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Hand in Glove: Complete & Unabridged [Audio Cassette]

Ngaio Marsh , Jeremy Sinden
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1987 Inspector Roderick Alleyn Mysteries
The April Fool’s Day had been a roaring success for all, it seemed – except for poor Mr Cartell who had ended up in the ditch – for ever. Then there was the case of Mr Percival Pyke Period’s letter of condolence, sent before the body was found – not to mention the family squabbles. It was a puzzling crime for Superintendent Alleyn…
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Review

'[Light,] entertaining and disastrously readable.' Guardian 'Neat, dexterous ... Miss Marsh's freshest and most enjoyable performance for years.' Sunday Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Dame Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand in 1895 and died in February 1982. She wrote over 30 detective novels and many of her stories have theatrical settings, for Ngaio Marsh’s real passion was the theatre. She was both actress and producer and almost single-handed revived the New Zealand public’s interest in the theatre. It was for this work that the received what she called her ‘damery’ in 1966.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well timed mystery. March 7 2002
Format:Paperback
One of the pleasures of reading Ngaio Marsh' Alleyn mysteries, is that not only are the mysteries puzzling, but that she has a way of bringing her characters to vivid life. While her skill at writing is largely responsible, so too is the time she takes to develop the characters before the "mystery" takes over.
This novel is a good illustration of that. Inspector alleyn doesn't enter the picture until halfway through the story. By then, we are as immersed in the personal lives, feelings, and thoughts of the characters, as if we were actually on scene. This is all the more amazing for the economy of words that Ms. Marsh employs. Here there are none of the tediously long descriptive passages that plague many an author who strive to be critically acclaimed.
The story takes place in a small village. The cast of characters are largely inter-related and of the "upper class". Into the mix are introduced the charming young secretary come to help write a book on proper manners, as well as a disreputable troublemaker who you would just love to see convicted of the murder.
The mystery moves along at a good pace and the ending wraps up the multiple threads of the story very satisfactorily. A pleasure to read, and one of her better efforts.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Ngaio Marsh's best mysteries July 25 2000
Format:Paperback
Although a New Zealander by birth, Ngaio Marsh, has to be considered one of the great writers of the classic British detective novel. She has never come close to matching Agatha Christie's devious and ingenious talent for misdirection - not to mention her popularity - yet she is a far better writer than Christie. Her characters have depth and her dialogue is sharp and witty, albeit perhaps a bit too British upper crusty for some tastes. She chooses very interesting settings (as in "Died in the Wool") and milieux (as in "Artists In Crime") and describes them well - to the point where on occasions the atmosphere and mood provide half the pleasure of reading the book.
In "Hand In Glove", the tranquility of Pyke Period's English country house is disrupted by the discovery of his houseguest's body in an open ditch. Harry Cartell was the victim of an ingenious trap that could have been laid by any of half a dozen characters, whose backgrounds range from highly suspicious to above suspicion. Many secrets and many motives, but the narrative never generates confusion in the reader, only a mystification that is very gratifyingly unraveled by Roderick Alleyn. The clue on which the mystery turns - Pyke Period's misdirected letters - provides one of those "Aha!" moments that mystery readers so often long for, but so seldom get.
I am a practiced reader of detective stories and while I find most of Marsh's mysteries to be enjoyable reading, I do not find them particularly mystifying - I'm usually able to spot the guilty party in the early chapters. However, in "Hand In Glove" she very adroitly pulled the wool over my eyes, while playing fair every step of the way. This is a well-told story with a cast of plausible suspects, deft narration and excellent misdirection while presenting all of the clues fairly. A fun ready, and one of Marsh's best mysteries.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a detective who seems real June 16 2000
Format:Paperback
While I loved reading Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, there was always something a bit unreal about Sherlock Holmes and Hercules Poirot. Neither of them seemed to have any kind of personal life (except of course, Watson and brother Mycroft for Holmes and Hastings for Poirot). No family, friends, love interests (though people have speculated on the Holmes/Watson connection)or any kind of emotional life. Inspector Alleyn is of a different breed. Yes, he's a professional, but he also has a personality outside of being "the Handsome Super," as the newspapers like to call him. As does his faithful sidekick, Inspector Fox, who, though not as clever as Alleyn shows a level of intelligence well above that of Hastings or Watson. In _Hand in Glove_ Marsh sets a murder against the backdrop of a village primarily occupied by the nobility. Indeed, no one would even dream of murder tainting the house where Messrs.Pyke Period and Henry Cartell live. But when one of them ends up having his skull crushed and multiple motives come to light, it is up to Inspector Alleyn to point the finger at the guilty party. This is probably the most skillfully woven Marsh mystery I have read to date.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Ngaio Marsh's best mysteries July 25 2000
By Duane Schermerhorn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although a New Zealander by birth, Ngaio Marsh, has to be considered one of the great writers of the classic British detective novel. She has never come close to matching Agatha Christie's devious and ingenious talent for misdirection - not to mention her popularity - yet she is a far better writer than Christie. Her characters have depth and her dialogue is sharp and witty, albeit perhaps a bit too British upper crusty for some tastes. She chooses very interesting settings (as in "Died in the Wool") and milieux (as in "Artists In Crime") and describes them well - to the point where on occasions the atmosphere and mood provide half the pleasure of reading the book.
In "Hand In Glove", the tranquility of Pyke Period's English country house is disrupted by the discovery of his houseguest's body in an open ditch. Harry Cartell was the victim of an ingenious trap that could have been laid by any of half a dozen characters, whose backgrounds range from highly suspicious to above suspicion. Many secrets and many motives, but the narrative never generates confusion in the reader, only a mystification that is very gratifyingly unraveled by Roderick Alleyn. The clue on which the mystery turns - Pyke Period's misdirected letters - provides one of those "Aha!" moments that mystery readers so often long for, but so seldom get.
I am a practiced reader of detective stories and while I find most of Marsh's mysteries to be enjoyable reading, I do not find them particularly mystifying - I'm usually able to spot the guilty party in the early chapters. However, in "Hand In Glove" she very adroitly pulled the wool over my eyes, while playing fair every step of the way. This is a well-told story with a cast of plausible suspects, deft narration and excellent misdirection while presenting all of the clues fairly. A fun ready, and one of Marsh's best mysteries.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well timed mystery. March 7 2002
By Andrew Dobrenis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
One of the pleasures of reading Ngaio Marsh' Alleyn mysteries, is that not only are the mysteries puzzling, but that she has a way of bringing her characters to vivid life. While her skill at writing is largely responsible, so too is the time she takes to develop the characters before the "mystery" takes over.
This novel is a good illustration of that. Inspector alleyn doesn't enter the picture until halfway through the story. By then, we are as immersed in the personal lives, feelings, and thoughts of the characters, as if we were actually on scene. This is all the more amazing for the economy of words that Ms. Marsh employs. Here there are none of the tediously long descriptive passages that plague many an author who strive to be critically acclaimed.
The story takes place in a small village. The cast of characters are largely inter-related and of the "upper class". Into the mix are introduced the charming young secretary come to help write a book on proper manners, as well as a disreputable troublemaker who you would just love to see convicted of the murder.
The mystery moves along at a good pace and the ending wraps up the multiple threads of the story very satisfactorily. A pleasure to read, and one of her better efforts.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a detective who seems real June 16 2000
By MK Writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
While I loved reading Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, there was always something a bit unreal about Sherlock Holmes and Hercules Poirot. Neither of them seemed to have any kind of personal life (except of course, Watson and brother Mycroft for Holmes and Hastings for Poirot). No family, friends, love interests (though people have speculated on the Holmes/Watson connection)or any kind of emotional life. Inspector Alleyn is of a different breed. Yes, he's a professional, but he also has a personality outside of being "the Handsome Super," as the newspapers like to call him. As does his faithful sidekick, Inspector Fox, who, though not as clever as Alleyn shows a level of intelligence well above that of Hastings or Watson. In _Hand in Glove_ Marsh sets a murder against the backdrop of a village primarily occupied by the nobility. Indeed, no one would even dream of murder tainting the house where Messrs.Pyke Period and Henry Cartell live. But when one of them ends up having his skull crushed and multiple motives come to light, it is up to Inspector Alleyn to point the finger at the guilty party. This is probably the most skillfully woven Marsh mystery I have read to date.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder in the mud Aug. 24 2012
By Damaskcat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Mr Pyke Period is obsessed with his family history and with social etiquette, on which he is writing a book. Currently he has Henry Cartell living with him and relations are strained on both sides. A lunch party ends acrimoniously after Connie Cartell - Henry's sister - brings her guests, her adopted niece and her niece's dubious boyfriend who seem not to know how to behave in polite company.

When Henry Cartell ends up dead in a ditch after a party at his ex-wife, Lady Desiree Bantling's house, suspicions fall on just about everyone in the neighbourhood. Roderick Alleyn is sent to investigate and finds a friend, Nicola, doing Mr Pyke Period's typing for him.

I enjoyed this well plotted mystery with its collection of eccentric and unpleasant characters though there are some pleasant characters too. It was nice to see an appearance by Agatha Troy - Roderick Alley's artist wife. I thought the complex family relationships were well done and there were plenty of red herrings and genuine clues to keep even the keenest reader guessing. If you enjoy classic crime stories then you can't beat Ngaio Marsh.
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5* very nice read April 5 2009
By Neal J. Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a beautifully written mystery that keeps you guessing till the very end. Lots of motives, lots of opportunity... One of her better efforts (I've now read 25 of the 32 novels) IMHO--despite the dated mores & class-importance of the characters. I esp. liked two quotes, one appropriate to the novel & one not: "it had distinction without personality" & "he would dodge about among innumerable parentheses." Very enjoyable read IMHO.
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