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Roderick Alleyn Books In Order

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Publication Order of Roderick Alleyn Books

A Man Lay Dead (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Enter a Murderer (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Nursing Home Murder (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in Ecstasy (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vintage Murder (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Artists in Crime (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in a White Tie (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
Overture to Death (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death at the Bar (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of a Peer / Surfeit of Lampreys (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death and the Dancing Footman (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Colour Scheme (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Died in the Wool (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
Final Curtain (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Wreath for Rivera / Swing, Brother, Swing (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Night at the Vulcan / Opening Night (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Spinsters In Jeopardy / The Bride of Death (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scales of Justice (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of a Fool / Off With His Head (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Singing in the Shrouds (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
False Scent (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hand in Glove (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead Water (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Killer Dolphin / Death at the Dolphin (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Clutch of Constables (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
When in Rome (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tied Up in Tinsel (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Black As He's Painted (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Last Ditch (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Grave Mistake (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Photo Finish (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Light Thickens (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alleyn and Others / The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Still Unsolved (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Money in the Morgue (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Roderick Alleyn series by Ngaio Marsh (a crime writer) is one of the outstanding series ever written in the world of arts and entertainment. Marsh was born in Christchurch city in New Zealand on 23rd April 1895. She is primarily known for the 32 crime novels that she has authored. Most of her books are set in either England or New Zealand.

The series features a fictional character by the name Roderick Alleyn. Inspector Roderick is a policeman hero in the criminal investigation department of the metropolitan police in London. He starts the series while he is 40 years at the Scotland Yard.

Roderick Alleyn first appeared in the series in 1934. It is speculated that Alleyn was born somewhere between 1892 and 1894. He is a graduate from the Oxford University and initially he served as a World War 1 army for a period of three years before joining the metropolitan police.

At first, Alleyn is single but later he marries and gives birth to a son. In the beginning of the series, we are told that Roderick’s father died and he is living with his mother-Lady Alleyn. You can also learn that Alleyn started building his character since the time he was young since we are told that he was always in good terms with his brother- Sir George Alleyn. He also rises to the chief Superintendant level as the series progresses. Let’s look at the first two books in the series;

The first book in the series that features inspector Roderick is “A Man Lay Dead.” This novel was published in 1934. In the novel, we are introduced to a secret murderer during a murder detective game at a weekend house party held in Sir Hubert’s estate. The murderer is given the option to “murder” a victim of choice. The participants of the party include; a niece to Sir Herbert, Charles Rankin, Rosamund Grant, Mr. Arthur Wilde, Mrs. Arthur Wilde and Nigel Bathgate.

In this detective murder game, the chosen victim must be met alone and given information that they will be the corpse. Lights are switched off to show that the “murder” has been enacted already. They are then given two minutes to escape from the spot and destroy anything that may serve as evidence according to the rules of the game.

After the murder, a mock trial is conducted as the house guests try to get the culprit. What is more surprising in this novel is, when the lights are switched on, a real corpse is found instead of a pretending corpse. It stands to reason that all the house guests are suspects in this murder but the real culprit is unknown. This is where Roderick Alleyn comes in. He is the one conducting the mock trial to get the culprit. Interestingly, Roderick declares that one of the characters is innocent and he goes ahead to use that character as his “Watson.”

It is worth noting that Marsh used this first novel to build the main characters for her subsequent novels. It is a nice piece of art that will make you crave for more after you turn on the last page. The suspense in this novel should never be a worry because the main characters get into full action as the series progresses.

Enter a Murderer is the second novel in the series that is worth your time. This novel is engaging, interesting and fun to read. Once again we are introduced to Roderick Alleyn who is believed to be a crime-solving vessel. His jaunty attitude is lovable and you will not get bored anywhere between the lines.

In this novel, Nigel Bathgate invites inspector Roderick to Unicorn Theatre where “The Rat and the Beaver” play is staged. We realize that Felix Gardener-a university friend to Bathgate is playing the Rat role while Arthur Surbonadier is playing the Beaver role. Marsh tells us that Arthur is universally disliked by many. What is the reason for this and what happens eventually? Lest find out.

Towards the end of the play, the Rat (Gardener) is supposed to fire an empty gun and kill the Beaver (Surbonadier.) However, on this day; the Rat decides to kill the Weaver while on stage with a live round and the weaver (Surbonadier) succumbs to death instantly. The audience doesn’t seem to realize this but inspector Alleyn realizes what is happening immediately.

Detective Roderick steps in to investigate the person behind the murder. It is interesting when he says that the gardener may not be guilty of the murder even though he is the one who fired the gun. Why? He is keen to identify the person who loaded the gun with live rounds. He also claims that the gardener may have loaded the gun with live rounds by mistake. In the end, he says that everyone involved in the production of this play is guilty of the murder.

The detective plays his cards well and finally traps the killer. The sudden twists and turn of events makes this novel a must read. Marsh introduces Alleyn at the appropriate time and you will definitely love how the events are woven in a classical manner. You will be left asking yourself many questions that may not have instant answers. Reading the next novel in the series may perhaps satisfy you better.

It is no surprise that many novels by this prolific writer have been featured in major TV and movie shows across the world. For instance, a Man Lay Dead was adopted for the inspector Alleyn Mysteries television series and it garnered the favor of many fiction lovers from south to north. They have also won several awards which mean that they are lovable.

Undeniably, the Roderick Alleyn series is an amazing mystery authored by a classic writer. Therefore, if you are a fan of cozy mysteries, you have no reason whatsoever to ignore this series. The novels expose crime in society committed secretly. Inspector Roderick is involved in identifying the culprits for those mystery killings.

The main character in this series is the center of interest for many warm hearts who love to see solid solution during difficult situations. Fetch copies for your library and entertainment will be guaranteed.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Roderick Alleyn

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