Saturday, November 7, 2009

57 Books from the University Book Sale: Book 7

Title: Death in a White Tie (Fontana Books, 1960)
Author: Ngaio Marsh
Cover artist: John L. Baker (or is that the book owner's signature in the bottom left corner?)

Yours for: make an offer

  • New Zealand in the House!
  • Uh, that tie is not white.
  • Henry was busy entertaining no one with his drunken soft shoe routine when the Rolls Royce came creeping around the corner.
  • I contend that there is no way Henry can see that car, despite the fact that he *appears* to be looking at it.
  • I would say that Henry looks like he's sliding across a newly waxed floor, but in fact he appears to be levitating.
  • Whoa! That is not the author pic I'd use to sell pulp fiction. She looks like she's dreamily recalling the Good Old Days (i.e. the reign of Queen Victoria).
  • LOVE the apostrophe-as-abbreviation marker on 'PHONE. Marsh was always so street, always hip to the lingo of kids those days, etc.

Page 123~

"The ball was a great success, I believe."
"Yes. Lady Carrados was born under a star of hospitality. It is always a source of wonderment to me why one ball should be a great success and another offering the same band, caterer and guests an equally great failure."

It is always a source of wonderment to me that anyone ever found aristocrats inherently interesting.


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Alix said...

My kingdom for a copy editor! Back cover's a hot mess.

Anonymous said...

WANT! My current copy is a hideously tasteful 90's illustration (which is on my flickr stream here as part of my Ngaio Marsh cover art project -

It does have to be said that only one or two of the author pics I've seen of Miss Marsh are any better than this. I don't think she liked having her picture taken at all.

Jen Alien-Spouse

Rex Parker said...

There's more Marsh where that came from, that's for sure. She and M.R. Rinehart were the most common authors in my U. Book Sale haul.

Send me your address off list (rex parker at mac dot com) and I'll send you this book, if you like.


Jerry House said...

"I call the act...The Aristocrats!"

Erik said...

Uh, guys? This doesn't *look* like the Playhouse...

Deb said...

It must be said: If you have a nickname like "Bunchy," isn't it likely that you have something in your life blackmail-worthy?

Marsh was a contemporary of Christie, Sayers, etc. One of the queens of "proper British mysteries." The aristocracy are always treated with a sense of entitlement in her books; in fact, one of her mysteries is called "Death and the Dancing Footman," and the plot revolves around the fact that a servant was dancing to a song on the radio when he should have been standing in the hallway.

Marla said...

The commas look drawn in by hand.