Friday, March 30, 2012

Alleyn and Others: The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh

I love browsing through secondhand bookstores. I'm always on the look out for out-of-print and hard-to-find Kiwi crime novels, and other interesting books. Recently, while I was back visiting family in Nelson I stumbled across this little gem in Brett's Book Exchange in Richmond.

ALLEYN AND OTHERS: THE COLLECTED SHORT FICTION (1989)  is touted as "Dame Ngaio's last book", but is special for more than just that fact. Along with several short stories written by Dame Ngaio starring her longtime detective Roderick Alleyn, it also includes a then-recently discovered story which is believed to be her first published fiction, "The Figure Quoted", which had never before appeared in US publication (and had been out of print elsewhere for more than sixty years).

In addition, this little book includes essays by Dame Ngaio herself about her characters Roderick Alleyn and Agatha Troy, a telescript, and a good introduction to the collection by Douglas G. Greene.

I'm only partway through this collection, but it's very cool reading Dame Ngaio's own words describing the creation of Alleyn on a dreary day full of "remorseless" rain in London in 1931.

Do you like browsing secondhand bookstores? What gems have you discovered?

1 comment:

  1. Craig - Browsing in second-hand bookshops is one of the things I truly, truly enjoy. I'm glad you found this gem; I really am.