Series: Roderick Alleyn #24
Published by Felony & Mayhem Press on February 15, 2015 (first published 1966)
Genres: Vintage Mystery
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At the newly restored Dolphin Theatre, murder takes center stage.
The once-dilapidated Dolphin Theater, now restored to its former glory, is open again—and all of London is buzzing about its new play, The Glove, inspired by the discovery of a genuine Shakespearean glove. But on one unfortunate evening, the Dolphin opens its doors to the harshest critic of all: death. Now Superintendent Roderick Alleyn must find out who stole the scene with a most murderous act.
Ngaio Marsh’s Inspector Alleyn books are comfort reads for me. When I’m tired or grouchy or don’t know what I feel like reading, I pick one up. Whenever I see one at a used bookstore I pick it up, but I’m thrilled that they’ve published a bunch for the Kindle.
This one opens with an odd set of circumstances that ends with Peregrine Jay restoring the Dolphin Theater and the opening production is his original play, The Glove, with the Shakespearean glove itself on display. The first half of the book lets us peak backstage. We meet the various actors, witness their petty feuds and jealousies. I enjoy this part of Marsh’s books in general, the characters are always fun, sometimes stereotypical, but she always pulls together great casts. And of course, you’re wondering who’s going to die, because someone is.
The second half of the book deals with Alleyn’s investigation, which consists of lots of interviews and some clue-searching. I really like Alleyn, he’s smart, classy, but a truly nice guy too. He doesn’t have all of the “issues” that most leading detectives seem to have these days. And actually in this one we get most of the clues; I just didn’t put them together.
It’s an enjoyable mystery and I like the glimpse of the theater, fictional though it may be. It’s a fun read, not great, but just what I was looking for.
Peregrine Jay shows up again in Light Thickens, which I read earlier this year. It also centers around a death in the theater and Shakespeare. He doesn’t have the best luck for a director.