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At her birthday party, aging actress Mary Bellamy revels in the attentions of family, friends, and fans, right up to the moment that one of them murders her with a puff of deadly perfume.
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Ngaio Marsh was one of the queens of the golden age of traditional British mystery, alongside Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, and Dorothy Sayers. She wrote 32 novels in the Inspector Alleyn series. She was born in New Zealand and lived in both New Zealand and England.From AudioFile:
An aging actress of the London stage, Mary Bellamy is getting ready for her fiftieth birthday. To the outside world Mary is charm itself. But inside her circle of family and friends, Mary's evermore frequent "tempers" are taking their toll. It seems one secret too many may have been let loose when Mary is found dead after using her birthday perfume, which turns out to be deadly insecticide. The suspects mount as Inspector Roderick Alleyn sorts through this pack of posers and prima donnas. James Saxon is in perfect voice, playing this dramatic bunch to the hilt. He gets special mileage from the in-house war being fought between the faithful lady's maid and the old nurse with a fondness for port. He moves between high and lowbrow accents with assurance and a quick-moving sense of fun. In some cases the characters become caricatures of themselves, and this only adds to the sense of theater. D.G. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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