Murder in fiction is not nearly as thrilling as murder in real life
After an entertaining evening at the theatre in London’s West End, Amory Ames and her husband, Milo, encounter an old friend while strolling through the bustling streets. Gerard Holloway, former actor turned wealthy investor, invites them to attend the dress rehearsal of a new play he is directing. However, Amory is shocked to discover that Gerard has cast his mistress, Flora Bell, in the title role, given Amory’s friendship with his wife, Georgina. And behind Gerard’s casual invitation lies a greater cause: he wishes Amory and Milo to help discover who has been sending Flora threatening letters.
Torn between her loyalty to Georgina and the thrill of a mystery, Amory grudgingly accepts his request. But the truth of the Holloways’ marriage causes old anxieties to resurface as Amory looks to her own wayward husband, whose playboy antics have often plagued the society gossip columns. The pair’s enquiries soon reveal that many cast members have a reason to resent Flora, but with an assembled group so skilled in the art of deception and the scene set for murder, can Amory and Milo leave their differences at the stage door and unmask a killer before the final curtain falls?
At the start of Weaver's elegant fifth mystery set in 1930s England (after 2017's The Essence of Malice), London socialite Amory Ames and her husband, Milo, run into their friend Gerard Holloway, who invites them to attend the dress rehearsal of a new play he's producing. Amory admires Gerald and his wife's successful marriage, since she and charming, cavalier Milo have had difficulties in the past. So Amory is shocked to hear that Gerard is having an affair with his beautiful leading lady, Flora Bell. Someone has been leaving threatening letters in Flora's dressing room, though Milo thinks the threats are inconsequential until Amory finds Flora's body hanging from a curtain rope. Suspects include Flora's dissolute brother, her ex-lover costar, and her jealous understudy. When it comes to theater folk, the best way to uncover a killer is to put on a show, and with the collaboration of Milo and canny Detective Inspector Jones, clever Amory devises a drama to force a confession. Lovers of classic, twisty British mysteries will have jolly good fun. Author tour.