Saturday, June 11, 2022

A Man Lay Dead - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Man Lay Dead (Roderick Alleyn #1) by Ngaio Marsh

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source:   Purchased

Description:  At Sir Hubert Handesley's country house party, five guests have gathered for the uproarious parlor game of "Murder." Yet no one is laughing when the lights come up on an actual corpse, the good-looking and mysterious Charles Rankin. Scotland Yard's Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives to find a complete collection of alibis, a missing butler, and an intricate puzzle of betrayal and sedition in the search for the key player in this deadly game.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I've read a few Marsh books but never in any kind of order and I wanted to fix that.

My Impression:  I've read enough Marsh to know that Nigel Bathgate is frequently a sidekick and I was delighted to see him in the opening of this book.  This is a house party mystery and has confirmed that I never ever want to go to a house party - even if there won't be a murder.  Not only is this a house party but it's a house party where the game of the weekend is Murder.  When an actual murder happens it throws the party into chaos and introduces Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn with all his quick wit and investigative smarts.  

My main issue was this book took a bit of a detour into a Russian secret society that felt a bit bizarre in the more traditional feeling English mystery.  Other than the somewhat random feeling detour this was an entertaining mystery with a good setup and likable primary characters.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Yes!  I'm looking forward to seeing how Alleyn's character progresses as the series progresses.  

Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy Agatha Christie's mysteries I think you'd enjoy this mystery.


  1. I did read Ngaio Marsh when I was really young but I don't remember too much. I should pick up one to refresh myself. This one sounds good. As she is an NZ author she is readily available here I am sure.

  2. This does sound good. I'm not sure I would go to a party where they played Murder!

  3. I've never read anything by this author though I've seen her books around a lot. And I am a big fan of Agatha Christie, so it sounds like I would really like this one, too. :)