Ngaio Marsh (Author) Ngaio Marsh was a New Zealand author best known for her 32 Golden Age detective novels featuring Chief Detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn. She is widely regarded as one of the 'Queens of Crime', along with Agatha Christie, D. L. Sayers and Margery Allingham. In 1948, she received an OBE, and in 1966 she became a Dame of the British Empire for services to theatre and literature in New Zealand. She was awarded a Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement as a detective novelist from the Mystery Writers of America in 1978. Marsh died in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1982. Her last novel, Light Thickens, was published posthumously the same year.