The eight novel in the George and Dominic Felse series takes on the character of an opera, not least because it involves a diva, Maggie Tressider, who has gained fame throughout Europe as a remarkable alto with beautiful steel blue eyes. Maggie is unattached, married to her career so to speak, and doing well until one very rainy day, she slides off the motorway and has a big wreck and a near death experience. This in itself might be enough to overcome, but she begins to feel that she is being haunted by someone whose death she helped cause, directly or indirectly. But for the life of her, she can’t remember or think of who this person might be. Enter the private investigator, not George Felse a police inspector, but rather a truly private investigator named Francis Killian, who is given the task of getting to the bottom of things…. Even if it means that he has to tell Maggie she’s now mentally unwell. This novel, written in 1969, like the others is just under 200 pages, and involves lots of daring do, and a murder, and a crime ring, and quite a lot of songs, liede to be precise, in German. The very title of the novel comes in fact from a song about when one dies, and has as their new home, the house of green turf (i.e. one is buried in a green field).
The novel mostly takes place in Austria, which is where Francis has run to ground some leads about a previous relationship Maggie had when she was 19 and on tour with a group of singers. George and his wife Bunty come into the picture when it becomes clear that there is some connection between Maggie’s problem, and a crime ring and a murder George has been trying to sort out.
This novel is a good read, and especially if you like music and the emotions music prompts, including hyperbolic actions and promises etc. then you will enjoy this novel. I would put this novel a notch or two below the immediately preceding ones, The Grass Widow’s Tale, preceded by Black is the Color of my True Love’s Heart. Nevertheless, it is a good read, and Peters maintains the suspense right to the end of the tale.