I can see it’s flaws, but I can’t help it – I just love this book
This is all the more surprising as I am not a big Marsh fan. I think this one was the first Marsh I read and maybe that explains my love for it.
The Dolphin Theatre is described with such love and detail. Ms Marsh is totally at home with her theatrical characters and she also makes them believable as people from the sixties – my favourite decade! I don’t think the murder was as important to Marsh in this mystery, as the fun she was having with the setting.
Alleyn and Fox are witty together without Marsh making Alleyn too arch – Marsh is prone to do that. No Troy is a bonus. Troy and Alleyn’s relationship has never seemed believable or comfortable to me.
I was a big fan of Judith Krantz‘s work and this was like Krantz on steroids!
The book didn’t really take off for me until Nick’s mother Eleanor started to investigate Rachel. The opening chapter in particular was both ponderous and predictable. But once Nicholas Young, scion of a Singapore family rich beyond the dreams of avarice, and his American girlfriend Rachel arrive in Singapore the novel turns into a crazy roller coaster, of ostentatious wealth, spending, snobbery and greed. I didn’t really warm to any of the huge caste of characters but thanks to Kwan including an elaborate family tree at the start, I had no trouble keeping them straight.
The ending after a few ridiculous twists, suddenly became a much darker story – way darker than I want in my chick lit. But I still couldn’t put the book down and I’m quite sure I will carry on with the series.
I watched the DVD last night (& it is so long since I have watched a DVD, that the staff instruction DVD from our 2017 government elections (I’m from New Zealand) was still inside! and in spite of a really stupid ending, I agree with anyone who says the movie is better. It streamlines things like the opening scene in a London hotel (endless in the book) and the scenery shots are stunning. I’d still read the book for the cultural explanations though. Movie 3.5★
I snapped it up. I saw Ms Goodman speak at a Georgette Heyer conference a few years ago;
and she was a very engaging speaker.
Unfortunately this is a fragment which makes just about zero sense unless you have read the rest of the books. It is well written though, so if I do pick up the rest of the series I may revise my rating. May. I think every piece of published writing should make sense to the reader, no matter where they pick up a series.