A spa stay turns into a homicidal holiday.... A bit snobbish and a trifle high strung, Sybil Foster prides herself on owning the finest estate in Upper Quintern and hiring the best gardener.
In fact she is rapturous over the new asparagus beds when a visit from her unwelcome stepson sends her scurrying to a chic spa for a rest cure, a liaison with the spa's director...and an apparent suicide.
Her autopsy holds one surprise, a secret drawer a second. And Inspector Roderick Alleyn, CID, digging about Upper Quintern, may unearth still a third...deeply buried motive for murder.
©1978 Original Text of 1978 by Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio
"The brilliant Ngaio Marsh ranks with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers." (Times Literary Supplement)
"It's time to start comparing Christie to Marsh instead of the other way around." (New York Magazine)
Jean the Bean
I love other female narrators for Ngaio Marsh's work (Nadia May for example) but Jane Asher's delivery was ponderous and dull and she mispronounces Alleyn throughout. Even if the reader is unaware that it is 'Allen' and not 'Allain', the publisher should be. A bit slapdash and shoddy. A shame, because the story is a corker.
Good plot & sympathetic characters. A good read--absorbing. Did get annoyed with the narrator--the foreign men's accents are not particularly convincing.
"Story marred by narrator's choices"
This is one of my favorite Ngaio Marsh books, but I did not enjoy the narration. The narrator chose to pronounce Alleyn's name so that it almost sounded like Elaine. That was persistently annoying, but I also disagree with the Voice which she chose for Alleyn. It was hard and unsympathetic, and not suiting the attractive man as Marsh portrays him. Inspector Fox's voice was also, I think, inappropriate, occasionally exhibiting elements of Cockney. Neither man came across appealingly, and one of the unattractive characters, Dr. Basil Schramm--Who was born in England--was given a European accent.
"Superb reading of a classic British mystery"
Jane Asher is so good a reader for Ngaio Marsh's "Grave Mistake" that I was sad to see all her other readings are children's books. She needs to be given adult work --- her voice characterizations are truly excellent. The Vicar's upper class! The "Brer Fox" voice, perfect for Alleyn's colleague. In fact, this excellent story has a lot to do with voice and vocal differences and that may be why this reader took it on. I wish she would read all the Ngaio Marsh books.
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