The first Roderick Alleyn mystery did not overly impress. . . everyone's motivations seemed muddied (especially the lead detective's), the Russian aspect was sensational to the point of ridiculousness, and the decision to reenact the crime was baffling. Still, if you've exhausted Christie and Sayers and want another Golden Age British detective novel, it fits the bill. . .
tani reviewed A Man Lay Dead (Roderick Alleyn, Bk 1) on
Sir Hubert Handesley tries a new version of the murder game to amuse his house guests, but when the lights go on, there is a real dead body in the room, but all seven suspects have amusing alibis...
You might call Ngaio Marsh the New Zealand Agatha Christie. There are resemblances in their writing, and I enjoyed Marsh's books every bit as much as Christie's, though they are less famous.
At Sir Hubert Handesley's country house party, five guests have gathered for the uproarious parlor game of "Murder". Yet no one is laughing when the lights come upon an actual corpse, the good-looking and mysterious Charles Rankin. Scotland Yard'ss inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives tofind a complete collection of alibis, a missing butler, and an intricate puzzle of betrayal and sedition in the search for the key player in this deadly game.
Excellent mystery story involving very nearly a "locked room" scenario. It was not easy to work out whodunnit, and especially the method as to how it was done! I enjoyed the humor and the earnestness of the hero.