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Book Note: Ngaio Marsh, Died In the Wool

I read this book about 16-Dec-2003. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1945. This note was last modified Monday, 05-May-2014 22:28:02 PDT.

This is book 13 of the "Roderick Alleyn" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Another WWII one, and another New Zealand one. Alleyn investigates mostly the espionage implications of a murder on a remote sheep station (though they don't use that word; perhaps it's Australia and not New Zealand where they're called that).

A woman is found dead in a bale of wool from her own farm. She's also the MP for the district, and there's classified war work going on there (development of a magnetic anti-aircraft fuse; what the hell is that doing on a remote farm in New Zealand?). Alleyn investigates. Of course there are all sorts of personal complications getting in the way—people keeping secrets for reasons having nothing to do with guilt.

The character sketches are most of the interesting bits. Most of the characters are interesting, as usual. The leading lady, dead very early on, is a work of art. She's pushy, a brilliant politician, frustrated, and sometimes stupid, and very believable and very interesting.

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David Dyer-Bennet