• The Nursing Home Murder

  • By: Ngaio Marsh
  • Narrated by: Philip Franks
  • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (381 ratings)

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The Nursing Home Murder

By: Ngaio Marsh
Narrated by: Philip Franks
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Publisher's Summary

Sir John Phillips, the Harley Street surgeon, and his beautiful nurse, Jane Harden, are almost too nervous to operate. The emergency case on the table before them is the Home Secretary - and they both have very good, personal reasons to wish him dead.

Within hours he does die, although the operation itself was a complete success, and Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn must find out why....

©1935 Ngaio Marsh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about The Nursing Home Murder

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Ngaio Marsh never disappoints

A particularly imaginative Marsh effort beautifully read by mr. Franks. enjoyed every minute of this gem.

5 people found this helpful

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interesting procedural

I love this author. This is an early book without his wife. Narrator was wonderful.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the greast!

I have been reading Ngaio Marsh's books since I was in my teens( I'm in my 50's). I have read all her books at least twice. I'm on my 3rd go around. I rank her up there with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. When I need a pick up and a change from current mysteries, I go to my Ladies.

3 people found this helpful

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motives are antique but a good story

Inspector Allyn and team go after a 1930's murderer in a private hospital. Not Marsh's best plot but still a good yarn. Beautifully performed. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

This was a great mystery and Phillip Franks is a world class narrator. He brought the characters to vivid life.

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Great Story Well Read

The plot was engaging. The characters were well developed. The voice actor did a superb job.

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Cover mystery and great narration

Though I liked o previous two books on the series a bit better, this one is still very clever and witty, of course. I liked that more of Inspector Alleyn’s personality is revealed. The narrator is very well suited to these books and the voice of the main character. I hope he is the narrator for the rest of the series. I have read the other three grand dames of the golden age of mystery writing, but not Ms. Marsh’s, for some reason. It is interesting that hers is the only series with a policeman as the main character. I am very much looking forward to reading/listening to the remainder of this author’s books.

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Pretty good

One of the good ones. Interesting plot with murder set in operating theatre Nigel bathgate gets cameo otherwise amusing and worth the listen. Pre Troy so Roderick is solo.

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Very injoyable

If you like old fashioned British Mysteries that have a great plot and are not too dark you will enjoy this comfortable listen. The narration was excellent moving the story along at a good pace. There were no fillers and it was just long enough for me not to become tired for the ending. I look forward to listening to another novel by mash with the same
Excellent narration.

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Love it

Ngaio Marsh is a brilliant writer and her detective is a wonderful addition to my already large collection of favourite detectives

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  • Juanita Fogarty
  • 05-13-18

A great listen

Very good story performed entertainingly as ever by the excellent Philip Franks. I recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Teresa
  • 07-25-16

Typical yarn

Nevertheless still enjoyable. Didn't see the outcome.
This is an easy to listen to tale, which is good for destressing.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 06-09-18

Dull and boring

I was surprised that this book was as bad as it was, as I know Ngaio Marsh to be a good crime writer. I could not finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs G P Spurgeon
  • 01-08-18

Murder most foul

If you like a Sherlock Holmes mystery then you will love this. Brilliantly narrated too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rose McGuinness
  • 12-14-17

old style crime you cannot beat it

fab narration and great interpretation of the story the old style stories are the best now to find another

1 person found this helpful

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  • FictionFan
  • 11-19-22

His life in their hands...

The Home Secretary, Sir Derek O’Callaghan, is in the middle of steering an important bill through Parliament to counter the threat from anarchists and Bolshevists. So although he is suffering from intermittent abdominal pains, he is ignoring them until he has more time to deal with personal issues. And the personal issues are piling up! As well as his health and threats against his life from those Bolshies, his doctor, Sir John Phillips, is furious at the way he has treated a nurse who works in Sir John’s clinic, having seduced and then dumped her. It’s probable his wife won’t be too happy if she learns about that little episode either! His sister, meantime, thinks that all his woes and ills can be cured by one of the many patent medicines she acquires from her pharmacist friend. It all comes to a crisis when Sir Derek collapses while giving a speech in the House of Commons. He is rushed to Sir John’s clinic where he is diagnosed with peritonitis requiring immediate surgery. Hmm… surgery carried out by the doctor who’s furious at him, the nurse he seduced, an anaesthetist who previously accidentally killed a patient, and another nurse who is a Bolshevist in her spare time. So when he subsequently dies, it’s not altogether surprising that suspicions of murder arise! Enter Chief Detective-Inspector Roderick Alleyn of the Yard…

It’s a long time since I last read a Ngaio Marsh, but I was very fond of her books back in the day, and happily this was a pleasant revisit. It’s a nice mix of whodunit and howdunit, and the investigation is mostly carried out through a series of interviews Alleyn has with the various suspects. It soon transpires that Sir Derek had been poisoned with hyoscine, a drug that had been used as part of his preparation for surgery. So suspicion naturally falls on Sir John, since he gave the hyoscine injection. But Alleyn quickly realises that many other people had the opportunity to give him another injection or perhaps to have given him the drug in another form. So it all comes down to motive and method – who wanted him dead (lots of people!) and who could have given him the drug, and how.

The one thing that makes me not wholeheartedly love Marsh as much as I do, for example, Christie, is the snobbishness in the books – a fault she of course shares with many of the Golden Age writers. Alleyn is one of these aristocratic policeman (did they ever exist in real life, I wonder?) and his sidekick, Inspector Fox, is a “common man”. Alleyn is very fond of Fox but is horribly patronising towards him, as is Marsh herself. When thinking about it, I wonder if part of the reason that Christie has remained so popular is that Poirot’s sidekick is a man of the same or even higher class than Poirot himself, so that while Poirot may mock his intelligence from time to time there’s no feeling of snobbery. Alleyn’s Fox, Sayers’ portrayal of Wimsey’s sidekick, Bunter, and Allingham’s Lugg, sidekick for Campion, all make the books feel much more dated than Christie and in a way of which modern audiences are less tolerant, I feel. Although I do often wonder what contemporary working class readers, who surely made up the bulk of the readership for all these authors, made of their mockery of the working classes. We were more deferential, for sure, back then, but even so. Anyway, I digress.

Alleyn also has another occasional sidekick in the person of a young journalist, Nigel Bathgate, and he and his fiancée, Angela, appear in this one. Alleyn sends them off to infiltrate an anarchist meeting, and has fun with the portrayal of these bogeymen of the era, complete with stock bearded Russian Bolshevist. Nigel and Angela are Bright Young Things, and provide some levity which lightens the tone. Alleyn himself is quite a cheerful detective, who enjoys his job and has a keen sense of justice. So while the books aren’t quite cosy, nor are they dark and grim.

The eventual solution veers over the credibility line but the general tone of the book means this doesn’t matter as much as it would in a darker style of novel. I was rather proud of the fact that I spotted one or two clues, but I was still surprised when all was revealed.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by Philip Franks, and he did a very good job, getting into the spirit of the more caricatured characters (the Bolshevists, for instance) while making both Alleyn and Fox likeable, as they are on the page.

Overall, an enjoyable reunion with some old friends, and I’m looking forward to revisiting some of the other books. This is an early one, and I may try a late one next, to see if the snobbery gets toned down as time passes.

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  • D. A. Kirkland
  • 04-24-22

Phillip Franks makes an excellent Alleyn

I spent the first few chapters wondering if I'd read this story sometime in the past, I am sure I have, still it was thoroughly enjoyable to listen to again, and Phillip Franks talented reading only added to the enjoyment.

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  • Casbar
  • 01-18-22

cracking who dunnit

great story. rattles along at a cracking pace. very hood narration. was easy to follow all the different characters. very enjoyable

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Preston
  • 07-09-18

Dated but ok

The whole style of this book is very dated as might be expected. However it’s still a decent if undemanding story

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne Carmichael
  • 01-09-18

A quiet read that keeps you guessing.

Very dated and rather slow but gently enjoyable. Some Characters rather incredible but their parts were well read.