Rating: 2 of 5 stars
I tried reading Ngaio Marsh years ago and just couldn't get into her style of writing. This time around I liked her characters, particularly her Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn. He's charming, smart, witty, and a little on the goofy side. But this was not the best book to showcase his talents or his personality.
Home Secretary, Sir Derek O'Callaghan is not having a very good time of it. He's introduced an anti-anarchistic bill in the House, and as a result he's gotten some death threats. Not only that but his mistress has voiced her desire to kill him as has his personal physician. When Sir Derek becomes ill and needs surgery, even a nurse in the operating room expresses an interest in seeing him dead. When he does die after his surgery, at first it's presumed he died of complications thanks to a burst appendix. Later it becomes clear he was murdered.
If Marsh had stuck with the characters surrounding Sir Derek and built on their relationships to develop her plot, I think this book would have been much better. Instead she goes meandering off into other areas which may or may not tie into the murder. After a while even Inspector Alleyn couldn't make me care about the outcome of this one.
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