The eleventh Peter Diamond mystery from the master of crime fiction, Peter Lovesey.
There's plenty of drama, of the wrong kind, when a fading pop star wanting to launch an acting career at Bath's Theatre Royal gets taken to hospital with third degree burns. In the best theatrical tradition, the show goes on, but the agony turns to murder.
Bath's top detective, Peter Diamond, is on the case - but for reasons he can't understand, he suffers a physical reaction amounting to phobia each time he goes near the theatre. Before he can find the killer, he must face his own demons...
At the start of Lovesey's superb 11th mystery featuring Det. Supt. Peter Diamond (after 2009's Skeleton Hill), pop singer turned actress Clarion Calhoun collapses on stage at Bath's Theatre Royal, the victim of some chemical preparation that disfigures her face. After Calhoun refuses to be interviewed by the police, Diamond's CID boss, Asst. Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore, brings him into the case because Dallymore fears that the tragedy could imperil the Royal's future. Suspicion quickly falls on the dresser who applied Calhoun's makeup before the show, though the motive for the crime remains obscure. The appearance of a dead butterfly leads the company to fear that a death will follow. After the clever reveal of the main criminal, many readers will go back to the beginning to see how artfully a major clue was planted. Once again, Lovesey proves he has few peers as a crafter of contemporary fair-play whodunits.