A touring theatre company in New Zealand forms the basis of one of Marsh's most ambitious and innovative novels.
New Zealand theatrical manager Alfred Meyer wanted to celebrate his wife's birthday in style. The piece de resistance would be the jeroboam of champagne which would descend gently into a nest of fern and coloured lights on the table, set up on stage after the performance.
But something went horribly wrong. Chief Detective Inspector Alleyn witnessed it himself. Was Meyer's death the product of Maori superstitions? Or something much more down to earth?