Ngaio Marsh’s most popular novel begins when a young New Zealander’s first contact with the English gentry is the body of Lord Wutherford - with a meat skewer through the eye....
The Lampreys had plenty of charm - but no cash. They all knew they were peculiar - and rather gloried in it. The double and triple charades, for instance, with which they would entertain their guests - like rich but awful Uncle Gabriel, who was always such a bore. The Lampreys thought if they jollied him up he would bail them out - yet again.
Instead Uncle Gabriel met a violent end. And Chief Inspector Alleyn had to work our which of them killed him....
©1941 Original Text of 1941 by Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio
"The brilliant Ngaio Marsh ranks with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers." (Times Literary Supplement)
"The queen of the straight crime novel - long may she reign!" (Sunday Times)
"Brilliantly readable...first class detection." (Observer)
"Ngaio Marsh transcended the detective genre by the power of her writing and the rich variety of characters who people her novels." (P. D. James)
Yes, I enjoy Ngaio Marsh mysteries. I have read the story in book form and there is enough humor and the story is dense enough that it will stand hearing again.
The opening. The heroine's life is wide open from the start and the reader is never sure what is going to happen to her.
Phillip Franks is a very pleasant reader, he paces the story perfectly, his different character voices are excellent. You never get the feeling that he is thinking "Oh now I better put on a woman's voice". He is also good at the class distinctions, a very difficult task for modern readers of classic detective fiction of the Marsh, Christie, Sayers type. Many get the voices wrong for any characters who are not 'upper class', as Alleyn is in this book.
Yes, when the twins stubbornly stuck together and near the end when Roberta and Henry were trying to process what had happened.
If you like Agatha Christie you will enjoy Ngaio Marsh, but if you like gritty realism, or lots of blood and gore, a detective who has a troubled past/personal life and lots of scientific or DNA type evidence then this is probably not for you.
"Worth waiting for!!!"
Hooray!!! I've been waiting forever for an unabridged recording of Surfeit of Lampreys to appear here at Audible, and it finally has with the added bonus that the reader is absolutely stellar. I can not overemphasize how good Philip Franks is, what a treat that new recordings are being offered with a reader that does justice to the work.
As far as the actual story goes, it's not one of my favorites, because I don't really like the Lampreys all that much (except for Henry), but they have many charming or funny moments to recommend them and are well worth visiting. The mystery is good, I think, and sticks to the rules of providing the reader with the critical clue, but obfuscating it so effectively that I, for one, did not notice it at all until we reached the reveal at the end. This is a golden age mystery, and not a modern police procedural, so some may find it slow, but if you are a fan of golden age works as I am, I think you will very much enjoy this one.
"1930's "Cosy" murder mystery perfection."
Inspector Allen! Upper class twits! Can't be beat.
Ngaio Marsh never fails to deliver a tightly plotted believable mystery. Excellent character development.
If you live Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey) you will love this and any other of Marsh's books.
I have been waiting for years and years for someone to do an unabridged audiobook of this title!!! It was worth the wait. I first read this book when it was entitled "Death of a Peer" and fell in love with the charming Lampreys.
And I have to say that the Narrator is unequaled!!! What a total delight!!!
"One Of Her Best"
Filled with odd yet appealing characters, Surfeit of Lampreys is one of my favorite Marsh books. If you haven't read Ngaio Marsh before, start with her earlier books, such as this one. The reader get a better sense of who Roderick Alleyn is and how he solves crimes. Alleyn and his staff are more involved in the story in Marsh's earlier books. Surfeit of Lampreys predates Alleyn's marriage to Troy but does feature his friend Nigel Bathgate.
"Delightful characters, somewhat outlandish story"
Another wonderful Ngaio Marsh. I thought I had read all her books and was thrown off by the title of this one. It was perhaps published as Death of a Peer at one point? (I haven't looked it up.) Fortunately I had read it many years ago and remembered nothing so I was able to get full enjoyment this time. It would be useful if Audible would make clear all the titles the books go under because, like the great Agatha's, they were often different in the US and the UK for whatever reason. The reader did a very good job - pleasant to listen to and made easy to distinguish characters.
Excellent writing and a very good example of the golden age of detective fiction. Phillip Franks is a terrific voice actor. He's more than a "reader" and I look forward to hearing more from him.
"Charmed, I'm Sure"
This is perhaps Ngaio Marsh's most charming of her many charming books. How it has affected me is this: I don't believe I have ever written the word 'charming' before in my lifetime. I read this years ago in paperback, but hearing it spoken aloud has been another experience, another quite charming experience, I am tempted to say, but I will not. I'll just urge you to enjoy it for yourselves.
"Excellent story crafting. Marsh at her finest."
Crime fiction done justice by Marsh on the whole and especially her. Great story great run around the countryside and so good to see all the loose ends disposed of in a crime story.
"Murder meets eccentricity"
Same methodical piecing together of clues in a pattern to solve the crime by chief inspector Alleyne...but this time amidst an array of ditsy and likable family members and several not so likable relatives and servants. For the first time in a Marsh mystery, I guessed the murderer, but still enjoyed the story, despite gruesome crimes.
Even if you have heard the dramatised or abridged versions of this story, this is well worth a listen. It's one I am sure I will enjoy again and again (as I do with other Insoector Alleyn stories. Ngaio Marsh never did produce a pot boiler. Every single one of her full length Alleyn mysteries is beautifully written - a joy to read or hear. You
Wonderful reading of possibly the best Alleyn story. Just wish Mr Franks could do all the Alleyn books......he is far and away the best interpreter.
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