Author(s): Ngaio Marsh
Commemorating 75 years since the New Zealand born Empress of Crime's first book, the fourth volume in a set of omnibus editions presenting the complete run of 32 Inspector Alleyn mysteries. SURFEIT OF LAMPREYS The Lampreys were a peculiar family. They entertained their guests with charades - like rich Uncle Gabriel, who was always such a bore. The Lampreys thought if they jollied him up he would bail them out of poverty again. But Uncle Gabriel meets a violent end, and Chief Inspector Alleyn had to work out which of them killed him! DEATH AND THE DANCING FOOTMAN It begins as an entertainment: eight people, many of them adversaries, gathered for a winter weekend by a host with a love for theatre. It ends in snowbound disaster. Everyone has an alibi - and a motive as well. But Roderick Alleyn soon realizes that it all hangs on Thomas, the dancing footman! COLOUR SCHEME It was a horrible death -lured into a pool of boiling mud and left to die. Roderick Alleyn, far from home on a wartime quest for enemy agents, knows that any number of people could have killed him: the English exiles he'd hated, the New Zealanders he'd despised, or the Maoris he'd insulted. Even the spies he'd thwarted!
Dame Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand in 1895 and died in February 1982. She wrote over 30 detective novels and many of her stories have theatrical settings, for Ngaio Marsh's real passion was the theatre. She was both actress and producer and almost single-handed revived the New Zealand public's interest in the theatre. It was for this work that the received what she called her 'damery' in 1966.