Died in the Wool (Roderick Alleyn, #13) by Ngaio Marsh

1. First lines. 2. Published 2014 Felony & Mayhem First published 1945 3. White and black sheep (detail) [Public Domain] via peakpix 4. A selection of covers of previously published books.
Classic whodunnit, Agatha Christie-style.

The story is set between 1939 and 1942 on a remote sheep farm called Mount Moon in New Zealand’s South Island. Mrs Rubrick, the owner, has been found murdered and stuffed into a wool bale. Inspector Alleyn has been asked to investigate, and spends a few weeks at the house interviewing all the suspects, until finally setting a trap to catch the killer.

“When you pause at midnight in this house, the landscape comes in through the windows and sends something exciting down your spinal column. Out there are the plateau, the cincture of mountains, the empty sparkling air. To the north, more mountains, a plain, turbulent straits, another island, thirteen thousand miles of sea and at the far end, you.”

“It’s always irritating to be a suspect.”

“The garden had been laid out in a nostalgic mood, at considerable expense, and with a bland disregard for the climate of the plateau. Of the trees old Rubrick had planted, only lombardy poplars, pinus insignis and a few natives flourished. The tennis lawn, carved out of the tussocky hillside, turned yellw and dusty during summer.”

~Quotes from “Died in the Wool” by Ngaio Marsh

Note: Ngaio Marsh (1895-1982) was a New Zealand author who wrote 32 detective novels in her lifetime, the last being published in the year of her death. All bestsellers, her books have been republished many times. Honouring her legacy in her home country is the Ngaio Marsh Award, which is awarded annually for the best New Zealand mystery, crime and thriller fiction writing.

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