Charles Paris, middle-aged actor turned amateur sleuth, is vacationing at a small English seaside town. Irresistibly drawn to anything theatrical, Charles seeks entertainment at the local music hall and endures a series of not-so-wonderful vaudeville acts in the hope that the man given star billing will be worth watching. This performer, Bill Peaky, comes on stage with his electric guitar, grasps the microphone, and drops dead, due to faulty wiring of the stage equipment.
It looks like an accident, but Charles is not so sure and starts to find out more about the people in the other acts on the bill: Janine, the pretty dancer who disappears; Miffy Turtle, Peaky's manager, a little too sharply dressed and too sharp altogether; Chox Morton, seedy and unduly nervous, manager of another act; Lennie Barber, one-time star comedian trying to make a comeback. The more Charles investigates, the more suspects turn up.
"Typical Brett: Well-realized characters and urbane dialogue...a pronounced touch of irony." (
The New York Times Book Review)
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