next to last of Dame Ngaio's long career, this entertaining mystery includes Agatha Troy, and is set in New Zealand, both big pluses for me. It's charming, literate, and the plot is more twisted than I expected... a lot of fun.
This is one of my favorite Ngaio Marsh novels. It contains so many of the hallmarks of the 30-odd tales which preceded it. It's set in New Zealand, which the native Ms. Marsh writes about so evocatively. Her cast of characters is from the world of opera, arguably the most theatrical of the performing arts another area in which the author was unusually well-experienced. The scene is, of course, a grand and unique private home in which a group of people, representing several nationalities as well as social classes, is marooned by extreme weather. There are plot twists galore and clues are dropped on us from the first to last chapters, with the resolution withheld to the very final pages. We miss Br'er Fox and friends in this book, but Inspector Alleyn's wife Troy is present and her artistic skills are also well described. I agree with those who think that Ms. Marsh raised the level of this entertaining genre honed by Agatha Christie. In addition to an engrossing plot, she writes beautifully and often makes me laugh out loud, especially with her droll characterizations of the English and the rich. It's the perfect book to take on vacation or to read while homebound by bad weather or an illness.