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Ngaio Marsh
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    (circa April 23, 1895-February 18, 1982)
    Born in Christchurch, New Zealand
    Birth name was Edith Ngaio Marsh
    Wrote 32 novels featuring detective Roderick Alleyn
    Titles include 'Enter a Murderer' (1935), 'Vintage Murder' (1937), 'Overture to Death' (1939), 'Final Curtain' (1947), 'Opening Night' (1951), 'Off with His Head' (1957), 'Death at the Dolphin' (1967), 'Black As He's Painted' (1974) and 'Light Thickens' (1982)
    Served as theater director for the Canterbury University College Drama Society
    Name pronounced 'nigh-o'
    Her father did not register her birth until 1900, leading to some uncertainty about her birth date.
    One of her student-actors described her as 'mannish in appearance, flat chested, rather gawky' with 'large feet with shoes like canal boats.'
    She considered her detective novels 'just a pastime.'
    Critic Edmund Wilson wrote, 'I don't see how it is possible for anyone with a feeling for words to describe the unappetizing sawdust which Miss Marsh has poured into her pages as 'excellent prose' or as prose at all, except in the sense that distinguishes prose from verse.'
    Her fiance died during World War I.
    During World War II, she volunteered with a New Zealand Red Cross transport unit.
    She combined her love of the stage with her detective novel 'pastime' by setting several of her mysteries around theatrical productions.
    With Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham, she was one of the four 'Queens of Crime' during the golden age of detective fiction.

Credit: C. Fishel

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