- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; (Reissue) edition (14 March 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780006166290
- ISBN-13: 978-0006166290
- ASIN: 0006166296
- Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 1.8 x 11.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 136 g
- Customer Reviews: 23 customer ratings
Hand in Glove Paperback – 14 March 1994
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From the Back Cover
THE ALLEYN MYSTERIES
The April Fool's Day had been a roaring success for all, it seemed – except for poor Mr Cartell who had ended up in the ditch – for ever.
Then there was the case of Mr Percival Pyke Period's letter of condolence, sent before the body was found – not to mention the family squabbles.
It was a puzzling crime for Superintendent Alleyn…
"Entertaining and disastrously readable."
"Neat, dexterous…Miss Marsh's freshest and most enjoyable performance for years."
"The finest writer in the English language of the pure, classical puzzle whodunnit. Among the crime queens, Ngaio Marsh stands out as an express."
About the Author
Dame Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand in 1895 and died in February 1982. She wrote over 30 detective novels and many of her stories have theatrical settings, for Ngaio Marsh’s real passion was the theatre. She was both actress and producer and almost single-handed revived the New Zealand public’s interest in the theatre. It was for this work that the received what she called her ‘damery’ in 1966.
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Top international reviews
When Henry Cartell ends up dead in a ditch after a party at his ex-wife, Lady Desiree Bantling's house, suspicions fall on just about everyone in the neighbourhood. Roderick Alleyn is sent to investigate and finds a friend, Nicola, doing Mr Pyke Period's typing for him.
I enjoyed this well plotted mystery with its collection of eccentric and unpleasant characters though there are some pleasant characters too. It was nice to see an appearance by Agatha Troy - Roderick Alleyn's artist wife. I thought the complex family relationships were well done and there were plenty of red herrings and genuine clues to keep even the keenest reader guessing. If you enjoy classic crime stories then you can't beat Ngaio Marsh.
roughly good read
I found this novel less satisfying than the author's earlier work but still a very good read and preferable to the BBC adaptation, which added a secondary plot-twist that was both unnecessary and dramatically improbable. Why won't script-writers trust and respect their borrowed material? PS: The BBC dramatization is still worth watching, for the usual suspects, (Malahide, Simons and Lang), and a wonderful cameo from John Gielgud.
The household is not peaceful, and the connections between various relatives and hangers-on are a bit confusing. In the midst of this chaos, Mr. Period brings in a pretty young typist to help him with the book he’s writing on etiquette. A young man with artistic ambitions is part of the mixed company, and a flirtation ensues. Which I enjoyed.
Contrasting with the well-bred typist and the artistic young gentleman are two young people with atrocious manners and slippery morals. These two are busy trying on various cons, when Harold Cartell is murdered. Chief Inspector Alleyn is quickly on the scene, valiantly attempting to persuade everyone to stop lying. Meanwhile the two dogs in the plot are getting amorous and biting people.
Happily there is a list of characters in the front of the book, but I still found it hard to keep in mind their connections with one another. There are good character sketches and well written passages, but I don’t think this is one of Ngaio Marsh’s best mysteries.
Still, I’m reading every book in this series so as to keep up with Alleyn’s career.