Peregrine Jay, owner of the Dolphin Theatre, is putting on a magnificent production of Macbeth, the play that, superstition says, always brings bad luck.
But one night the claymore swings, and the dummy's head is more than real: murder behind the scene.
Luckily, Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn is in the audience....
©1982 Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio
Seriously, struggled to finish this.
Had I wanted a book about the production of Macbeth I'd have looked for one. 4/10.
Franks narrates well.
The novel purports to be an Inspector Alleyne mystery, but no crime is committed until part 2 chapter 6, well over four and a half hours into a seven hour book. That first section should have been condensed into forty minutes. The characters were tedious and unsympathetic. At first I thought the narrators RADA voice was appropriate for actORs, but after an hour it really began to pall especially the simpering female voices, and there was no difference between the voice of the inspector and the main character, Perry. I only wish I had taken up the Audible offer to exchange the book. I just kept thinking it must improve. It didn't.
"Reflects Ngaio Marsh's interest in Macbeth"
For those who already enjoy Ngaio Marsh's stories, this brings together her love of the theater,her love of Macbeth, her varied interests in the power of things and old rituals, and a mystery. Not only who did it but how it was done.
The very detailed presentation of the staging of this great play may be tedious for those who have not become intrigued by the Shakespeare play of 'Macbeth' .For them it may be as interesting as railway time tables, yet the detail and the personalities do matter.
"Great Aside From Incorrect Pronunciation"
It's a great mystery, with well-rounded characters. Alleyn is not as prevalent as usual, but it's made to work with another character to the fore.
Any other Marsh, Christie, or James title. It's a classic murder mystery.
I was really irritated that he had not made the slightest effort to get the Māori pronunciation even remotely correct. Normally Franks is really good, but the complete ignorance of one of the most easily mastered sets of sounds on the planet was really rubbish, especially given that there are resources for learning this readily available. A real let-down.
Franks does great voices.
"A lot of fun!"
If you love theater in general, or more specifically love Macbeth, like I do, there is much to like, the murder mystery itself is a tad predictable. But fun regardless.
It seems that Ngaio Marsh became more deeply involved in theater herself and simultaneously ran out of plots for compelling mysteries. This is not her best. In fact, it is probably one of the least successful overall. No idea what the title has to do with the story? But plot swirls around Macbeth. Alleyne is incidental. Much back and forth and repetition. No way to redeem it. It's an homage to production of Macbeth and little more.
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