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Inspector Alleyn

Inspector Roderick Alleyn of Scotland Yard, created by Ngaio Marsh, and featured in 32 mysteries published between 1934 and 1982, is one of the most famous and long-lived fictional detectives out there. Ngaio Marsh described her sleuth thus, in a sketch included in her short fiction collection: "I thought that my detective would be a professional policeman but, in some ways, atypical: an attractive, civilized man with whom it would be pleasant to talk but much less pleasant to fall out. He was tall and thin with an accidental elegance about him and fastidious enough to make one wonder at his choice of profession. He was a compassionate man. He had a cockeyed sense of humor, dependent largely upon understatement, but for all his unemphatic, rather apologetic ways, he could be a formidable person of considerable authority." The series was adapted for British television in the 1990s