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review 2018-03-10 20:19
Detective Inspector Roderick Allen Series Book #1
A Man Lay Dead: Inspector Roderick Alleyn #1 - Ngaio Marsh

I've been meaning to try Ngaio Marsh's books for a while so when I came across A Man Lay Dead in my hunt for another country house mystery to read, I figured I could kill two birds with one dagger stone, so to speak. 

In this first book, we're introduced to the star of the series, Detective Inspector Roderick Allen when he's called to the home of Sir Hubert Handesley. Handesley is known for his famous house parties, where all the guests, in keeping with tradition, always play a round of their favorite murder game. But this time though, someone decides to take the murder game to the next level and literally murders one of their fellow players...

It's hard for me to put into words why exactly this wasn't a five star read for me so I'll just say it was the writing style and some of the banter and dialogue. It felt somewhat disjointed at times and I had to read parts over again to make sure I interpreted correctly. It could be because this was the author's first book or it may have just been my adjusting to the conservative British narrative, I dont know....but Detective Inspector Allen's character grew on me and by the end of the book I found I really liked him so I am going to read another book or two in the series and see how I feel about it then.

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review 2018-03-10 09:58
An English Country House Mystery
An English Murder - Cyril Hare

I was in the mood for a good Country House mystery so I decided to read An English Murder by Cyril Hare. The Lord of the manor is ill and bedridden so he decides to invite several family members and close friends to his home at Warbeck Hall for one last Christmas holiday gathering.


There's an undercurrent of tension amongst the guests right from the start. They dislike each other for a multitude of reasons- politics, love triangle, racism, classism- you name it.


With that said, the characters are really the downfall of this book to me. None of them were very likeable at all which made the book kind of dreary and boring to me. 


Also just a heads up, if you are thinking of waiting until Christmas to read as holiday book its really not necessary. This isn't really a festive story and the holiday is only mentioned a couple times, if that.




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