Roderick Alleyn Biography - Chief Inspector
crime fiction home

Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn

A Brief Biography

Buy Roderisk Alleyn Books by Ngaio Marsh

Detective Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn was the main series character of the author Ngaio Marsh and made his debut in 1934 in the novel A Man Lay Dead. After being educated at Eton he trained as a diplomat before finally going to Scotland Yard.
Although Marsh resited the temptation to encumber her character with the traditional idiosyncrasies or an eccentric character trait as so many of his predecessors and contemporaries had, he was firmly rooted in the 'Gentleman Detective School.'

Descibed as 'the handsome detective' by the popular press the 6'2" detective was a well crafted character showing strength and determination and, unusually for the Goldenage Age, a deep, humane an emotional side. It was this side of him that no doubt lead him to court and eventually marry the painter and artist Agatha Troy. His wife was subsequently woven into many of the plots providing not only a good foil but an extra dimension as well.
Roderick Alleyn was ably assisted in the early days by the journalist Nigel Bathgate and later by the redoubtable Inspector Fox, a staunch and likeable ally who appeared in twenty-four of Alleyn's cases. A criticism often levelled is that Alleyn's wife and friends appear in plot lines an unrealistic number of times, this seems a little churlish especially given the fact that detective fiction is hardly a genre renowned for realism !
Whatever the critics may say, Troy plays a significant role in twelve of the novels and they are significantly enhanced by her appearance.

Whilst perhaps not the most colourful and dynamic of detectives he is rightly considered as one of the most famous policemen in detective fiction

Ngaio Marsh Bibliography     Ngaio Marsh Biography

Text © 2004 R.D. Collins


Books Wanted     Bibliographies     DW Artists     Home Page