Artists in Crime: Inspector Roderick Alleyn #6

Artists in Crime - Ngaio Marsh Dame Ngaio Marsh certainly crafted a rich and appealing mystery (circa 1938) within "Artists in Crime". The story finds the lead detective, Roderick Alleyn, investigating the case of a murdered nude model, Sonia Gluck. The list of suspects revolves around eight individuals within an art school, including the owner - Agatha Troy, to whom Alleyn has developed a keen relationship with. All of them have their respective dislike of Miss Gluck, but the larger question is who perpetuated the method of her murder and why. One thing's for sure: things in this particular case aren't always what they seem - accident or not.I have to say that once the pieces fall into place, it's obvious who did the dirty deed and why, but without spoiling this whodunit, the way that Marsh weaves the information and accounts of each character, you almost doubt the guesses you make about each individual until the next to last chapter, and considering there's more than one murder to be had in this story, it makes the case that much more appealing among this cast of colorful characters. Her descriptions, characterization, and prose are all quite immersive and sometimes charming (particularly with the underlying humor), though it's hard to say how many people would take this mystery because it's rooted in its time. I'd also argue that when you first read this book - the amount of information you're given with respect to the eight art students may throw the reader because it seems like a lot of characters to keep up with. However, once the individual interviews start, and the characters start speaking, then they become much more clear cut.The ending/epilogue ties together the mystery threads one by one, and Alleyn is an apt and charming character to follow throughout this book, and I liked the ending well enough for it to end on the note it did, while it does leave a few plot threads dangling for speculation. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the read for what it was - a good mystery with interesting characters. I will say that it shows some measure of age in the language/referals, but I wouldn't say that's a detraction for someone who wants to read into a decent mystery with a likable detective to lead it.Overall score: 3/5