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Francis Pettigrew, Hare’s chief protagonist, is living in semi-retirement in the village of Yewbury in a house inherited by his wife Eleanor (whom he met in With A Bare Bodkin ); having recently moved there, they are plunged into the cycle of village life much of which is organised by a Mrs Pink. Read the rest of this entry »

Ngaio Marsh happens to be one of the few writers whom I have approached with any degree of system in terms of reviewing. This is not to say that I have reviewed all her books by any means, but I do have reasonably strong recollections of the vast majority which enables me to produce a ranking list – something of which I am inordinately fond. Read the rest of this entry »

Ngaio Marsh – Off With His Head (1957)

Mrs Bunz, a near obsessional folk-lorist, arrives at the tiny villages of East and West Mardian in the hope of witnessing the annual performance of the Dance of the Five Sons, an ancient mumming rite. Although she is rudely rebuffed by both Dame Alice Mardian, the matriarchal owner of Mardian Castle where the Dance takes place, and William Anderson the patriarchal blacksmith who is its’ main organiser, she manages to attend the performance. Read the rest of this entry »

Ngaio Marsh – False Scent (1960)

Mary Bellamy, a famous and adored comedienne, is preparing for he 50th Birthday Party. Her mood is upset by the fact that one of her younger rivals, Kate Cavendish, has just been given the lead in a new play, which will be designed by Bertie Saracen, whom Mary considers her personal property, ; her mood gets even worse when she discovers that her ward and protege, Richard Dakers, has written a new play, a serious one, which is intended not for her but for the young actress with whom he is in love, Anelida Lee and will be directed by another of Mary’s friends Timon Gantry. Read the rest of this entry »

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July 2009