This is the second Ngaio Marsh mystery I've read. (The first I read was A Man Lay Dead). The first half of the novel is narrated by Inspector Alleyn's artist wife, Agatha Troy. She is waiting for her husband to return to England; it has been years since she's seen him. But he won't be home for a few more weeks yet and she's offered a job painting the portrait of a once-famous Shakespearean actor, Sir Henry Ancred. At first she's adamant that she does not want the job, but, eventually she agrees after much persuading by one of the members of the family. She then travels to meet the very eccentric, very sensitive, very emotional, often crazy family. Most of the family are eager to talk, to gossip, with an outsider about the family troubles. Towards the end of her stay, after a very dramatic birthday celebration, there is a death... The second half of the novel focuses on Inspector Alleyn as he works to solve the mystery and determine if the old man's death was murder.
I liked it. It kept me reading. There were plenty of interesting characters (of all ages) introduced. But I didn't necessarily love it. I've yet to find a Marsh novel that I love. Perhaps if I could read the series in order it would help.
Read The Final Curtain
- If you enjoy reading cozy mysteries, vintage mysteries, british mysteries,
- If you enjoy dramatic themes in your mysteries
- If you enjoy Ngaio Marsh