Why this book?
It is World War Two in England. In Ngaio Marsh’s Death and the Dancing Footman a small group of people has been invited to a country house. One of them is killed. The remoteness of the house contributes to the limited group of people as possible killers, making it a classic closed-group story. It’s a good mystery. It also offers a thought-provoking contrast to the real-world event raging at the time, for in the book an English woman is saved by the German doctor. Marsh is not pro-Axis. She’s merely showing our universal dependency on each other to get through a terrifying situation. I loved this idea and thought it quite brilliant of Marsh. And something I think is rather unique in mystery novels.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
A winter weekend ends in snowbound disaster in a novel which remains a favourite among Marsh readers.
It began as an entertainment: eight people, many of them enemies, gathered for a winter weekend by a host with a love for theatre. They would be the characters in a drama that he would devise.
It ended in snowbound disaster. Everyone had an alibi - and most a motive as well. But Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn, when he finally arrived, knew it all hung on Thomas, the dancing footman...