Death at the Dolphin by Ngaio Marsh

Death at the Dolphin

This book is titled Killer Dolphin in the US and was first published in 1967, I bought it in a second-hand bookshop in Worcester and it cost me all of £1 – not bad when you consider that the original 1967 price was 18s. 0d. Remember, there were 20 shillings in each pound sterling.

Anyway, I haven’t read anything by Ngaio Marsh for years, so long that I couldn’t even tell you what I have read, but I seem to remember that they were just a teeny wee bit racist in language, always a bit off putting even when books were written in the 1930s. However by 1967 her language seemed to have improved and I must say that I really did enjoy this one, despite it having quite a modern setting, the 1930s are really my favourite vintage crime era.

Peregrine Jay is a young playwright living in London and having a reasonably successful career but when he sees a derelict theatre languishing unloved near his flat, he is determined to bring it back to life. The Dolphin Theatre is his dream project and with the help of Mr Conducis, a rich businessman, the theatre reopens. Then there’s a murder which is investigated by Inspector Alleyn of Scotland Yard and his sidekick ‘Bre’r’ Fox. The whole theatre company is under suspicion.

If you like reading books with a theatre company setting then you’ll probably enjoy this one. Other books with a theatrical setting which I’ve enjoyed are :

The Good Companions by J.B. Priestley

An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge

8 thoughts on “Death at the Dolphin by Ngaio Marsh

  1. Of the 32 books in this series, I read (re-read) the first 15 several years ago. So I haven’t gotten to this one yet. My copy (a more recent paperback, I think) does not have this wonderful cover with the skull.

    Your review encourages me to get back to rereading the series.

    I had some problems with getting email posts from you for a while (at my end, they were being seen as spam), but now I have that fixed. I enjoyed all the pictures of your travels.

    • Tracy,
      Peggy had the same problem with me being spammed, so maybe it was my fault but I’m not very technical, so it’s a bit of a mystery. I’ll definitely be looking out for more by Ngaio Marsh. I’m glad you enjoyed the travel posts as I have quite a lot more to do.

  2. I read tons of Ngaio March when I was a teen, but I seem to have lost my liking for her books. Someone donated a bunch to my library a few months ago and I was almost tempted to buy them…almost. I just knew I probably wouldn’t read them all.
    BTW, I found out yesterday that I do have Scottish blood in me! My great-great-great grandmother, Jeanette Goudie, was from Edinburgh!

  3. Yes, that is her! And her daughter, Emma, settled in Arizona in the town where my grandparents still live. So fascinating! Now I really must visit Edinburgh!
    I think you asked me in an email a while back if I am LDS and I forgot to answer, but, yes, I am a Mormon. Jeanette probably joined the church in the UK and then immigrated to Utah to be with the ‘Saints’.

    • Anbolyn,
      That’s amazing, I had no idea that Mormons had been in Britain for so long. I had a look at this site – but you probably know all about it. It seems that Dickens wrote some essays about LDS emigrants. The LDS ancestry website is great but I have no interest in organised religion, it seems to me that they are all in the business of keeping women down! What a culture shock it must have been for your granny, poor soul, she must have suffered in the heat. I hope you do manage to get to Edinburgh, maybe for the book fair one year!

  4. Katrina, I’m planning a trip over next September and am going to see if I can work Scotland into the plan! To be honest, I don’t attend church very often. I guess you could say I am not a devout Mormon, though I am proud of my LDS heritage. My dad is not Mormon so I was raised half-and-half 😉

    • Anbolyn,
      It would be great to meet up if you do manage to get to Scotland. You should write a book set around your granny’s experiences, do you know where she lived in Edinburgh? I think ‘mixed marriages’ are often good for the children because they don’t only get one side of a religious upbringing!

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