Death and the Assassin’s Blade

During an amateur theater production, Julius Caesar is killed onstage, stabbed by two knives that have been exchanged for props. Not only is the murder in their territory, but Tremayne & Clare are in the audience, and they immediately embark on a winding journey to discover who killed the actor playing Caesar. Along the way, several more members of the dramatic society are found dead, and the duo realizes they must quickly find the killer before the entire troupe is eliminated.

Old and new rivalries are exposed, relationships ruptured, secrets revealed, and lots of finger-pointing occurs amongst the group. With every clue leading to a dead end, Tremayne & Yarwood finally resort to gathering the survivors in a closed room and hashing out every detail, which, through the deductions of a previously discounted character, the entire scheme is revealed.

Philip Strang is usually a concise writer, but he drags out the investigation with all sorts of false leads and dead ends. Tremayne is frequently revealed as tired and dissatisfied, which is likely how readers will feel about the sluggish resolution. Otherwise, this is another good novel from an author who deserves a wider audience.

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