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NGAIO MARSH

Discovering a new (at least to me) mystery author always excites me, especially one who writes the classical English style of detective novel. Such a find is Ngaio (pronounced Nye-oh) Marsh, a New Zealand native who first published in 1934.

Tied Up in Tinsel is part of her Roderick Alleyn series. In it, peculiar characters populate an English mansion where odd things begin to happen. Unfortunately for highly intuitive detective Alleyn, his wife is among the Christmas guests, one of whom goes missing on a frigid winter’s night. Is the fellow passed out drunk on the moor? Did he attempt to steal valuable jewels and, in a panic, do a bunk?

Roderick Alleyn and the reader sift through clue after clue while the local constabulary tramp the countryside in wild weather. And when the truth is finally revealed, one is left with both annoyance at not having known it all along and satisfaction at an ending much tidier than the helter skelter activities that led to it.

Who is your favourite mystery author?

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