Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: November 29th, 2022
Pages: 304, paperback
November 1911. Lady Emily Hardcastle is celebrating her birthday by seeing a play at the Duke’s Theatre in Bristol with her maid and confidante, the inimitable Flo. Act One is a triumph. Then Act Two opens with a body on stage—a real one. One of the cast has been brutally murdered during the interval.
When other matters get in the way of Inspector Sunderland overseeing the case himself, he asks the ever-resourceful Lady H to keep a watchful eye on the suspects—and his police colleagues. Rustling up some cunning disguises of their own, she and Flo are soon in deep cover among the cast and crew, pulling back the curtain on some shocking secrets and rivalries…
The problem is, everyone seems to have a motive, and everyone seems to have an alibi…In this locked-room mystery in which nothing is as it seems, the amateur sleuths need to put on the performances of their lives if they’re to stand a chance of shining a spotlight on the truth…
It’s November 1911, and Lady Hardcastle is celebrating her birthday with friends at a theatre in Bristol. But before the curtain drops, she and her maid, Flo, will be pulled into solving yet another murder. The lead investigator makes more of a mess than the murderer. Can they set things ship shape and Bristol fashion before the killer kills again?
As always, it’s the banter and love between Emily and Flo that make this such a fun read. The mystery maybe isn’t quite as twisty as some of their cases, and the actors are peculiarly indifferent to, you know, having a murderer in their midst, but honestly, I read the books more for Emily and Flo’s antics than for the actual mystery.
This time out, we get to meet Flo’s twin sister, Gwen. Gwen helps out with not only this case, but a smaller case where someone is pilfering from the local pub.
While it’s nice that their friend Inspector Sunderland trusts and respects them enough to ask for their help, in this book, it seemed more like he was asking them to do his work for him. It’s true that Flo and Emily were investigating on their own, and would have, whether he wanted them to or not, but I thought better of the inspector before this.
As usual, our heroines solve the case and save the day. Ride along in their Rolls for a fun and funny historical cozy.