Rowan Gibbs and Richard Williams, Ngaio Marsh: A Bibliography (Scunthorpe, UK, 1990).


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); 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 Oueen’s Mystery Magazine January 1948 and in Ellery Oueen’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).


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).


“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.


Recordings of radio and television broadcasts by Ngaio Marsh are held in the archives of BBC London, Radio New Zealand and New Zealand Television.  “Portrait from Life”; produced by Jocelyn Hollis (NZBS 1954). 29 minutes.  British Commonwealth Theatre Company interview with Norman Ventura [D series; 11 minutes]. DCDR51: track 5; DAT 1081: track 10 (Radio New Zealand Sound Archives).
“Looking Back” with Elizabeth Alley (RNZ Concert Programme 1980)
“The Play’s the Thing” (Paul Bushnell, RNZ Concert FM 1995).

VI        PLAYS

i)          Published:

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

  1. 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”.


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


 Joanne Drayton, Ngaio Marsh: A Life in Crime (Auckland: Harper
Collins, 2008).

Margaret Lewis, Ngaio Marsh: A Life (London: Chatto & Windus, 1991;rpt. Scottsdale, Az: Poisoned Pen Press, 1998).

Maurice Shadbolt, Ch.5, Love and Legend: Some 20th Century New Zealanders Auckland & London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1976).


i)          Books
Carolyn Lidgard & Carole Acheson (eds.), Return to Black Beech: Papers
from a Centenary Symposium on Ngaio Marsh (Christchurch, N.Z: University of Canterbury Centre for Continuing Education, 1996).

Kathryne Slate McDorman, Ngaio Marsh (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1991)

B.J. Rahn (ed.) Ngaio Marsh: The Woman and Her Work (New Jersey & London: Scarecrow Press, 1995; rpt. in softback 2007).

Glyn Strange, The Little Theatre: golden years of the New Zealand stage (Christchurch: Clerestory Press, 2001).

Mary S. Weinkauf & Mary A. Burgess (eds) Murder Most Poetic: The Mystery Novels of Ngaio Marsh (California: Bargo Press, 1996).

ii)         Essays or Short Entries

Carole Acheson, “Cultural Ambivalence: Ngaio Marsh’s New Zealand
Detective Fiction”, Journal of Popular Culture. Vol. 19:2 (Fall 1985), 159-174;

Susan Baker, ‘Comic Material: Shakespeare in the Classic Detective Story’; in (ed.)

Francis Teague, Acting Funny: Comic Theory and Practice in Shakespeare’s Plays (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1994), pp.164-179.

Susan Baker, ‘Shakespearean Authority in the Classic Detective Story’, Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol.46:4 (Winter 1995), 424-448.

Earl Bargainnier, “Roderick Alleyn: Ngaio Marsh’s Oxonian
Superintendent”, The Armchair Detective 11 (January 1978), 63-71;

Earl Bargainnier “Ngaio Marsh’s ‘Theatrical Murders’, The Armchair Detective 10 (April 1977), 175-81;

Earl F. Bargainnier, “Ngaio Marsh”, Ten Women of Mystery (Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1981), 78-105;

Contemporary Literary Criticism (Michigan: Gale, 1989), Vol. 53, 246-260;

A.C. & L.J. Dooley, “Re-reading Ngaio Marsh”; in (ed.) B. Benstock, Art and Crime Writing: Essays on Detective Fiction (1983);

Jon Elsom, “At the end of the world”, Contemporary Review 237 (August 1980), 78-88.

Bruce Harding, “In Memoriam: Dame Ngaio Marsh”, Landfall 142, Vol.36:2 (June 1982), 242-245;

Bruce Harding, “The New Zealand Stories of Ngaio Marsh”, Landfall 144, Vol.36:4 (December 1982), 447-460;

  1. Bruce Harding, “Wrestling with Caliban: Patterns of Bi-racial Encounter in Colour Scheme and Once Were Warriors”,  Australia and New Zealand          Studies in Canada No.8 (December 1992), 136-155;

    Bruce Harding, “‘The Twin Sisters in the Family of Fiction’: Pirandellian
    Praxis and the Dramatic Narratives of Ngaio Marsh”, Clues: A
    Journal of Detection, Vol.22:1 (Spring/Summer 2001), 135-157.

    Bruce Harding, ‘Ngaio Marsh’; in (eds.) Robin W. Winks & Maureen Corrigan, Mystery and Suspense Writers: The Literature of  Crime, Detection & Espionage (The Scribner Writers Series), Vol.2 (New York: Charles Scribner, 1998),  pp. 665-677.

    J.A. Hiestand, ‘Ghosts and Words: The Home of Ngaio Marsh’, Mystery Scene,  No.57 (1997), 26-30.

    Peter Isaac, “It’s a lonely job”, NZ Book World 35 (April 1977), 4-5.

    P.D. James, “On Ngaio Marsh” (Booklet: London, 1995);

    Christine Kiddey & John Redmayne, ‘An Interview with Dame Ngaio Marsh’, Lymphad: the magazine of Cashmere High School 1970, pp.29-31;

     Glenda Jones, “Death and the Dame: Ngaio Marsh (1895-1982)”, A Shot in the Dark (Brooklyn, 1996), 20-25;

    Gerald Lascelles, ‘Dame Ngaio Marsh: director’, The Press, 23 September 1972, 12;

    Margaret Lewis, ‘Artist in Crime’, Pacific Way, Issue 24 (December 1989), 90-93;

    Margaret B. Lewis, ‘Meet the Ghost of Honor: Ngaio Marsh’, Malice Domestic VII Program Book [1995], pp.10-11;

    Brian McNeill, ‘The theatre of Ngaio Marsh’, Art New Zealand 13 (1979), 26-29.

    Bruce Mason, “In Memoriam: Dame Ngaio Marsh”, Landfall 142 , Vol.36:2 (June 1982), 241-242;

    Jessica Mann, Deadlier than the Male: An Investigation into Feminine Crime Writing  (Newton Abbot and London: David & Charles, 1981), Ch.9;

    Jeffrey Marks, ‘Murder Most Cosy: Malice Domestic 1995’, The Armchair Detective, Vol.28:4 , 272-274;

    Alan Mulgan, “In the million class: Ngaio Marsh and her books”, New Zealand Magazine 31:1 (Jan-Mar 1952), 5-6.

    Donna Huston Murray, ‘Malice Domestic’, Mystery Scene, No.48 (July/August 1995), 15; 62; 65.

    Leroy Lad Panek, Watteau’s Shepherds: The Detective Novel in Britain 1914-1940 (Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1979), Ch.9;

    Frances Parkin, ‘Dame Ngaio in twilight years’, NZ Listener, 22 May 1976, 27.

    B.J. Rahn, “Ngaio Marsh: The Detective Novelist of Manners”, The Armchair Detective    Vol. 28:2 (Spring 1995), 140-147;

    B.J. Rahn, “MWA’s 50th - Ngaio Marsh’s 100th”, Fiftieth Anniversary Mystery Writers Annual (New York, 1995), 15-16;

    B.J. Rahn, “Ngaio Marsh’s Dramatic Detective Novels”, Mystery Scene No. 47 (May/June 1995), 15 & 55;

    N. Robinson, ‘Not so difficult: Ngaio Marsh, author and play producer’, NZ Weekly News 18 July 1951, 5.

    Patricia Roddick, ‘Review’ [Marsh’s TV play Slipknot], Landfall 84 (1967), 366-371.

    Erik Routley, The Puritan Pleasures of the Detective Story (London: Victor Gollancz, 1972), Ch. 13;

    Maurice Shadbolt, “Dame Ngaio Marsh: Shakespearian Queen of Crime”, Readers’ Digest. Vol. 101 (January 1973), 34-39;

    Jasmine Simeone, “Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh: The convergences and divergences of two great talents”, Sidelights on Sayers [DL Sayers Society], Vol.LVI (2006), 33-39.

    Joan Stevens, “Ngaio Marsh: Artist in Crime”, New Zealand Listener, 8 May 1972, 13;

    Terry Sturm, “Popular Fiction”; in (ed.) Sturm, The Oxford History of New Zealand Literature in English (Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1991), 510-514;

    Julian Symons, The Detective Story in Britain (London: Longmans, Green, 1962), 31-32;

    Ronald Thomas, “Ngaio Marsh: Queen of Detective Cookery”, The Mystery Review Vol. 8: No. 2 (Winter 2000), 6-17;

    Mervyn Thompson, “On the Death of Ngaio Marsh”, Landfall 142 (December 1982), 

    Edmund Wilson, “Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?” (1945); rpt. in Classics and Commercials: A Literary Chronicle of the Forties (New York: Farrar & Straus, 1950), 257-265.

    X.        ARCHIVES.

    The principal source of manuscripts, letters, playtexts and theatrical promptbooks is The Alexander Turnbull Library (National Library of

    New Zealand, Wellington). Other holdings can be found in the Ngaio Marsh Special Collection at the Canterbury Public Library (Christchurch) and in the Macmillan Brown Library of The University of Canterbury (Christchurch). A significant number of audio-visual materials, holographic manuscripts, first editions, magazines, journals, photographs and letters are being collected and collated at the newly-established (1996) Ngaio Marsh House (37 Valley Road, Cashmere, Christchurch 8020, New Zealand) which is open for tourists (by appointment only) and to serious scholars and researchers (by special arrangement with the Curator, Bruce Harding). Marsh lived in this house (which the family called “Marton Cottage”) from 1906 to 1982 and it has been recreated to resemble the interior and the half-acre garden as at the time of Marsh’s death. It is administered by The Ngaio Marsh House and Heritage Trust (  A number of Marsh’s manuscripts (holograph and carbon typescripts) are housed in three boxes in the Special Collections of the Mugar Memorial Library at Boston University (the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, 771 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Mass. 02215: Correspondence of Marsh’s American agents is now stored in the Harold Ober Associates Archive, Princeton University Libraries (New Jersey). Some photographs of Marsh are housed in the Harvard Theatre Collection of Harvard University (Nathan Pusey Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138; Email:, where the Curator is Fredric Woodbridge Wilson.