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Summary

It was planned as an act of charity: a new piano for the parish hall, an amusing play to finance the gift. But its execution was doomed when Miss Campanula sat down to play.

A chord was struck, a shot rang out and Miss Campanula was dead. A case of sinister infatuation for the brilliant Chief Detective-Inspector Alleyn.

©1939 Original Text of 1939 by Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Admirably mysterious." ( Daily Mail)
"It's time to start comparing Christie to Marsh instead of the other way around." ( New York magazine)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Charming period piece

Detailed scenes setting and characterisations together with a far fetched plot combine in an enjoyable entertainment. Expertly narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely enthralling!

There is a deliciously improbable murder, characters and language set firmly in their period, complex plotting and a narrator who brings it all to life with a myriad of voices and just the right amount of ham! I loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best so far

I'm making my way through the Inspector Alleyn series, by Ngaio Marsh. It's interesting to see how Alleyn's character develops, and how Marsh's writing style and pace develops too. This is undoubtedly her best so far, in plot and writing terms. It's read well, too.
It's also a fascinating insight into the society and culture of the 1930's, when it was written. All quite ridiculous now. It occurred to me that such a close working relationship between a high up policeman and a reporter would be very suspect now.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable if predictable

Ric Jerrom narrates with gusto, but not one of Marsh's best. I guessed whodunnit pretty early on, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment. Listen out for the sultry temptress Mrs Ross.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book

Would you consider the audio edition of Overture to Death to be better than the print version?

Have not read the book itself

What was one of the most memorable moments of Overture to Death?

The reveal!

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Little too theatrical for me on some of the characters but still well worth a listen

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Carôle
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 17-12-15

One of the better Unabridged Narrators

This is a typical long winded Ngaio Marsh novel, Character narrated well. Unlike the narration provided by James Saxon. A really good read!

Enjo!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DJDecca
  • 21-01-19

Life in a Small Village Can Be Murder

Another wonderful mystery from one of the original Queens of the Golden Age. It has all the ingredients of a good "cozy." A typical English village. An interesting cast of characters. One or two likely victims. Some good red herrings. And the charming and brilliant Chief Inspector Alleyn to sort it all out. Nicely performed by Ric Jerrom.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-10-18

Great Story, Passable Narrator

Overture to Death meets all the criteria of a great whodunnit - means, motive, opportunity, a cast of compelling characters and an exquisite plot. Although the murderer was obvious from the beginning, this does not detracts from the storyline. The narrator, Ric Jerome, reads well but does not do a very good job of bringing the characters to life. His Inspector Alleyn was poor almost a caricature. Similar voices were usd for some characters making them appear lackluster and inconsequential.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • H.L. Harkness
  • 12-11-17

a few good red herrings...

A unique murder weapon, a few viable suspects, and the incomparable Roderick Alleyn, Inspector Fox, & Nigel Bathgate. My Ngaio Marsh binge continues to pay off.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sally Dobbs
  • 27-07-16

A thoroughly entertaining read.

This is my favorite Ngaio Marsh tale. It has a great plot, is well narrated.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 26-11-15

Maybe 'cozies' are not for me!

The narrator does a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life, the story is artfully written, the dialogue is believable. I'm learning, however, that books need to have a certain gravitas before I really want to listen to them. This was a bunch of silly, rich village people, none particularly likable, trying to cope with life and the changing times. I prefer Agatha Christie - she knew how to create situations that seemed important. This book was more of a satire than I like in a mystery story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful