In 1934, Ngaio Marsh's first novel, A Man Lay Dead, was published to critical acclaim. For the next fifty years, Marsh wrote more than 30 English detective novels, while simultaneously building a reputation as a distinguished director of Shakespearean theatre. She received the Crime Writers Association's Red Herrings Award in 1955 and was made a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1978. In 1948 Marsh was awarded an Office of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to literature and the theatre, and in 1967, she was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). As a New Zealander, Marsh was the only colonial writer to be ranked with Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Margery Allingham as one of the grande dames of the Golden Age. I> Ngaio Marsh: The Woman and Her Work is a collection of essays celebrating this multifaceted talent-painter, playwright, director and detective novelist. Originally created to celebrate the centenary of Marsh's birth, this comprehensive profile addresses various aspects of this remarkable woman's personality, life, and work.
In addition to the thirteen essays, this volume contains a chronology of Marsh's plays, as well as a bibliography of her novels and short stories. Nominated for both an Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction and an Anthony Award for Best Critical Work, this book is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary woman who captured international acclaim in literature and the arts.
B. J. Rahn teaches English literature at Hunter College in New York. She has been teaching, researching, and writing about crime fiction for over two decades. She has published articles in journals and reference books such as The Armchair Detective, St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writing, Scribner's Mystery & Suspense Writers: The Literature of Crime, Detection, and Espionage, The Dictionary of Literary Biography and the Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing. Professor Rahn is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Crime Writers Association in the UK, as well as the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, the Dorothy L. Sayers Society, and the Margery Allingham Society.