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Off With His Head
is a detective novel by Ngaio Marsh
Dame Ngaio Marsh DBE , born Edith Ngaio Marsh, was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. There is some uncertainty over her birth date as her father neglected to register her birth until 1900...
; it is the nineteenth novel to feature Roderick Alleyn
Roderick Alleyn is a fictional character who first appeared in 1934. He is the policeman hero of the 32 detective novels of Ngaio Marsh. Marsh and her gentleman detective belong firmly in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, although the last Alleyn novel, Light Thickens, was published as late as...
, and was first published in 1957. The plot concerns a village festival in the English countryside, and features Morris dancing among other folkloric elements. The novel was published as Death of a Fool
in the United States, a reference to the fact that the murder victim is playing a Fool in the festival.
The novel is classed as a locked room mystery
The locked room mystery is a sub-genre of detective fiction in which a crime—almost always murder—is committed under apparently impossible circumstances. The crime in question typically involves a crime scene that no intruder could have entered or left, e.g., a locked room...