Among my collection of mystery novels by my most venerated mystery novel writers (Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Marsh’s titles are the ones that I am able to find every so often. I guess it’s because among the three, she is the most unheard of.
So once again, I’ve come over another Marsh novel: Hand in Glove. The story tells of a murder that happened while a social party was ongoing. The victim, Mr. Harold Cartell, a well-known barrister, fell into an excavation hole filled with muddy water; then, somebody let loose an 850-pound drainage pipe over his head. Of course, instant death was inevitable. But who wanted to kill him so badly …and brutally?
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.
Still with the nagging feeling to read, I reached for a pocketbook that been also in my drawer for some time of eight months (I think…): A Cat Under the Mistletoe.
This mystery fiction novel by Lydia Adamson has Alice Nestleton as the main protagonist; our resident amateur sleuth, cat-lover, cat-sitter and former actress and model. While bringing one of her client’s tabby to a cat psychiatrist, she finds the cat “shrink” sitting on her chair, dead. Apparently, she was murdered—a gunshot below her right ear, with a ridiculous white apron around her waist. It would seem that all the cats that enter her life always bring this woman into a LOT of trouble!
Personally, I did not like Alice’s attitude. At times, she would interrogate her own suspects with just substantial proof. At times, she would come out as a stupid detective-wannabee. She jumps to conclusions without any actual absolute proof, and the only way to catch the culprit is to set up traps. Maybe, she should have just stayed as an actress or model, but since murders couldn’t escape her, she just had to dig into it.
Let me start by confessing that this would be my first book review ever. After all of the books that I’ve read, it is only now that I would make one. Which means, I don’t know how to do this. Which means, it probably wouldn’t meet your expectations of an ideal book review. Which means, I totally suck. 🙂
Aptly titled Worlds Collide (probably a play on the words, “worlds apart”) by Alison Strobel (published 2005), it is a story along the big-movie-star-meets-simple-girl genre. Between their story, however, is a journey unlike any other; of discovering purpose, finding yourself and a happy life, and finding GOD.
I’ve always been a firm believer that celebrities are just like the rest of us. I’ve had my fair share of star encounters, and for the most part I was never that impressed.