Author: Ngaio Marsh
Dates: 23 April 1895 – 18 February 1982
Nationality: New Zealander
Title of Book: Colour Scheme
When Dr James Ackrington limped into the Harpoon Club on the afternoon of Monday, January the thirteenth, he was in a poisonous temper. A sequence of events had combined to irritate and then to inflame him. He had slept badly. He had embarked, he scarcely knew why, on a row with his sister, a row based obscurely on the therapeutic value of mud pools and the technique of frying eggs. He had asked for the daily paper of the previous Thursday only to discover that it had been used to wrap up Mr Maurice Questing’s picnic lunch. His niece Barbara, charged with this offence, burst out into one of her fits of nervous laughter and recovered the paper, stained with ham fat and reeking with onions. Dr Ackrington, in shaking it angrily before her, had tapped his sciatic nerve smartly against the table. Blind with pain and white with rage, he stumbled to his room, undressed, took a shower, wrapped himself in his dressing-gown and made his way to the hottest of the thermal baths. Dr Ackrington, standing on the hardened bluish mud banks that surrounded the pool, embarked on as violent quarrel as he could bring about with a naked smiling antagonist who returned no answer to the grossest insults. He then went back to his room, dressed and , finding nobody upon whom to pour-out his wrath, drove his car ruthlessly up the sharp track from Wai-ata-tapu Hot Springs to the main road for Harpoon. He left behind an atmosphere well suited to his mood, since the air, as always, reeked of sulphurous vapours.
Brief Biography: Marsh was a crime fiction writer and theatre director. Alongside Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham and Agatha Christie she is considered one of the four original queens of crime fiction. Marsh was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1966.