• Died in the Wool

  • By: Ngaio Marsh
  • Narrated by: James Saxon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (147 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ngaio Marsh returns to her New Zealand roots to transplant the classic country house murder mystery to an upland sheep station on South Island - and produces one of her most exotic and intriguing novels.

One summer evening in 1942, Flossie Rubrick, MP, one of the most formidable women in New Zealand, goes to her husband’s wool shed to rehearse a patriotic speech - and disappears.

Three weeks later she turns up at an auction – packed inside one of her own bales of wool and very, very dead....

©1945 Original Text of 1945 by Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The brilliant Ngaio Marsh ranks with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"In her ironic and witty hands the mystery novel can be civilized literature." ( New York Times)
"Ngaio Marsh is one of the detective novelists whose books I regularly re-read, always the test of a good detective story." (P. D. James)
"In the front rank of crime-story writers." ( The Times)

What listeners say about Died in the Wool

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Don't miss this one

I almost skipped reading this one because the setting was not in England. It is undoubtably the very best of her work.

3 people found this helpful

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Good story somewhat marred

James Saxon has recorded a number of Ngaio marsh books. He always starts overdramatizing and camping up the characters to an alarming amount and his accents are so thick you can hardly understand the words. Then he eventually settles down and does well

1 person found this helpful

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Death on a farm

Death and spies on a sheep farm in New Zealand. Paxton acts the parts beautifully. recommended

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Dull

I don't know if it is Ngaio Marsh's writing or John Saxon's reading, but I almost always have difficulty keeping my attention on her books. My mind rarely wanders when listening to a book, but with Marsh it is almost always the case. Her mysteries are so forgettable. I have been listening to all her work from the first in order and I could't tell you even the basic story line let alone the killer for most of them so far. Whereas with Agatha Christie I remember both for most of her work...even her bad spy thrillers. Saxon has a deep voice that could lull you into sleep, But he can switch into an over dramatic take on some character, especially one with an accent, and since this book takes place in New Zealand there is a lot of that. All in all Died in the Wool starts with an interesting discovery of the victim pressed into a wool bale. But as soon as Alleyn is on the scene and the suspects are telling their stories, it gets dull, dull, dull. It doesn't help that Alleyn is a pretty dull character at the center of all Marsh's novels.

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  • LH, England
  • 04-01-18

Ruined by the narration

What did you like best about Died in the Wool? What did you like least?

The story is classic Ngaio Marsh, but I find the narration highly irritating. I assume this is a very old recording that Audible has reused. I think this Ngaio Marsh series needs an update. I love her books, but find these performances excruciating to listen to.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Every female character sounds like a parody pantomime dame and most of the men sound like Kenneth Williams doing high camp. It's a pity because I found James Saxon a very watchable actor on TV, but he seems to have been directed to make these narrations as "thespy" as possible and it is too cringeworthy to listen to and enjoy.

Any additional comments?

Please update the Ngaio Marsh books with a different narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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  • The One Who Reads
  • 05-22-17

Dipping into a mystery from the Golden Age

One of Ngaio Marsh's strongest whodunits set in New Zealand on a sheep ranch. A truly gruesome account of the hiding of the victim's body and a fantastic evocation of NZ in the forties.

James Saxon is the perfect narrator for the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cassandra
  • 08-24-22

Slow burner; worth sticking with

Found this a fascinating listen - I appreciate the way Ngaio Marsh plays around with the conventions of the detective novel, with this starting out as a series of psychodramatic confessions from the central characters & then developing into gripping showdown - I stayed awake listening to the final two hours. I particularly loved the evocation of the NZ 'high country'& the thoughtful portrayal of character - brought impressively to life by James Saxon's narration - his NZ accents impeccable & the rendition of the taciturn Ben Wilson is a particular tour de force.

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  • Casbar
  • 04-18-22

Australian spy thriller

enjoyed the story and the setting. characters are the usual marsh bunch but the setting provided a neat twist. the narration was patchy and even changed during the characters span making it difficult to follow in parts. dramatic but a little dated. however worth a go .

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  • Rebecca
  • 12-02-20

Not the best

This book was okay. I found the characters incredibly grating but the story was okay. Not my favourite & I won’t listen to it again. Really loved the narrator though...thought he was excellent & got me through the book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-29-19

Alleyn in NZ

One of the stories during WW2 which sees Roderick Alleyn across the world and away from his usual team and his wife Troy.. He patiently unravels the tortuous strands of the details of the last days of Flossie Rubrick MP whose decomposing body is found in a bale of wool from her homestead. He also seeks out the traitorous agent who is betraying his Country and the Scientific Advance which may help Britain and her Empire defeat the Axis Powers.. Love triangles and adolescent stubbornness threaten to hinder the investigation until at last the culprit is exposed. An enjoyable yarn.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-07-21

excellent Ngio Marsh

great story, well told but some things have not traveled well through time so be aware of out dated comments and ideas

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  • Megan Townsend
  • 01-14-20

Please no more James Saxon

I love Ngaio Marsh's writing, but I have found listening to them really hard, especially any book narrated by James Saxon! I have tried, but I can't listen to anything he narrates, and will be skipping any book in a series narrated by him in the future. Very disappointed, as I like listening to crime novelists books in order.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-23-17

Narration lacking authenticity

A good story, unfortunately marred by unsympathetic narration. james Saxon has a great 'posh' accent for Alleyn, but the rest of the characters sounded camp or over the top, and definitely not New Zealand. I won't be listening to another James Saxon reading.