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When In Rome [Mass Market Paperback]

Ngaio Marsh
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 6 2003 St. Martin's Minotaur Mysteries

Murder takes a Roman holiday

On an exclusive guided tour of Rome’s ancient ruins, a motley crew of tourists gets more than the price of admission. For amidst the serpentine passages of an underground crypt, the shady tour guide disappears, a mysterious murder occurs, and Inspector Roderick Alleyn-undercover on an international drug bust-must focus his keen eye on more than just Rome’s breathtaking sights...


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Review

“It’s time to start comparing Christie to Marsh instead of the other way around.” --New York magazine

About the Author

From her first book in 1934 to her final volume just before her death in 1982, Ngaio Marsh‘s work has remained legendary, and is often compared to that of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. During her celebrated fifty-year career, Marsh was made a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, was named Dame Commander, Order of the British Empire, won numerous prestigious awards, and penned 32 mystery novels.

Now St. Martin’s Dead Letter Mysteries is thrilled to make all of Marsh’s novels available again for old fans to relish and new ones to discover. So sit back, draw the curtains, lock the doors, and put yourself in the hands of Grande Dame of detective novels...


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is time to compare Christie to Marsh Nov. 13 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of Agatha Christies novels I never thought that I would find an author comparable to her. Yet, after reading most of the Ngaio Marsh books I believe it is time to start comparing Agatha Christie to Ngaio Marsh. A great example of this can be found in When in Rome. In this book, Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn gets himself involved in a guided tour in an old church site in Rome. When the rather disrepeptable tour guide vanishes and a murder in unearthed in the underground portion of the old church, Alleyn finds himself in the thick of it. Together with the Italian Police, Alleyn trys to sort out the possible suspects. Marsh is at her very best as she takes the reader on a magical mystery tour of Rome. As always, her character descriptions are flawless and the plot moves along in rapid fashion. This book is on a par with Grave Mistake and many of her others. A great read and a superb mystery. Ngaio Marsh is can well be considered one of the best Brittish authors of the century.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As addictive as any drug June 13 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the first Ngaio Marsh book I read (_Death in a White Tie_)I was hooked. Now, reading my fourth Marsh novel, _When in Rome_, I can say that I like her even better than Agatha Christie. _When in Rome_ is about a group of tourists (incl. the famous Inspector Alleyn) whose guide suddenly disappears. Only Inspector Alleyn, who joined the tour because he suspects that the guide is a key member of a drug ring, is worried about his disappearance; most of the tour group couldn't care less. In fact, a few of them couldn't be happier that the seedy Mr. Mailer has conveniently vanished.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As addictive as any drug June 13 2000
By MK Writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the first Ngaio Marsh book I read (_Death in a White Tie_)I was hooked. Now, reading my fourth Marsh novel, _When in Rome_, I can say that I like her even better than Agatha Christie. _When in Rome_ is about a group of tourists (incl. the famous Inspector Alleyn) whose guide suddenly disappears. Only Inspector Alleyn, who joined the tour because he suspects that the guide is a key member of a drug ring, is worried about his disappearance; most of the tour group couldn't care less. In fact, a few of them couldn't be happier that the seedy Mr. Mailer has conveniently vanished.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is time to compare Christie to Marsh Nov. 13 2001
By Robert Louis Shaddy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of Agatha Christies novels I never thought that I would find an author comparable to her. Yet, after reading most of the Ngaio Marsh books I believe it is time to start comparing Agatha Christie to Ngaio Marsh. A great example of this can be found in When in Rome. In this book, Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn gets himself involved in a guided tour in an old church site in Rome. When the rather disrepeptable tour guide vanishes and a murder in unearthed in the underground portion of the old church, Alleyn finds himself in the thick of it. Together with the Italian Police, Alleyn trys to sort out the possible suspects. Marsh is at her very best as she takes the reader on a magical mystery tour of Rome. As always, her character descriptions are flawless and the plot moves along in rapid fashion. This book is on a par with Grave Mistake and many of her others. A great read and a superb mystery. Ngaio Marsh is can well be considered one of the best Brittish authors of the century.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best Left To Hardcore Marsh Fans March 8 2005
By Gary F. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
WHEN IN ROME presents us with a tantalizing tale of Mr. Sebastian Mailer, an up-scale tour guide whose idea of showing his guests the town ranges from artistic landmarks to drug laden dens of iniquity. Unfortunately, Mailer also laces his mixture with a spot of blackmail, so it is no great surprise to Chief Inspector Alleyn, on duty in Rome, when a body turns up where no body should be.

Among the great authors of 20th Century mystery fiction, Ngaio Marsh was particularly noted for her ability to create unique characters and place them in memorable settings--and WHEN IN ROME offers her the opportunity to do precisely that. But in this instance Marsh overplays her hand. The novel is tainted by repeated condensending British jibes at Italy, some faintly hilarious ideas about drug use, and what can only be described as indirect but nonetheless obvious sneering fits of homophobia.

In the end, this is novel that established Marsh fans will want to read--but it is also a novel that not even established Marsh fans will consider in the same league with such brilliant works as BLACK AS HE'S PAINTED, DEAD WATER, or OVERTURE TO DEATH, to name but a few. Readable, even amusing, but ultimately dismissable.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining enough, but not the top of her game. Jan. 5 2007
By frumiousb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This late (1970) Marsh book is worthwhile reading for Marsh fans. Unfortunately, it does not compare well to some of the more classic Alleyn books from earlier in her career. Marsh was at her best writing about earlier days. Her misunderstandings and often (unintentionally) comic view of youth culture during the late 1960s/early 1970s is one of the unfortunate hallmarks of this period in her writing.

In When in Rome, Alleyn registers for a tour incognito to try to crack a drug and blackmailing ring run by a thoroughly unpleasant fellow. When the fellow in question turns up dead, he and his fellow tourists have a great deal of thinking to do about guilt and innocence.

Truthfully, this is probably a three star book. I gave it four stars because of the extra Ngaio Marsh spark which can make even a tedious book worth the time to read. Recommended, as I said, for Marsh fans. Readers new to her work should choose one of the novels from the 1930s through 1950 as a first experience.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story in interesting setting Dec 19 2013
By JJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've visited a site like the one in this book while I was in Rome. So, I could pretty well see what it was like for the people on the tour. It's a pretty interesting story and I always like Insp. Alleyn.
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