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
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.
Whilst perhaps not the most colourful and dynamic of detectives he is rightly considered as one of the most famous policemen in detective fiction
Text © 2004 R.D. Collins
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