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STAGESTRUCK – “What Went Wrong?”

July 5, 2011

Stagestruck, A Peter Diamond Investigation

by Peter Lovesey

Soho Press, 2011

$25 hardcover, 325 pages

Here’s murder, theater and police procedural that displays in-depth understanding, yet I can’t help comparing this novel to those by Stuart Brent that give us real insight into television, theater or movies in a way more intrinsic to the outcome of the plot. This seems to me re-run Agatha Christie, where the least suspicious character (in this case kind of a comic buffoon on the investigating force) is ultimately trapped in the Agatha Christie box of the Bath Royal Theater.

There are twists and turns—one being the Chief Inspector’s fear of theater curtains?—but I reject any mystery where twenty pages at the end have to be devoted to why a secondary figure is really at the heart of all that has happened. I think some of the internal police politics could be interesting, but they inventively prove red herrings to lead us astray. No this is not the work of a master. Some very visual scenes, but any reader expecting more from the title and cover blurbs will be the real victim.

Order this directly from amazon for only $16.50. Click:  Stagestruck: A Peter Diamond Investigation

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