Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh

I have read my seventh Ngaio Marsh mystery, 12th in Marsh’s bibliographical chronology.

First published in 1943, this October 1984 edition features Inspector Roderick Alleyn in a mediocre spa-slash-hot spring-slash-resort (Wai-ata-tapu Hot Springs) in war-infested New Zealand. He is submerged in an irritating but small number of “patriots” where speculation of an enemy agent is amongst them. At first, everything is tolerable: the Claire family’s (owners of the spa) imbecility, Mr. Maurice Questing’s taking-over the spa as owner and manager, Herbert Smith’s near brush with death, the unsatisfying treatment of Geoffrey Gaunt (a world-famous theater actor), the impending theft of a cultural heritage, a torpedoed ship of relief goods, and the arrival of a mysterious Septimus Falls. Then, a suspected nauseating murder surfaces.

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Ngaio Marsh

Ngaio MarshOne of my favorite murder mystery novel writers is Edith Ngaio Marsh/Dame Ngaio Marsh DBE (1895-1982) of New Zealand. She is the author of 32 murder mystery novels–all whodunits–featuring the gentleman detective, Roderick Alleyn. She is one-fourth of the “Queens of Crime” of the golden age of the detective fiction era (the others being Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, and Dorothy L. Sayers). Her name means “flowering tree.”

Born at Christchurch, she was educated at Saint Margaret’s College, Christchurch; and at the Canterbury University School of Art. She went on to become a theater actress with the Allan Wilkie company in New Zealand for two years. Afterwards, in 1928, she supervised a house-decorating business in London. Accordingly, it was during this time that she conceptualized and wrote her first novel, A Man Lay Dead (1934). She returned to New Zealand in 1932 and gave the manuscript for A Man Lay Dead to a publishing agent. It was then published two years later. From then on, she wrote her 31 other mystery novels:

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Man and Wife According to Mythology

According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces.

Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.

Have you found yours?

I Was An Usher

19 April 2009 (Sunday)

It was late in the afternoon when my cousin visited. A nurse in Dubai, she came home almost a week ago for her church wedding with her civil husband on Saturday, the 25th. She handed the fragrant, ribbon-detailed invitation program adorned in shades and tints of pink and fuschia; with all letterings embossed. She asked me to be an usher at the church, to which I gladly obliged.

21 April 2009 (Tuesday)

I realized I needed a new pair of black slacks and a pair of black leather shoes. I got them.

24 April 2009 (Friday)

In the afternoon, we had a dry run of the church activities for the next day. It was raining buckets so I arrived at the church in a sloppy state. I saw my cousins whom I haven’t seen for a couple of years now. We catched up on each other–what has happened, what was new, what was going on with life, and what’s going to happen in the future. Since the wedding would start at 8:00AM, I was told to be at the church by 7:30PM.

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My Kitten Died

My pure black kitten died two days ago–Monday, the 27th. It was disheartening that I made a poem to commemorate it. Such a steep poem for a simple creature.


Catch You Later

You’ve put up a bold fight
Now you’re nowhere in sight.
Prevail through the dismal weather,
For I will catch you later–
Where we could run wild and free,
When summer is warm and sweet.
Prevail through the dismal weather,
For I will catch you later.

I want to see you run on solid ground
Be moved by your deep gentle sound.
I love your steps upon my skin
How they make me want to grin.
I wish you could’ve stayed a little longer
So your twin wouldn’t be a loner.

Although lives come to pass,
The force lives on
Through memories and reveries
Sorrowful but sweet;
And until we meet,
I’ll be picking up the pieces
Of broken little kisses
So everyone will continue
Without overlooking
Your charming little spirit.

Never did we ever get to play
All through night and day.
We never had a picture together
That I hoped would last forever.
Now I fret that you would be forgotten
Pray that the musings will be here often.

Although lives come to pass,
The force lives on
Through memories and reveries
Sorrowful but sweet;
And until we meet,
I’ll be picking up the pieces
Of broken little kisses
So everyone will continue
Without overlooking
Your charming little spirit.

You’ve put up a bold fight
Now you’re nowhere in sight.
Prevail through the dismal weather,
For I will catch you later–
Where we could run wild and free,
When summer is warm and sweet.
Prevail through the dismal weather,
For I will catch you later.

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