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A selection of Dame Ngaio Marsh's published work, including her complete crime novel series.

If you're interested in critical studies, broadcasts or archive materials visit our References page.

I. Novels

A Man Lay Dead (London 1934; New York 1942).

Enter A Murder (London, 1935; New York 1942).

The Nursing Home Murder with Henry Jellett (London 1935, New York, 1941).

Death in Ecstasy (London: 1936; New York, 1941).

Vintage Murder (London: 1937; New York, 1940).

Artists in Crime (London and New York, 1938).

Death in a White Tie (London and New York, 1938).

Overture to Death (London and New York, 1939).

Death at the Bar (London and Boston 1940).

Death of a Peer (Boston 1940; pub. as Surfeit of Lampreys. London, 1941).

Death and the Dancing Footman (Boston, 1941; London, 1942).


Died in the Wool First Edition 1945

Death and the Dancing Footman (Boston, 1941; London, 1942).

Colour Scheme (London and Boston, 1943).

Died in the Wool (Auckland, 1944; London and Boston,1945).

Final Curtain (London and Boston, 1947).

A Wreath for Rivera (Boston, 1949; pub. as Swing. Brother. Swing. London: 1949).

Night at the Vulcan (Boston, 1951; pub. as Opening Night, London, 1951).

Spinsters in Jeopardy (Boston, 1953; London, 1954; pub. as The Bride of Death, New York, 1955). 

Scales of Justice (London and Boston, 1955).

Death of a Fool (Boston, 1956; pub. as Off with His Head. London, 1957).

Singing in the Shrouds (Boston, 1958; London, 1959).

False Scent (Boston and London, 1960).

Hand in Glove (Boston and London, 1962).

Dead Water (Boston, 1963; London, 1964).

Killer Dolphin (Boston, 1966; pub. as Death at the Dolphin (London, 1967).

Clutch of Constables (London, 1968; Boston, 1969).

When in Rome (London, 1970; Boston, 1971).

Tied Up in Tinsel (London and Boston, 1972).

Black as He’s Painted (London and Boston, 1974).

Last Ditch (Boston and London, 1977).

Grave Mistake (Boston and London, 1978).

Photo Finish (London, and Boston, 1980).

Light Thickens (London and Boston, 1982).

II. Short Fiction

The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh (ed.) Douglas G. Greene, New York, 1989 (This volume contains seven known short stories by Ngaio Marsh, plus other short pieces.)

Death on the Air and Other Stories; Susan Howatch (London: HarperCollins, 1995).

“The Figure Quoted” (1927); rpt. in (ed.) O.N. Gillespie, New Zealand Short Stories (London and Toronto, 1930), 209-218.

“Moonshine”; in (ed.) Warwick Lawrence, Yours and Mine: Stories by Young New Zealanders (New Plymouth, NZ, 1936), 21-29.

“Murder at Christmas”, (The Grand Magazine. December 1934); rpt. as
“Death on the Air”, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine January 1948 and in Ellery Queen’s 1969 Anthology. Vol.16 and Sean Manley and Sogo Lewis, Grand Dames of Detection (New York, 1973), 141-176.

"I Can Find My Way Out”, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. August 1946; rpt. in  (ed.) Roy Vickers, Some Like Them Dead (London, 1960), 110-136 and Queen’s Awards 1946 (Boston, 1946).

“Chapter and Verse: The Little Copplestone Mystery”, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Vol. 61 (March 1973), 7-25; rpt. in Ellery Queen’s Murdercade (New York, 1975; London, 1976).

“A Fool About Money”, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Vol.62 (December 1974), 114-118; rpt. in Ellery Queen’s Crime Wave (New York, 1976).

“Morepork”; in (ed.) Julian Symons, Verdict of 13: A Detection Club Anthology (New York, 1978; London, 1979).

III. Non Fiction Books & Monographs

New Zealand [with R.M. Burdon] (London, 1942).

A Play Toward: A Note on Play Production (Christchurch, N.Z. 1946).

Play Production [with drawings by S.M. Williams] (Wellington, N.Z. Post-Primary Bulletin 2 November 1948, pp.373-398; revised 1960).

Perspectives: The New Zealander and the visual arts (Auckland, N.Z. 1960).

New Zealand: A Nations Today Book (New York and London, 1964).

Black Beech and Honeydew (Boston: Little, Brown, 1965; London: Collins, 1966; revised ed. Auckland: Collins, 1981; London: Fontana, 1982).


Black Beech & Honeydew.

An autobiography by Ngaio Marsh

IV. Articles and Essays

“The Background”, The Press (Christchurch, N.Z.), 22 December 1934.

“German Anecdote”, pp. 24-27; in Lady Newall’s New Zealand Gift Book (Wellington, N.Z., 1943).

“Dialogue by Way of Introduction” (with Allen Curnow), First Year Book of the Arts in New Zealand (Wellington, N.Z. 1945), 1-8.

“Theatre: A note on the status quo”, Landfall 1 (March 1947) 37-43.

“Speech habits and social attitudes”, NZ Listener, 18 July 1947, 14-15.

“Is the detective story dying?”, NZ Listener, 17 October 1947, 8-9.

"Angry listener", NZ Listener, 18 June 1948, 8-9.

“Shakespeare in New Zealand”, Education 1 (October 1948), 226-230.

“A National Theatre”, Landfall 9 (March 1949), 66-69.

“The Development of the Arts in New Zealand”, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts. Vol. XCIX, No. 4840 (9 February 1951), 246-259.

“A Note on a Production of Twelfth Night”, Shakespeare Survey. 8 (1955), 69-73.

“My poor boy: advice to a young author”, NZ Listener, 16 August 1957, 8-9.

“New Zealand, Welfare Paradise”, Holiday Magazine 28.5 (November 1960), 102-108.

“The Hand in the Sand”; in (ed.) John Creasey, The Mystery Bedside Book (London, 1960), 191-194.

“When You Take Up Writing You Are On Your Own”, New Zealand Herald (Weekend Magazine, Section I), 26 May 1962.

“Shakespeariana’s Lunatic Fringe”, The Press, 24 April 1964.

“Stratford-on-Avon”, The Atlantic Monthly (February 1967), 116-118.

“Achievement in Fine Arts”, The Times, 6 February 1963 (New Zealand
Supplement), p. 6.

“The Quick Forge”, Landfall 18 (1964), 32-40.

“Not in bondage”, NZ Listener, 17 December 1965, 25.

“Early Reading: Dame Ngaio Marsh" on A Noah’s Ark Geography, Education, Vol. 26:7 (1977), 25.

“Birth of a Sleuth”; in (ed.) A.S. Burack, Writing Suspense and Mystery Fiction (Boston: The Writer Inc., 1977), 123-128.

“Roderick Alleyn”; in (ed.) Otto Penzler, The Great Detectives (Boston & Toronto: Little, Brown, 1978), 3-8.

“Entertainments”, Pacific Moana Quarterly. Vol. 3:1 (January 1978), 27-31.

“Portrait of Troy”; in (ed.) Dilys Winn, Murderess Ink (New York:  Workman, 1979), 142-43;
“Women on Women”, Landfall 130 (June 1979), 101.

“Remembering John Schroder 1885-1980”, Landfall 136 (December 1980), 406-407.

V. Plays

i. Published

The Christmas Tree (London: SPCK, 1962) (Juvenile).

ii. Unpublished

“Little Housebound”; produced 1922, New Zealand.

“Exit Sir Derek”, (with Henry Jellett); produced 1935, New Zealand.

“Surfeit of Lampreys”, Marsh (with Owen B. Howell); produced 1950, UK.  

“The Wyvern and Unicorn”, produced 1955, New Zealand. This play was the basis for the libretto written by Marsh for the opera “A Unicorn for Christmas”, produced 1962, New Zealand.

“False Scent” revised (with Eileen Mackay); produced 1961, UK.

“Sweet Mr. Shakespeare” (with Jonathan Elsom), produced 1976, New Zealand; Norwegian Television 1985 as “Gentle Master Shakespeare”.

VI. Television Script

“Evil Liver”; broadcast 1975, Granada, UK. (Published in The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh, (ed.) Douglas G. Greene, New York: International Polygonics, 1989.)


Learn more about Dame Ngaio's life

Dame Ngaio Marsh was a true pioneer – overcoming the barriers of her time to rise to the peak of society, and her career, as an internationally-successful independent female artist. 

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