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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 fifth 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 1937. The plot centers on a traveling theatrical troupe in New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...
. One of the cast members was a minor character in Enter a Murderer
Enter a Murderer is a detective novel by Ngaio Marsh; it is the second novel to feature Roderick Alleyn, and was first published in 1935. The novel is the first of the theatrical novels for which Marsh was to become famous, taking its title from a line of stage direction in Macbeth, and the plot...
, and refers to that case early in the story.