Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meet Ngaio Marsh

I'm missing about four of them, which is strange, because I thought my collection was complete, but I'm guessing I loaned out some and never got them back.

Marsh, a contemporary of Christie, wrote 32 books, of which, as you see I have 28. Her books are delightful, better plotted than Christie. Well worth a read.

The first one I ever read was Death of a Dancing Footman (1947). Above, it's 5th from the left. Lovely old paperback with a heady aroma of Used Bookshop or perhaps Grandma's Attic. Delicious.

I remember the first time I read it. I was on Long Island with my grandparents in a house they were renting and I wandered into a little summer house near the vegetable garden (oh! those zukes!) and there were all these beautiful well-read vintage paperbacks. They actually had this very edition. The one I have, though, I bought at Murder Ink from a consignment of used books.

5 comments:

Mummy/Crit said...

I was thinking about Ngaio Marsh the other day, unusually. I've never read any of her books (not much of a mystery-genre fan) but it was in the context of "what my boys are going to remenber me reading when they're bigger". My mum, you see, read lots of Marsh when I was young, and I was intrigued by her name - it seemed so odd, so foreign to my white Australian eyes. Where is she from? And should I give her a spin? There is one murder mystery writer I like, and she often writes in the old-school style...

susan said...

Interesting...I just read my first-ever Marsh (Death in a White Tie) and I didn't like it much at all. I'll have to give anohter one a try, though, given your enthusiasm. I also have Josephine Tey on my summer to-find list, thanks to you.

liz said...

Try Tey first, Susan, if you like her you can go back to Marsh after.

Ngaio Marsh was a New Zealander, made a Dame of the British Empire for her books, first published in 1934, she wrote her last book shortly before her death in 1982.

Genevieve said...

Light Thickens is my favorite - I recently reread it after seeing Macbeth at the Folger. It captures the play so fabulously.

I also like all the ones with Troy in them, and with Ricky. Haven't read those in a long time.

Mummy/Crit said...

Thanks Liz. I had guessed from her name that she might be an NZer. i'll have to ask mum if she still has any...