Overture to Death
It’s murder in the little English village, but the two local spinsters – Miss Campanula, who was shot by a gun hidden in a grand piano, and Miss Prentice, her friend who may have been the intended victim – are not exactly the beloved little old ladies of song and story. They were (and are) waspish, gossiping snobs, passionate only about their own narrowly defined religion….and, perhaps, about the local vicar.
Unpleasant, no question. But they couldn’t possibly – could they? – have been sufficiently unpleasant to provoke a murderer. Inspector Alleyn finds it difficult to imagine this…until he’s faced with the notion that the murderer was in fact provoked by Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in c-sharp minor.
This eighth novel in Ngaio Marsh’s Inspector Alleyn series is structured in a way familiar to a number of books in the series: Marsh constructs a world, peoples it with characters and relationships, and then, once murder occurs, brings Inspector Alleyn into the mix to make sense of the mystery. As with most books in the series, the real pleasure lies in the often quite ingenious method of murder, and in the brilliant characterizations.
Who's Likely to Like This
Fans of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and the Golden Age of Mystery Fiction
“The brilliant Ngaio Marsh ranks with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers”—Times Literary Supplement