If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Death in a White Tie by Ngaio Marsh: A Review by Warren Bull

Death in a White Tie by Ngaio Marsh: A Review by Warren Bull

Death in a White Tie was published in 1938. It was recommended to me while I was on tour in Ngaio’s home in Christchurch, New Zealand. I very much enjoyed both the tour and the novel.
            It starts when Roderick Alleyn’s mother, Lady Alleyn, announces that she will get involved in the ”coming out” of young women being presented to society this season in London.  She has promised to chaperone one of the young women. One of the women presenting a debutante comes to the Chief Detective-Inspector to ask for help for “a friend” who is being blackmailed. The woman says she cannot reveal the reason “her friend” pays the money.  The woman is a close family friend, which makes the matter more personal to Alleyn.
            Chief Detective-Inspector Alleyn requests the help of a friend, Lord Robert Gospell affectionately known as Bunchy, who has aided investigations in the past. The man is genuinely liked and respected by other members of the social elite. He often helps those women who find it hard to fit in to the social swim join the activities. While Bunchy is on the phone with Alleyn conveying information aobut the blackmail someone enters the room so Bunchy ends the call. Shortly after that Bunchy is killed, which leaves Alleyn feeling guilty for involving him in the investigation. The policeman has to  struggle to contain his rage.
            The author describes the elite of society and the “coming out” of young women with assurance and knowledge of that social class. Her social commentary is woven seamlessly into the story. As with other novels Marsh’s command of writing is faultless. It is a pleasure to read her work.
            This novel includes more about the Detective-Inspector’s life, family and emotions than her other works, which her fans will enjoy. 

              Dashiell Hammett called the novel, “The best detective story I have ever read.” I give my highest recommendation to the novel.


Grace Topping said...

You've got me hooked on Ngaio Marsh's books. Thankfully, there are lots of them. It would be a pleasure to tour her home in New Zealand. Lucky you, Warren.

Warren Bull said...

Yes. I sat in the chair she wrote in. The guide had seen her but had not spoken with her. Also on the tour was a man who had read all of her books.

Gloria Alden said...

Another good review. I'm going to start reading them if I can find any. How cool that you got to sit in the chair she wrote in.

KB Inglee said...

I read a lot of her work in the '80s and '90. Don't remember if this was one. Might be time to read it again. Thanks.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I'll be going steady with Ngaio Marsh all winter. Thanks for another great review.

Laura Brennan said...

I am a huge Ngaio Marsh fan! So lovely to see someone review her.

If you're just starting, Death in a White Tie is the only book to be something of a sequel and if at all possible, you should read Artists in Crime first. It's not the mystery that continues on, but the events in Alleyn's personal life that play out over the two books.

And if you think Death in a White Tie is good, you'll love Artists in Crime. It's my favorite of her novels, with White Tie a close second.

PS: Warren, Christchurch is on my bucket list! Have a fabulous time.

KM Rockwood said...

I've always enjoyed Ngaio Marsh's work, although it does tend toward "1st world" problems. Her books are well executed.

Margaret Morse said...

Thanks for the review. This has always been one of my favorite Marsh mysteries. As a mystery, it's a telling portrayal of upper class England. On a sentimental note, I believe this is the novel wherein Alleyn secures his relationship with Troy.

vicki batman said...

Okay, time for me to reread these books!