Death of a Fool by Ngaio Marsh



Death of a Fool (A Roderick Alleyn Mystery) Death of a FoolNgaio Marsh; St. Martin’s Dead Letter 1999WorldCatThe men of South Mardian, England, have a ritual dance for the Winter Soltice. The Dance of the Five Sons is an ancient sword dance, over 200 years old, full of pagan fertility meanings. Traditionally, the Anderson family performs the dance. They do so again on Sword Wednesday in the mid 1950’s. When the dance is almost complete, one of the dancers is found dead, decapitated like the Fool in the symbolic dance. This is no symbol, though. The man is really dead.

Roderick Alleyn is assigned to the mysterious case. How does a man get decapitated in front of over 100 witnesses? Even the hiding place is under observation. No one could come or go from it without being seen. Why was the man killed? It seems the most obvious suspect couldn’t have done it. Now Alleyn must wade through ancient rituals, family squabbles and changing fortunes to find the murderer.

Excellent! Dame Marsh kept me enthralled throughout Death of a Fool. The who-done-it was interesting, the how-done-it kept me glued to the book. The tale not only involves the good mystery, but the after-war mentality as men adjust to life back home and make their way in their normal lives. Death of a Fool shows the reader why Marsh is respected in the mystery genre.

More books by Ngaio Marsh
Roderick Alleyn series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

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