Ricky Alleyn – perhaps you know his father, Roderick? – first appeared in Spinsters in Jeopardy, as a child. He's now 21, and has taken himself off to a secluded island to write a novel. Or think about writing a novel. Or look for distractions so he can avoid writing a novel. The distractions abound, mostly in the form of colorful local characters (and a rather dishy one), so all is beer and skittles (well, except for the novel) until Ricky stumbles across a murder and then gets himself kidnapped. Which is too bad for Ricky (and the murder-victim), but dandy for the reader, as it brings Inspector Alleyn to the island, and he's on top form. A subtheme involving drug-running may strike a jarring note, but remember, Last Ditch was first published in 1977, and as such, it offers a remarkable look at what happens when the characters and conventions of the Golden Age fetch up in the distinctly tarnished present.
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About the Author:
Ngaio Marsh was one of the queens of the golden age of mystery, writing 32 mysteries in the Roderick Alleyn series. She grew up in New Zealand.
Set in small but cosmopolitan coastal villages in southeast England and northwest France, this Inspector Roderick Alleyn mystery centering on drugs and murder is as comforting and satisfying as a cup of Earl Grey tea. With the deft touch of a master, Marsh paints her highly visual English countryside sets and charming, gracious characters--mixing a broad canvas of upper-class aristocrats, Bohemian artists, channel-faring sailors and dock hands, with the odd village nutter thrown in for good measure. Nadia May is unfaltering in carrying off this wonderful work which, in its simplicity, is a throwback to a less complicated, more gently paced period. M.D.H. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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