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Publisher's Summary

The lives of the inhabitants of Swevenings are disrupted only by a fierce competition to catch the Old Un, a monster trout known to dwell in a beautiful stream which winds past their homes.

Then one of their small community is found brutally murdered; beside him is the freshly killed trout. Both died by violence - but Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn's murder investigation seems to be much more interested in the fish....

Scales of Justice was first published in 1955.

©1955 Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Scales of Justice

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  • Helen L.
  • 12-10-2016

Delightful fish story

Another tightly woven tale with an array of characters whose relationships are initially impossible to comprehend. But of course Chief Inspector Alleyne understands everything almost instantly once he arrives on the scene and again Marsh compresses time such that Alleyne miraculously solves a crime almost overnight. This does not diminish the pleasure of solving it with him. Amazing that Marsh wrote these tales over so many decades and maintained her gift for it.

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  • peter
  • 10-09-2020

Fishy

I sometimes imagine NM writing her novels, seizing plot twists out of the air Harry Potter style while parading her memories of England and NZ past her third eye. This satisfies my sense of the fitness of things but I think it is more true that she composed her novels in a sort of Golden Age-ish mystery 6th dimension bubble occupied by herself, Agatha, Dorothy, etc. The plots are always beyond believable yet at the same time fully credible within the conventions of the genre, and the characters are usually far too nice or too civilized for a modern reader to identify with. After being lulled into coziness it's always a jarring moment when she describes the wound or death blow in graphic Cornwellian detail. But it's never a disappointment and always a pleasure to follow her fine prose down another avenue of entertaining crime fiction. This tale of a large trout and its part in the lives of a troupe of amusing characters is very entertaining and deserving of a nibble.

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  • Tomboy
  • 10-07-2020

Wonderful writing, magnificent narration.

I read both Dame Agatha and Dame Ngaio when l was younger. l loved birth writers for different reasons: Christie for the crisp sparseness of her writing and the magnificent puzzles she never ceased to produce, and Marsh for the beauty and wit of her use of language, and the almost equal ingenuity of her "whodunnitery". Christie ages better but listening to the magnificent narration of Philip Franks brought to life, in a manner l never contemplated, the unequalled eloquence of Ngaio Marsh's writing in this genre. Marsh was a writer who matches the greatest writers, not just female writers, of the 19th century, whose writing was in genres other than detective fiction which l find invariably and inexcusably boring. Not with the great Ngaio Marsh though. A superb whodunnit, immaculately written, wonderfully funny and inventive, incomparably read by a great actor with language that reminds you of the excesses of snobbery which is a commentary on how times have changed - largely - for the better. As with the Great Christie, there's only one Great Ngaio.

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  • iiiio
  • 08-06-2020

The best Ngaio Marsh story.

I do enjoy all that Marsh has written and this is by far the best.

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  • Sybil
  • 28-02-2016

Good story

This is one of my favourite Ngaio marsh stories, and I have a version read by the late James Saxon which is excellent, but on audio cassette. Glad to see this full length version although benedict cumberbatch is adequate in the abridged story the story suffers from the shortening. This is a fair version but Phillip franks voice is too light for Roderick Alleyn and this Mars the telling , although his version of inspector fox is good. I would really like to see the James Saxon version re-released., but this is worth a listen. Phillip franks does make a good fist of it as Margery allingham's hero Albert campion, just the right tone and degree of hesitation.

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