A Man Lay Dead. Ngaio Marsh. 1934/1997. St. Martin's Press. 192 pages.
Nigel Bathgate, in the language of his own gossip column, was "definitely intrigued" about his weekend at Frantock. At twenty-five he had outgrown that horror of enthusiasm which is so characteristic of youth grown-up.
A Man Lay Dead is the first mystery by Ngaio Marsh. It stars Roderick Alleyn as a detective, though it is narrated by Nigel Bathgate. Nigel's cousin, Charles Rankin, is quite good friends with Sir Hubert Handesley, a passionate collector, who enjoys throwing weekend parties for his closest friends. This weekend's guests includes: Charles, Nigel, Doctor Tokareff, Arthur and Marjorie Wilde, Angela North, and Rosamund Grant. The theme that weekend is murder. One guest will be assigned the role of murderer and given twenty-four hours to choose the victim and method. He or she will whisper to the 'victim', turn out the lights, and sound the gong. This will signal to everyone that a murder has been committed, everyone will wait two minutes, and then the second half of the game will begin. Each will try to solve the mystery. But. Of course, that is not how the weekend unfolds. For, as you might expect, a real murder will be committed. And it will be up to Inspector Roderick Alleyn to solve this one. Which of the guests--or was it the butler--had murder on his mind?!
I liked this one. I enjoyed it.
© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews