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.
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.
Inspector Alleyn goes to a storm-ridden isle where he confronts a murdered soprano's flamboyant past and delves into an ancient blood-feud while investigating his first 'picture perfect' murder.
A Literary Guild Alternate novel . . .
Author for this book is Ngaio Marsh.
Police Inspector Roderick Alleyn travels to a storm-ridden isle where he confronts a murdered soprano's flamboyant past. He delves into an ancient blood-feud while investigating a "picture perfect" murder. - Cover blurb
A Sicilian opera star is being stalked by a paparazzo. At the end of the season, she vacations in New Zealand on an island in the middle of a lake. While on the island, she and her new lover, a very young composer who is besotted with her, are rehearsing an opera he has written for her. The house is full of her entourage of performers and other guests, including Troy Alleyn who is there to paint the diva, and the Inspector who has been asked by the Yard to go along and secretly observe suspected organized crime figures who are part of the house party. Unexpectedly, evidence of the paparazzo is found on the island. Then the diva is found dead in her locked bedroom. The cast of characters/suspects is diverse. Was she killed as part of a vendetta? To make things worse,a huge storm hits the area unexpectedly and all the suspects are trapped on the island with no way to communicate with the authorities. Inspector Alleyn is the only one to be trusted with preserving the evidence for the police. Very good!
Inspector Alleyn investigates the murder of the world's most famous soprano. Marsh keeps you guessing to the end.