Death of a Peer
by Ngaio Marsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was originally published under the title A Surfeit of Lampreys which I think is a better title for it. I think this title gives away too much too soon. Much of this story goes on before Alleyn ever turns up, and before there is a murder, so knowing who the victim will be is a bit of a spoiler. Another Marsh book I read was structured this way as well (they may all be, I have only read a couple so far) and I found it a very satisfactory way to structure the story. We don't know who committed the crime--I didn't figure it out until nearly the end--but we know many things Alleyn doesn't about the family and what went on right before the murder. Alleyn is an appealing character, as were the Lampreys (they reminded me of Bertie Wooster and his pals) and Marsh's writing is very clever.
This title counts toward the Vintage Mystery Challenge in the category of A Mystery By Any Other Name: any book that has been published under more than one title.
This is one of my favorite Marsh novels. I agree with you: the Lampreys are wonderful characters, and they do read as if they had stepped out of a Wodehouse novel.ReplyDelete