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Posted January 20, 2013
Another "cozy" mystery from Ngaio Marsh... one of my favorite authors. Takes place in the early 1930's, I think. An unusual place & murder with lots of interesting characters and the threesome of Alleyn, Fox, & Bathgate to solve it all.
Not my favorite of her books but still an excellent and enjoyable one.
I wish more of her novels were available as e-books.
Posted August 8, 2012
Nigel Bathgate, journalist and friend of DCI Alleyn of Scotland Yard, happens to look out of the window of his flat one wet and windy evening and sees several people entering a doorway underneath a swinging sign of a sacred flame. Bored, he decides to go and see what it's all about and maybe find material for a story for his newspaper.
He manages to talk his way into the ceremony and finds it's a mixture of many religions and he witnesses a group of initiates passing round a goblet until the final person in the circle collapses dead after drinking from the cup. Nigel sends for DCI Alleyn.
The following investigation provides plenty of suspects and clues as well as a fair few red herrings. The book is well written and the plot complex. As ever the characters are well drawn and memorable and even the minor ones stick in your mind. The charismatic Father Garnette is a masterpiece as his House of the Sacred Flame and its flock. Ngaio Marsh was one of the masters of the Golden Age of British detective fiction and if you like your crime novels to keep you guessing almost until the last page then give this one a try. Altogether a literary treat. Thank you.