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Died in the Wool, by Ngaio Marsh (part 2)

"From over in the direction of the men's quarters all the Mount Moon sheep-dogs broke into a chorus, their voices sounding hollow and cold in the dawn air. . . Beyond the still nighted windows, there was only a faint promise of light, a vague thinning, but as he watched, there appeared in the darkness a rosy horn, unearthly clear. It was the Cloud Piercer, far beyond the plateau, receiving the dawn."

Everyone's a suspect and apparently someone is a spy, but the New Zealand landscape is still the most interesting character in Died in the Wool.

aoraki_mt_cook_panorama

"The garden had been laid out in a nostalgic mood, at considerable expense and with a bland disregard for the climate of the plateau. Of the trees old Rubrick had planted, only Lombardy poplars, Pinus insignis and a few natives had flourished. The tennis lawn, carved out of the tussocky hill-side, turned yellow and dusty during summer. The pleached walks of Somerset had been in part realized with hardy ramblers and, where these failed, with clipped fences of poplar. The dining-room windows looked down upon a queer transformation of what had been originally an essentially English conception of a well-planned garden. But beyond this unconvincing piece of pastiche-- what uncompromising vastness! The plateau swam away into an illimitable haze of purple, its boundaries mingled with clouds. Above the cloud, suspended it seemed in a tincture of rose, floated the great mountains."

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
osprey_archer
Oct. 31st, 2014 04:20 am (UTC)
I loved the landscape descriptions in Ngaio Marsh's New Zealand books - I think Died in the Wool is really the best for it, but the others have some nice touches too.
evelyn_b
Nov. 2nd, 2014 02:08 am (UTC)
Are many/most of her books set in New Zealand?
osprey_archer
Nov. 2nd, 2014 03:04 am (UTC)
Most of them are set in England. I know there are at least two others set in New Zealand: Colour Scheme (which is at a hot springs) and Photo Finish.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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