Spinsters in Jeopardy

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Author: Marsh, Edith Ngaio (1895–1982)

Year: 1953

Publisher: Little, Brown & Co

Place: Boston


278 pages. Octavo (8 1/4" x 5 3/4") issued in grey cloth with turquoise lettering to spine. 1st American edition.

Ngaio (pronounced /ˈnaɪoʊ/) Marsh was educated at St Margarets College in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she was a foundation pupil. She studied painting at the Canterbury College School of Art before becoming an actress with the Allan Wilkie company touring New Zealand. From 1928 onward she divided her time between living in the United Kingdom and in her native New Zealand. She was knighted as a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1966.Internationally she is best known for her 32 detective novels published between 1934 and 1982. Along with Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham and Dorothy L. Sayers, she was classed as one of the four original "Queens of Crime" —female British crime writers who dominated the crime fiction genre in the Golden Age of the 1920s and 1930s.All her books feature British CID detective Roderick Alleyn. Several novels feature her other loves, the theater (Vintage Murder, Final Curtain, Light Thickens, Death at the Dolphin) and painting. Alleyn marries a painter, Agatha Troy, whom he meets during an investigation.Most are set in England, but four are set in New Zealand, with Alleyn on secondment to the New Zealand police (Vintage Murder, Colour Scheme, Died in the Wool), or on holiday (Photo Finish).Her first love, however, was the theater, and in New Zealand she is remembered more for her theatrical endeavors than her detective fiction. In 1942 she produced a modern-dress Hamlet for the Canterbury University College Drama Society (now UCDS), the first of many Shakespearean productions with the society until 1969. In 1944, Hamlet and a production of Othello toured a theater-starved New Zealand to rapturous acclaim. In 1949, assisted by entrepreneur Dan OConnor, her student players toured Australia with a new version of Othello and Six Characters in Search of an Author by Pirandello. In the 1950s she was involved with the New Zealand Players, a relatively short-lived attempt at a national professional touring repertory company.


Jacket fold over edges and hinges rubbed, corners chipped, spine ends chipped, lightly soiled, edge wear with closed tears and creases, price clipped. A very good copy in a good to very good jacket.

SOLD 2014

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