As in her previous book, Grave Mistake, Ngaio Marsh offers up a lady of a certain age, high-strung and hyperventilating, two ticks short of neurosis. Photo Finish's dead diva, the soprano Isabella Sommita, was widely loathed, so much so that the problem is less a lack of plausible suspects than an embarrassment of options. Though the grand country-house - and with it, the country-house murder - was history by 1980, when Photo Finish was originally published, Dame Ngaio got around the problem by setting the story on a lavish island estate, cut off from the mainland by a sudden storm. Happily, Inspector Alleyn is among the guests, and can take charge in the coppers' absence. The penultimate book in the series, Photo Finish is also one of only four books set in Marsh's native New Zealand. It's nice to think that she came home at the end.