Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hello, Ducky! Would you like a cuppa Tey?

And finally, The Singing Sands. Discovered after Tey's death, this is not as strong a book as it might have been had she lived to polish it. Nevertheless, it's a fun book. Grant is going to Scotland to recuperate and finds a dead man on the train. All that is known about the man is that he wrote a scrap of a poem in the margin of his newspaper: "The singing sands that guard the way to paradise". The words haunt Inspector Grant and, instead of spending his vacation fishing with his godson as he had planned, he follows the pull of the poem to discover who killed the man in the train...and why.

Now, about Dorothy Sayers. To be honest, she never grabbed me. I read the series once (while working at Murder Ink) and have never revisited them...Seems like it's time to give her another try. I'm much fonder of her short stories than of her novels and, highly recommend English Country House Murders for an example of a good one. In fact, that whole book is lovely.

Ngaio Marsh, is a great series writer. Her detective, Roderick Alleyn, develops through the series. We see him meet Agatha Troy, fall in love with her, marry her, and become a father. Troy and their son figure heavily in many of the books, including one where there's a bit of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" in the plot. The books take place mostly in England, though Alleyn travels to New Zealand a few times during the series, to the Continent, and also solves a murder on a cruise. One downer note to mention: some of her books have a level of racism that stands out jarringly to a 21st century reader.

Christie tomorrow! Four posts from one question!

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1 comment:

Genevieve said...

My favorite Ngaio Marsh book (though it doesn't have Troy and Ricky, who I love) is her last one, Final Curtain. A perfect theatrical mystery, going into marvelous detail about the planning and rehearsing of a production of Macbeth.

I like Sayers, particularly Murder Must Advertise (the advertising agency parts, though not so much the Dian de Momerie parts), and all of the Harriet Vane ones. Gaudy Night and Busman's Honeymoon are my favorites, and I quite like the two sequels that Jill Paton Walsh wrote from Sayers' outlines.