Death at the Bar

Death at the Bar❰PDF❯ ✪ Death at the Bar Author Ngaio Marsh – Oaklandjobs.co.uk A DEADLY GAME OF DARTSIn the cosy private bar of THE PLUME OF WHITE FEATHERS a group of vacationers were enjoying an innocent pastime Each evening it was their custom to play at darts to see who would A DEADLY GAME OF DARTSIn the cosy private bar of THE PLUME OF WHITE FEATHERS a group of vacationers were enjoying an innocent pastime Each evening it was Death at PDF/EPUB ² their custom to play at darts to see who would set up the next round of drinksOn the surface they were an amiable company Yet between them swirled currents of hate and suspicion envy and resentment On this night the game of darts brought tragedy in its wake; suddenly the lights went out and Luke Watchman a distinguished barrister lay gasping his life away on the floor Summoned to the scene Inspector Roderick Alleyn found all of his brilliant deductive powers called into play while death and a wily killer lurked mockingly in the shadows of the ancient inn. Two of my bookgroups on Goodreads are reading Ngaio Marsh this month—I read the first a later title in the series earlier on technically last month and now this one Death at the Bar published in 1939 is ninth in the Roderick Alleyn series by Marsh and is also a reread for me Compared to Clutch of Constables the other title I read this one has the ordinary format disliked chap gets killed police called in investigates denouement and while I liked the different format in Constables this one for me was the interesting read In this one London Barrister Luke Watchman heads down to South Devon for a holiday with his cousin actor Sebastian Parrish and friend artist Norman Cubitt But while the innkeeper and publican Abel Pomeroy is welcoming with other guests at the inn and local inhabitants Watchman’s relations aren’t as cordial While they don’t exactly wish him away he manages to pick a fight or two and rub some of them the wrong way There are tensions between others too some over politics and perhaps other personal issues as well A dart game on the second evening of Watchman’s visit goes very wrong and one participant drops dead A mystery is thus at hand and when the local police can’t uite handle the matter Alleyn and with him Fox are called inSince I read the other Marsh book so close to this one I can’t help comparing the two and this one as I said stood out as the better one for me on than one count I found the mystery itself had much meat to it—I certainly did not guess whodunit having read it ages ago I didn’t remember it at all and even on one of the side plots while I guessed somewhat in the right direction the final answer was not what I thought but something very different But another aspect was pretty much guessable not from the book itself but from the blurb at the back which was a little annoying my ed Was a 1975 Fontana ed But very satisfying as a mystery Again the characters too I thought seem strongly developed and interesting to read about each with their secrets insecurities and stories Another standout in this book for me were the touches of humour including Marsh poking fun at herself She writes ‘Your novelist too has passed the halcyon days when he could ignore routine He reads books about Scotland Yard he swots up police manuals He knows that routine is deadly dull and hopelessly poor material for a thriller; so like a wise potboiler he compromises He heads one chapter “Routine” dismisses six weeks of drudgery in as many phrases cuts the cackle and gets to the ‘osses’This is an observation by Alleyn in a chapter titled what else but ‘Routine’ There’s also another fun instance involving the Local PC Oates but that I’ll leave to you to read when you read the book All in all this was a very enjoyable mystery read for me EXCERPT probably the alarming entrance into this village has saved it from becoming another Clovelly or Polpero Ladies with 'ye olde shoppe' ambitions would hesitate to drive through Coombe Tunnel and very large cars are unable to do so Moreover the village is not too picturesue It is merely a group of houses whose whitewash is tarnished by the sea There are no secret stairs in any of them no ghosts walk Ottercombe Steps no smugglers cave looks out from Coombe Rock For all that the place has a history of grog running and wrecking There is a story of a fight in the tunnel between excisemen and the men of Coombe and there are traces of the gate that closed the tunnel every night at sunset The whole of Ottercombe is the property of an irascible eccentric who keeps the houses in good repair won't let one of them to a strange shopkeeper and breathes venom on the word 'publicity' If a stranger cares to stay in Ottercombe he must put up at the Plume of Feathers where Abel Pomeroy has four guest rooms and Mrs Ives does the housekeeping and cooking If the Coombe men like him they will take him out in their boats and play darts with him in the evening He may walk around the cliffs fish off the rocks or drive seven miles to Islington where there is a golf course and a three star hotel These are the amenities of Ottercombe ABOUT THIS BOOK A classic Ngaio Marsh novel in which a game of darts in an English pub has gruesome conseuencesAt the Plume of Feathers in south Devon one midsummer evening eight people are gathered together in the tap room They are in the habit of playing darts but on this occasion an experiment takes the place of the usual game – a fatal experiment which calls for investigationA distinguished painter a celebrated actor a woman graduate a plump lady from County Clare and a Devonshire farmer all play their parts in the unravelling of the problemMY THOUGHTS I am embarrassed to admit that this is the first book I have read by New Zealand author Ngaio Marsh and I was uite surprised to find it set in South Devon rather than in New Zealand I am also ashamed to admit that I knew very little about this author and had to look her upMarsh has written an atmospheric 'whodunit' a little reminiscent of Christie's work but somewhat 'fuller' in both character and atmosphere I like that her main character Detective Roderick Alleyn doesn't exhibit all the idiosyncrasies and affectations so commonly found in lead characters of this era He is a relatively normal if somewhat laid back character with keen powers of observation There is plenty of misdirection and red herrings abound in Death at the Bar It kept my brain whirring and my interest levels high I have found a new alternative to re rereading Christie and Ngaio Marsh has a new fan I listened to Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh narrated by Nadia May and published by Blackstone Audio via OverDrive All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions Please refer to my Goodreadscom profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookadaywordpresscom for an explanation of my rating system This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookadaywordpresscom The ninth Roderick Alleyn mystery sees three friends meet up for a holiday in Devon Luke Watchman is a top London barrister his cousin Sebastian Parrish an actor and Norman Cubitt an artist The three men spent last year staying at the Plume of Feathers whose landlord is the friendly Abel Pomeroy; aided by his son Will who runs ‘The Left Group’ a political group with members than you would expect in the small fishing village of Ottercombe Watchman is looking forward to the holiday and to seeing the divine Decima Moore again His romantic feelings for Decima have not changed but she is now involved with Will His initial enthusiasm for the trip is also dented literally by a run in on the way there with another car The driver Robert Legge is staying at the Plumb of Feathers and is very much a member of the local community – acting as Treasurer for Will’s group and excelling at darts in the bar When he endeavours to try out a dart trick it ends in a bizarre tragedy and Alleyn and Fox are brought in to investigate a murder Alleyn has to wade through a cast of suspects and motives to get to the truth in a case which sees both him and his faithful ‘Foxkins’ come into personal danger This is a good addition to the series so far I would not say it is one of my favourites but it is a good well written mystery with a good cast of characters and a good setting I enjoyed the insights into the relationship between Alleyn and Fox and the greater role that the loyal Fox had in the novel Overall I am enjoying this series very much and look forward to reading on I don’t uite understand people who like Marsh’s books as much as say Dorothy L Sayers’ Alleyn just doesn’t have the same depth of characterisation as Wimsey and while the character of Troy is uite fun she doesn’t seem to have come into it as much as Harriet It is true that Wimsey books go buy without Harriet though usually there’s Parker and Bunter the Dowager Duchess and plenty of other supporting characters who pop up repeatedly In these books it seems to often be just Alleyn and Fox and the possibilities of that partnership are limitedThe mystery itself is okay It takes some time to build up a set of characters to theorise about first though I hope they’re not intended to be likeable as such because most of them are not which at least adds a bit of interest; I do like the way crimemystery stories can be used as a character study I found the ending ridiculously drawn out; enough red herrings let’s have the culprit pleaseI think Ngaio Marsh’s books properly spaced out will keep me entertained well enough but I’m probably going to avoid reading them back to back They’re just too dry and Alleyn isn’t enough of a person to meOriginally posted here While I knew that I had read this entry in the Inspector Alleyn series as I have read all the Marsh books on my shelves at some point in the past 35 years when I saw the audiobook on Hoopla read the blurb it didn't sound familiar Once I started listening though it came back to me Ironically I spent about 23 of my time listening to this mystery sure I knew who the murderer was only to find it was someone else Wanda McCaddon does an excellent narration and this Golden Age mystery stands up to the test of time well imo Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh is a reread for me Reread is in uotes because I actually listened to it this time Our local library had clear out of all their books on tape about this time last year and I scooped up this 8 cassette rendition read by James Saxon Saxon by the way is terrific to listen to He manages to give all of the characters their own distinct voice although I think it was a good thing that there were only two ladies one of whom had a nice Irish brogue I am not generally speaking an audio book kind of reader Not that I have anything against them I just process the books much better in print particularly on a first go round But when faced with a weekend trip in the middle of a read a thon I thought listening would be a great way to stay on track for the 'thon And as mentioned I thoroughly enjoyed Saxon as the readerBut down to cases Attorney Luke Watchman is headed to Devon and the Plume of Feathers pub for an annual holiday with his cousin Sebastian Parish and his friend Noman Cubitt On the way there he has a minor mishap with another motorist Watchman jumps out of his car to berate the other man on his driving habits and the driver mutters an apology at him and tries to avoid being seen clearly Watchman is somewhat mollified but gets the impression that he might know the other man and that the driver definitely doesn't want to be seen by himWatchman arrives at the Feathers and once settled he meets up with Parish and Cubitt in the private bar where he regales them with the tale of his accident and his impressions of the other man The other man is none other than Robert Legge a fellow guest of the pub and a man who has been sitting in a secluded part of the bar Watchman tries to engage him in conversation but it is clear that Legge does not want to be sociableDuring the course of the evening it is revealed that Legge is a masterpiece with the darts and can do all sorts of tricks with the darts and board from playing Round the Clock hitting point sections in order to a circus type move where he can outline a person's hand with darts Watchman doubts his skill challenging him to repeat exactly a set of dart moves from the previous evening and losing money on the bet and then a game of Round the Clock but shying away from presenting his hand for the circus trick The next evening Watchman changes his mind and says that if Legge can beat him at Round the Clock again then he will let Legge do his dart and hand trick with him he figures the worst that can happen is a prick from the dart and he's gotten a bit of courage from the brandy bottle produced by the proprietor He would be wrongby the end of the night Watchman is dead and a trace of cyanide found on the dart There was plenty of the stuff about the place Abel Pomeroy the pub owner had been using the deadly poison to dispose of rats Someone decided to use it to dispose of Watchman But who? The obvious person is Legge because he threw the dart But there are several witnesses to swear that he could not possibly have smeared poison on the instrument When Inspector Roderick Alleyn and Detective Sergeant Fox arrive to assist the local constabulary they find all sorts of motives lurking about there's Decima Moore and her boyfriend Will Pomeroy who differ on politics and who don't appreciate Watchman's attentions to the lovely Decima; Parish and Cubitt are legatees under Watchman's will; and there are a couple of people who had dealings with Watchman in court The difficulty is that those with the most motive seem to have the least opportunity Fox will get a taste of poison himself and be saved by Alleyn before they can bring the crime home to the culpritThe last time I read this one Marsh fooled me She did it again and this is embarrassing I'm pretty sure she fooled me in the same way I latched onto a particular character and just as one of the characters kept bleating on about how Abel Pomeroy has tried to poison them all he hasn't I could not get that character out of my head as the villain of the piece Marsh managed to force the clues on me and I still missed them I thoroughly enjoyed having the wool pulled over my eyes Four starsFirst published at my blog My Reader's Block Please reuest permission before reposting Thanks Alleyn investigates a murder at the Plume of Feathers a Devon pub The murder happens during a game of darts and all those in the bar come under suspicion Alleyn and Fox arrive from Scotland Yard to uiz the suspects and follow up their storiesAlthough I liked the country pub setting this mystery took an age to get going and I never really cared who did it The plot is clever and skilfully put together and the Alleyn and Fox relationship continues to work well However this didn't really appeal to me and I didn't find it at all memorable In Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh three longtime friends join together to visit their annual vacation spot in Ottocomb in Devon where they gather at the Plume of Feathers Pub All three friends are famous in their own right with Luke Watchman an elite barrister Sebastian Darrow a famous actor and Norman Cubit a top painter The pub is a central gathering point for the community where locals and gusts gather one stormy night They discover that Abel Pomeroy the owner of the pub owns three valuable bottles of a high uality brandy so the group breaks open one bottle One local man Bob Legge has a reputation for being a genius with darts and convinces Luke who has been sniping at Legge in underhanded hints about some knowledge of a potential criminal background to let him throw darts between each finger spread out against the dartboard But in his first ever error he nicks one of Luke’s fingers with a dart which sends Luke into a near fainting fit as he can’t stand the sight of blood Just as they try to clean the wound with iodine and give Luke brandy to steady him the storm kills the power When it comes back on Luke Watchman lies dyingRead the rest of this review and other fun geeky articles at Fangirl Nation BI'm coming around to Marsh as my favourite of the supposed four crime ueens Although she doesn't uite have the same ability as Christie to pull the rug completely from under you indeed I guess the culprit half the time although not on this occasion she plays fair with the reader and her methods of murder are totally original Books #6 #10 of the Alleyn series I haven't read past there sustain a high level of uality This particular installment features a typically diverting mix of romance politics and less typically pub darts Great fun one of the most enjoyable Inspector Alleyn stories I have read so far A distinguished barrister dies apparently accidentally in a pub in Devon where he is on holiday But it emerges that the death may not have been accidental after all so naturally the local constabulary calls in Scotland Yard there are some very interesting charactersand it is not too easy to guess how the murder was done and by whom THe romance also is interesting than in most of the Inspector Alleyn books less predictable This edition also includes a whimsical early short story by Marshwhich is uite fun

Death at the Bar PDF/EPUB è Death at  PDF/EPUB ²
  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • Death at the Bar
  • Ngaio Marsh
  • 12 September 2015
  • 9780425040829