Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh, Read by Benedict Cumberbatch

Artists in Crime

It started as a student exercise, the knife under the drape, the model’s pose chalked in place. But before Agatha Troy—artist and instructor—returns to the class, the pose has been re-enacted in earnest: the model is dead, fixed for ever in one of the most dramatic poses Troy has ever seen. It’s a difficult case for Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn. How can he believe that the woman he loves is a murderess?

It was said that many people compared Ngaio Marsh to Agatha Christie, I have only read few books by Agatha and this is my first time reading/listening to Ngaio Marsh’s mystery. Based on this one, I think Christie is better.

This is my second audio book read by the handsome Benedict Cumberbatch with his sexy voice. Well, actually I have heard 2 and a half book by him, the first was Metamorphosis by Kafka which I like so much, and the half was Casanova which was terribly boring and even the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch couldn’t keep me hearing it. I think the book of Casanova life is the most narcissist book I have ever heard in my entire life…it was tiring to hear him bragged about how women craved for him so much.

Fortunately, Artists in Crime is quite interesting (well, better than Casanova)…but not interesting enough for me to read it. The truth is, Benny’s many accents kept me going because I have figured out the perpetrator since the crime took place.

Artists in Crime was the 6th series of Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn. The crime took place in a class taught by Ms. Agatha Troy, a woman who became the love interest of D.I Alleyn. It was an art class. Sophia Gluck, a model, was asked to pose with a very uncomfortable position. After Troy drawed her position with chalk, one of her students thrust a knife in where her heart supposed to be. They wanted to paint her as a murder victim. They left the class without finishing the painting. They came back on Monday and when Sophia laid down for the pose, the knife was still there but it was from under the board so the sharp part easily stabbed her heart.

Seriously, I found the killing as the silliest way to kill someone…No matter how sharp a knife is, there are bones on our back and for a knife to pass through the bones and hit the heart will require force. Sophia was pushed by someone to stay still in her uncomfortable position…so it was CLEAR, clear as crystal, that that person was the murderer even though that person pretended as someone who knew nothing about the knife.

When D.I Alleyn conducted his investigation by asking all the students one by one, I felt like screaming “For God’s sake, she/he is the murderer, no investigation needed!!”. Fortunately, although I guessed it right, Marsh still managed to write a bit of surprise at the end.

Story wise, I think Artists in Crime is an okay book.

Now, how about the narrator? Benedict Cumberbatch.

Benny was superb!! It was like listening to a one man show. He changed his accent every time new character was introduced. It felt more like a radio show done by more than one person.

The way he reads this book is better than when he read Metamorphosis.

0306babylove had kindly edited and uploaded the many accents of Benny in Artists in Crime on youtube, enjoy 🙂


I still have two more books by Ngaio Marsh read by Benny waiting to be read/listened 😉

Audio book detail:

Title: Artists in Crime
Author : Ngaio Marsh
Reader: Benedict Cumberbatch
Time: 3 hour 19 minutes
Rating: 2 books for the story but 5 for the reader

14 thoughts on “Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh, Read by Benedict Cumberbatch

  1. I haven’t heard of this author. I’ve only read a few books by Agatha, so i won’t be able to compare them either. Unfortunately the library doesn’t have the audio edition. But I remember you told me to watch the Sherlock series with Benny in it. I’ll add that to my list.

    1. I have never heard of her either till I have Benny’s audiobook.
      Did you listen to his many accent in the youtube video? he is so cool there.
      I hope you’ll enjoy tonight’s Sherlock 🙂 They have been repeating it because series 3 will come out soon.

  2. I have not seen this one before but Agatha Christie
    is definitely worth watching or reading as the plots are
    always very interesting 🙂

    This is a very nice posting Miss. Novia 🙂
    Have a lovely start to your Friday my great friend 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    1. I have read some of Christie but I always know who the culprit was and then I stopped reading it. a mystery that can be guessed easily is not appealing to me.

      Thank you Andro…have a nice weekend 🙂

      1. Yes I know what you mean about that Miss. Novia as it spoils the excitement of reading or watching it 🙂 🙂 There are some other books that you could try along the same lines as Agatha Christie and those are Ruth Rendell, it might be worth you checking some out my great friend 🙂

        I hope that today has been lovely for you, here the sun has been shining all day and has been rather hot 🙂

        Andro xxxx

        1. I have Ruth Rendell on my shelf 🙂
          My friend Caroline told me about her. It’s waiting to read one day.

          So the winter has finally passed on part of the world 😉

  3. I’ve never heard of Ngaio Marsh before. Mystery isn’t really my thing, though I have read a couple of Agatha Christie books. I also like the variety of accents in the reading.

    1. I like mystery but only when I can’t guess the perpetrator, once I figure it out the mystery is no longer fun.
      I have heard several audiobook and I have to say that Benny is my favorite reader, he really into it and always read it in few accents.

  4. I haven’t read the author but I’m familiar with the name.
    I think I’d enjoy the audio book if he manages to do all the accents. I’ll listen to the YouTube version in a minute.

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