of Lampreys, Paperback Book

A Surfeit of Lampreys Paperback

3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


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...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic crime
  • ISBN: 9780006512363

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Better than the book published just previously (Death at the Bar) Surfeit is an example of a rather common technique amongst the "you need a chart and a map to understand the crime" mystery writers. Marsh disguises the obviousness of the identity of the murder by not giving us crucial information until late in the book and by distracting the reader with the "charm" and "eccentricity" of the the aristocratic family in which the crime takes place. Read more than a 1/2 century later the obvious double-standard of finding charming among the upper class what would have been considered unacceptable among the lower class is hard to miss. The easy conceit of earlier books is missing and the reappearance, for no good reason, of the reporter Bathgate, feels more than a little forced.

Review by

It's kind of funny and not a bad crime case.