18 January 2008

Book Review: Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh

Death at the Bar At the Plume of Feathers inn, someone has committed what looks like a perfect crime. The victim died of poison ... but there was none in their glass, and the other possible murder weapon couldn’t have been tampered with. To complicate matters further, the poison in question was in a bottle locked in a cupboard - and there was a bar full of witnesses to testify that no-one had been near it all evening. It’s up to Inspector Alleyn to work out which of the half-dozen people with motive did the deed and how - before they decide to poison someone else.

At first the crime seemed highly ingenious, but of course there were a few flaws which allowed for the triumph of the even more ingenious process of solving it. As usual, Marsh set up all the clues so that I finished the book feeling like I could have - and indeed should have - been able to spot the killer, if only I’d remembered that one crucial clue ... There was also a nice dramatic turn to events before the end. The only thing I can think of to grumble about was that the descriptions of the crime scene were confusing. While reading it I mentally reassembled the Plume of Feathers several times to accommodate my various notions of how it all fit together.

Rating: B

1 comment:

Judy Thomas said...

I haven't read this one yet, but I always enjoy Marsh's books. Maybe I can get the reviewing I have to do done so I can read something just because I want to!

Newer Posts Older Posts Home
Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776