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Summary

A classic Ngaio Marsh novel which features blood-curdling murders in the confines of a riverboat, the Zodiac, cruising through Constable country.

'He looks upon the murders that he did in fact perform as tiresome and regrettable necessities', reflected Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn on the international crook known as 'the Jampot'.

But it was Alleyn’s wife, Troy, who knew 'the Jampot' best: she had shared close quarters with him on the tiny pleasure steamer Zodiac, on a cruise along the peaceful rivers of 'Constable country'. And it was she who knew something was badly wrong even before Alleyn was called in to solve the two murders onboard....

©1968 Original Text of 1968 by Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"The brilliant Ngaio Marsh ranks with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"Cruising through Constable country, in both senses, with a cargo of strongly varied, cunningly suspect characters...the classic detective story." ( The Times)
"It’s time to compare Christie to Marsh instead of the other way around." ( New York Magazine)
"A good Marsh...which puts it into the “must” category." ( The Sun)

What listeners say about Clutch of Constables

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Marsh always delivers.

Firstly, John Saxon is as wonderful as always in his narration and characterization. Admittedly, he keeps mispronouncing the great detective's surname but when the rest of the narration is pitch perfect, it's excusable. Troy Alleyn, the wife of Detective Roderick Alleyn, is the main protagonist in the telling of the majority of this classic novel which is itself novel. I loved the manner in which Marsh uses the vast geographical space between the couple to tell the story in both voices, each taking over where the other leaves off. The denouement is perfectly revealed in almost Christie-like drawing room style, as the tension ratchets up. While the racial slurs of the time can sometimes be quite jarring, thankfully there's no use of political correctness used to sanitise the writing which is of its time. The balance of characters who revile the racism far outweighs any use of language that anyone could find offensive, and doesn't change the fact that Clutch of Constables is a magnificent Marsh resplendent is its beautiful use of language and dark humour.

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Clutch of Constables

An entertaining story with an enjoyable river cruise setting. James Saxon is an excellent narrator.

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Excellent

One of her best. A traditional detective novel with Inspector Alleyn, set on a riverboat in North England and no theatrical types.

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Great!

This is one of my favourite books by Ngaio Marsh, and is excellently read by the narrator. Would thoroughly recommend.

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Ngaio Marsh at her best.

Several other stories by Ngaio Marsh are considered her best but I think this one is by far the most entertaining. Brilliantly read by Mr Saxon.

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  • G. Malloy
  • 14-03-17

A most entertaining performance!

The way Mr. Saxon runs through a challenging variety of genders and accents is sheer virtuosity; his rendering of the American Mr Hewson is especially entertaining!

1 person found this helpful

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  • peter
  • 06-04-22

Full of marsh’s wit and style

Good mystery well constructed interesting characters interesting setting good pace no goofy romance subplot. Recommended

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  • Femaidn
  • 18-09-21

CLASSIC ALLEYN

Unlike Allen, I love it when Troy is mixed in with his cases. And Fox is a wonderful "character actor."

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  • Yorkiefun
  • 16-03-21

Excellent.

Good story as expected from Ngaio Marsh. Pretty good narration. I would listen to more narrated by him.

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  • Sveika
  • 17-10-20

Overly modulated reading crushes great writing

Marsh's writing deserves more respect than this inattentive reading. The same stereotyped up-and-down vocalization is applied regardless of context, meaning, or shift in style. Character voices are either overdone or with little distinction one from another. A great story spoiled.

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  • wiButterfly764
  • 23-01-20

Clever narrative method

As always, a very enjoyable listen. Ms. Marsh's books continue to delight. This entry in the series makes use of a clever narrative method.