A Wreath for Rivera

A Wreath for Rivera

Red-hot jazz meets cold-blooded murder.When Lord Pastern Bagott takes up with the hot music of Breezy Bellair and his Boys, his disapproving wife Cecile has more than usual to be unhappy about. The band's devastatingly handsome but roguish accordionist, Carlos Rivera, has taken a rather intense and mutual interest in her precious daughter Felicite. So when a bit of strange...

DownloadRead Online
Title:A Wreath for Rivera
Author:Ngaio Marsh
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Wreath for Rivera Reviews

  • Hannah

    A highly enjoyable, riveting mystery, right up there with

    as one of my favourite Marsh novels. I had almost given up on finding another book of hers that so perfectly balanced an interesting ensemble of characters, a puzzling mystery and slight romance until I picked this up.

    The characters here are probably the highlight, as well as Alleyn's constant presence. The mystery here is also very much a focus, unlike some of Marsh's other novels where it's almost an afterthought. Ma

    A highly enjoyable, riveting mystery, right up there with

    as one of my favourite Marsh novels. I had almost given up on finding another book of hers that so perfectly balanced an interesting ensemble of characters, a puzzling mystery and slight romance until I picked this up.

    The characters here are probably the highlight, as well as Alleyn's constant presence. The mystery here is also very much a focus, unlike some of Marsh's other novels where it's almost an afterthought. Marsh has an effortless talent for setting the scene and revealing her characters' personalities and physical description without making an infodump.

    The complex relationships between the characters are very cleverly revealed through the dialogue in a few scenes; the growth of the relationship between Carlisle and Edward is particularly interesting as it unfolds, almost accidentally.

    My only complaint is that unlike

    , this story did not have as satisfying an ending as I thought it ought to. Alleyn succeeds in his unmasking, but more closure regarding Edward and Carlisle, as well as a resolving of misunderstandings between them, Felicite and Lord and Lady Pastern would have been highly preferred. What we have is only a hint that at least Edward would make up with Carlisle, but little else.

  • Nandakishore Varma

    I

    love British mysteries. True, they are not realistic: more an exercise in cerebration than realistic criminal investigation. It is a sort of magic trick-literary sleight of hand. We try to guess - without success - "whodunit"; and we are delighted when in the last chapter, the detective tells us how the trick was performed.

    Ngaio Marsh is one of queens of British crime fiction, up there with the likes of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and P.D.James. And she writes much of the same t

    I

    love British mysteries. True, they are not realistic: more an exercise in cerebration than realistic criminal investigation. It is a sort of magic trick-literary sleight of hand. We try to guess - without success - "whodunit"; and we are delighted when in the last chapter, the detective tells us how the trick was performed.

    Ngaio Marsh is one of queens of British crime fiction, up there with the likes of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and P.D.James. And she writes much of the same type of mystery. A murder takes place in a closed setting, with just the right amount of suspects to make it interesting and a victim against whom everybody has a grudge. I confess that, being a diehard Christie fan, I neglected most of the other mystery writers during my youth, and am just now discovering Ms. Marsh.

    is the classic British Crime story at its best. There is the eccentric peer, who wants to play drums in the jazz band and is the prime suspect; the sleazy Mexican piano-accordionist in the same band who wants to marry his stepdaughter but unfortunately ends up on the slab; the French wife of the Lord who wants to protect her flighty daughter from the villainous libertine; and the obligatory love triangle. The action is played out during a single night and day, and the novel sizzles ahead. It's an incredibly fast read.

    I had a complaint against an earlier novel by Ngaio Marsh that I saw the solution coming, so I felt let down, even though the story was good. Well, here she has redeemed herself. The thing was staring me in the face, but the red herrings were so good that slowly the eye was taken away from the hand - the classical trick of magicians. So in the end when all was revealed, I was kicking myself for not seeing it: in fact, I had considered the possibility in the beginning, but discarded it as the story progressed.

    I confess this is not much of a review, but I cannot go further without revealing secrets. And I have not mastered the method hiding spoilers in-between.

  • FangirlNation

    Ngaio Marsh enters the post-war years in 1949’s Swing, Brother, Swing, titled A Wreath for Rivera in America and still published under that name on my version of the audiobook. Lord George Pastern, renowned for extreme eccentricity, seems to have finally lost his sanity when he practically builds up a murder case against himself. Lord Pastern has gotten into jazz and playing the drums convincing Breezy Bellair to let him do a special piece with Bellair’s famous jazz band. They do a musical numbe

    Ngaio Marsh enters the post-war years in 1949’s Swing, Brother, Swing, titled A Wreath for Rivera in America and still published under that name on my version of the audiobook. Lord George Pastern, renowned for extreme eccentricity, seems to have finally lost his sanity when he practically builds up a murder case against himself. Lord Pastern has gotten into jazz and playing the drums convincing Breezy Bellair to let him do a special piece with Bellair’s famous jazz band. They do a musical number in which they intend to use a revolver and blanks. However, neither Lord Pastern nor Carlos Rivera, the villainous accordionist star of the band who has given an ultimatum to George’s step-daughter, Felicite, to announce their engagement, can agree on who will pretend to fall over dead. At the time of the performance, Rivera unexpectedly falls over despite the group’s decision to do the other routine. When Bellair bends over the musician as part of the act, he looks concerned and gets the ushers to carry Rivera out, only for the man to die before the doctor in the audience can reach him.

    Read the rest of this review and other fun, geeky articles at

  • Bill

    I enjoy the Chief Inspector Alleyn mysteries very much. The series, by

    is right there with other classic mystery series; like those by Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Elizabeth Daly, amongst others. I've read 7 or 8 of the Alleyn books and they get better with each new story.

    , also written under the title (Swing Brother Swing) is the 15th Alleyn story. I'm reading it out of sequence as I've followed them in order for the most part, but it doesn't take away

    I enjoy the Chief Inspector Alleyn mysteries very much. The series, by

    is right there with other classic mystery series; like those by Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Elizabeth Daly, amongst others. I've read 7 or 8 of the Alleyn books and they get better with each new story.

    , also written under the title (Swing Brother Swing) is the 15th Alleyn story. I'm reading it out of sequence as I've followed them in order for the most part, but it doesn't take away any of the enjoyment by reading this one now.

    There are some details of Alleyn's private life with Agatha Troy that seem to have progressed but they don't play major parts in the story. We have here the story of the family of the Marquis of Pastern and Baggott, a strange and eccentric individual, heading to watch him play in a jazz band; one of his whims. There is a murder that takes place; one which Alleyn actually witnesses as he and Troy are also at the club.

    The murder investigation, lead by Alleyn and his resolute and steady team; his right-hand man, Detective Inspector Fox and the others, is a methodical process and enjoyable to follow. Alleyn is the main character but Ngaio Marsh also provides a voice to Carlisle 'Lisle' Wayne, Lord Pastern's niece, who I liked very much.

    It's a quirky story; the dialogue between Alleyn and Fox is excellent. They are obviously well-used to each other and have an excellent rapport. Lord Pastern is definitely eccentric and his family also have unique characteristics. The mystery is interesting, but at times, not as important as the development of the story, the investigation and the interactions between the characters. The ending was ultimately satisfying and I liked how it was resolved. As always, I enjoy this series very much and look forward to my next one. (3.5 stars)

  • Miriam

    All build-up, then -- fizzle.

    There's this crazy cast of (to me rather annoying and unlikable) characters: the family of rich eccentrics, lounge musicians, drug dealers, magazine columnists... and then once we get the relationships and plot all worked out, it's over. Disappointing. I felt bad for the one pleasant character, having to put up with selfish jerks, and gropey creeps and murder and then not even getting a denouement.

    And I know Marsh stereotypes of Italians and "Latins" is par for the

    All build-up, then -- fizzle.

    There's this crazy cast of (to me rather annoying and unlikable) characters: the family of rich eccentrics, lounge musicians, drug dealers, magazine columnists... and then once we get the relationships and plot all worked out, it's over. Disappointing. I felt bad for the one pleasant character, having to put up with selfish jerks, and gropey creeps and murder and then not even getting a denouement.

    And I know Marsh stereotypes of Italians and "Latins" is par for the time, but it gets a tad irksome of you read more than one mystery with an Italian/Spanish/Latin American character in a row.

  • Becky

    First sentence: From Lady Pastern and Bagott to her niece by marriage, Miss Carlisle Wayne...

    Premise/plot: Carlisle Wayne has been invited to visit by her aunt and uncle, Lord and Lady Pastern and Bagott. Her eccentric uncle will be performing in a band, a jazz band, and it will be an experience. Whether it will be fun or a disaster remains to be seen. Also coming to witness the spectacle is Edward Manx, a family cousin. Lord and Lady Pastern would love for their daughter, Felicite, to marry Edw

    First sentence: From Lady Pastern and Bagott to her niece by marriage, Miss Carlisle Wayne...

    Premise/plot: Carlisle Wayne has been invited to visit by her aunt and uncle, Lord and Lady Pastern and Bagott. Her eccentric uncle will be performing in a band, a jazz band, and it will be an experience. Whether it will be fun or a disaster remains to be seen. Also coming to witness the spectacle is Edward Manx, a family cousin. Lord and Lady Pastern would love for their daughter, Felicite, to marry Edward. Anyone would be preferable to her current love interest, Carlos Rivera. That love affair is a bit rocky. Or else Felicite wouldn't be writing the advice column of a local newspaper!

    Lord Pastern's BIG debut does not quite go according to plan. The plan includes the firing of a gun and playacting. In actuality, a murder is committed in front of an audience. Will Roderick Alleyn and his team be able to solve the crime?

    My thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this one! (It is the third I've read in the series. I've also read A Man Lay Dead and The Final Curtain.) I couldn't help wanting a little more however. I was intrigued by Carlisle. I felt teased by Marsh. Was Carlisle in love with Edward? Was Edward in love with Carlisle? Had they been seeing each other? How close had they gotten? Was she jealous when her cousin started flirting with Edward seemingly out of the blue? Did they work out their misunderstanding? Did they end up together? I NEED TO KNOW. As for the solving of the crime, I had two suspects in mind. I don't know that the clues definitely led to just one firm suspect. In fact, most of the clues were only given to readers AFTER the case had been solved. The detectives had an excuse for that--but it was mighty convenient for the author.

  • Susan

    Published in 1949, this is the fifteenth in the Inspector Alleyn series. It centres around an eccentric peer, Lord Pastern and Bagott, who launches himself from one fad to another. His latest obsession involves joining Breezy Bellairs, the leader of a swing band, whose piano accordanist, the oily (of course!), Carlos Rivera, is making a play for his step-daughter, Felicite, known as Fee.

    With Lord Pastern’s long suffering wife, Cecile, back in attendance, after a long separation – although mainl

    Published in 1949, this is the fifteenth in the Inspector Alleyn series. It centres around an eccentric peer, Lord Pastern and Bagott, who launches himself from one fad to another. His latest obsession involves joining Breezy Bellairs, the leader of a swing band, whose piano accordanist, the oily (of course!), Carlos Rivera, is making a play for his step-daughter, Felicite, known as Fee.

    With Lord Pastern’s long suffering wife, Cecile, back in attendance, after a long separation – although mainly as Lord Pastern’s obsession with Swing music, has led him back to London, where she was residing, and her deep resistance to Rivera’s attentions towards her daughter, tensions are rife. The solution seems to involve inviting Carlisle, Lord Pastern’s niece, and well regarded by Cecile, to stay with the family – a move welcomed by both Cecile and her husband. Edward Manx, a writer, and Lord Pastern’s cousin, also joins the house party.

    Of course, what evolves, are various rows, emotional attachments, scenes and, eventually, murder. A bizarre stunt to shoot Rivera onstage, during one of Lord Pastern’s songs, results in a real death, with Alleyn and Troy, at the next table. Although it stretches credulity that Alleyn – and, indeed, his wife – would wish to spend the evening watching Breezy Bellairs and the Boys, it puts them on the scene and allows him to investigate with the help of the stolid Fox and a late entrance by journalist, Nigel Bathgate. This mystery involves an annoyingly eccentric peer, murder, blackmail and drugs, as well as a side story about who is secretly responsible for the agony page in a magazine.

    Although this novel does feature some nice moments – there is a lovely scene where Fox discovers he is to be a godfather, for example, much of this mystery is a bit of a flat squib. It loses focus and doesn’t use characters well. Carlisle, in particular, who is a foil for much of the plot, seems to have her story unresolved at the end. Marsh does not ‘wrap up,’ her books as well as Christie, who was always adept at gathering all of the characters, however minor, and resolving their stories satisfactorily. Still, I am enjoying her books and will continue the series.

    Rated 3.5

  • Susan in NC

    This one was just okay- I read it with the Reading the Detectives group, and I got the feeling nobody was thrilled with it.

    Another dysfunctional family is at the center of the action - an eccentric peer, Lord Pastern, his estranged wife, her stepdaughter, and a couple cousins. I don’t mind the dysfunctional family - the last book we read had that in spades, but at least there was humor and some sympathetic characters. I couldn’t find one likable character here - well, maybe Carlisle, the cousin

    This one was just okay- I read it with the Reading the Detectives group, and I got the feeling nobody was thrilled with it.

    Another dysfunctional family is at the center of the action - an eccentric peer, Lord Pastern, his estranged wife, her stepdaughter, and a couple cousins. I don’t mind the dysfunctional family - the last book we read had that in spades, but at least there was humor and some sympathetic characters. I couldn’t find one likable character here - well, maybe Carlisle, the cousin who gets caught in the middle of the family drama.

    Lord Pastern is an obnoxious ass - he’s been through several extreme phases, from nudism to yoga to free love, and has now become obsessed with jazz music; he seems to relish dragging his aristocratic wife through embarrassing situations, and they have been living apart (wise of her, I thought). At the beginning of this book, they are back together and he’s taken up with a rather sleazy band leader who will let the peer perform with his band; after a cheesy, incomprehensible performance, one of the musicians lies dead, seemingly shot through the heart in front of the audience.

    Once Inspector Alleyn (who happened to be in the audience) and Fox begin investigating, things improved- I do like their chemistry, and enjoy watching Fox work his magic interviewing the servants! We get an all too brief glimpse of Troy, and the happy news that Fox is to be a godfather - I hope to see more of her in our next Alleyn mystery next month. I will definitely continue with this series, and look forward to reading the earlier mysteries I missed - I prefer reading series in order to follow character development, but each book in the Inspector Alleyn series can be read as a stand-alone.

  • Andree

    Disappointing. This one sort of encapsulates a lot of what is sometimes wrong with these for me.

    Fox and Alleyn are their usual charming selves, but there's too little of them, and they show up to late. And everyone else who is involved in the mystery is annoying.

    Basically, this centres around a ridiculously eccentric English Peer. His family/friends get called together, because his step-daughter is about to make an unfortunate engagement, and he's decided to take up with a Jazz/Swing band. Then

    Disappointing. This one sort of encapsulates a lot of what is sometimes wrong with these for me.

    Fox and Alleyn are their usual charming selves, but there's too little of them, and they show up to late. And everyone else who is involved in the mystery is annoying.

    Basically, this centres around a ridiculously eccentric English Peer. His family/friends get called together, because his step-daughter is about to make an unfortunate engagement, and he's decided to take up with a Jazz/Swing band. Then at the concert, the daugther's almost-fiance (though they had just broken it off) is killed, apparently by the crazy Peer.

    The mystery itself is actually not that bad. It's just that everyone involved is kind of annoying and hateful. The dead almost-fiance is the worst... constantly jealous, and making threats, and just, whatever. I have never understood the attraction to that type. The step-daughter (Felicity) is self-centred, and overly emotional, and just kind of obnoxious. Her mother is really rigid. The Peer himself is crazy-pants

    And the less said about the band itself, the better.

    The only point of interest in this is the secondary romance, which is between two cousins from opposite sides of the family (they're not at all related). They've always been close. They're by far the most sensible characters (apart from Alleyn and Fox). Their interactions are charming. The terrible almost-fiance starts flirting with the female cousin (Carlisle) for a while to try and make Felicity jealous (I know, right? What a prize!). The only notable effects this has are to make Felicity super-catty and to make the other cousin (Ned) sit up and take notice. And then Feelings-Related Realizations are had by both Ned and Carlisle. And it had the potential to be super charming.

    Except then

    That's right, the final resolution happens

    . Given that Ned and Carlisle were the only two characters in whom I had even the slightest interest for most of the book, that is not good enough. I'm not saying the romance needs to take over the story, but if there's going to be a secondary romance in every single one of these things, then there at least needs to be some sort of payoff at the end.

    It doesn't need to be extensive, but I'm going to at least need to see the resolution.

    As it stands, I found this one a bit of a mess. I mean, kudos for making me care about two of the characters, but fail on dropping that narrative ball in the end. Seriously, if you're going to have a romance as a major sub-plot of your novel (and it is a fairly major plot point), you need to end the story. Telling the reader the two characters are going to actually talk (and one assumes) work it out is completely ineffective.

    As it stands, this supports my general contention that romantic relationships are not NM's strong suit. (Which again is mostly problematic because there's a secondary relationship in almost every one of these)

  • Sandy

    Not my favorite. Slow beginning, unlikely murder method and confusing ending. Good visit with Alleyn, Fox and Troy however.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.