You have probably read hundreds of books that use these ever-fresh ingredients. There is one small English village, peopled by eccentric collectors, partner-swapping couples, and a class system in microcosm, housing well-disguised deviants who write poison pen letters, carry guilty secrets, or devise well-planned murders.
Caroline Graham is a current dealer in these items, and I reckon she turns them into as good an entertainment as any writer, past or present, I know. Her own experience in the theatre provides the amazing verisimilitude in this, her second crime novel. The murder occurs during the opening night of an amateur production of “Amadeus”.
Older readers will recall how New Zealand writer Ngaio Marsh used the theatre for some of her murder mystery settings. Miss Graham is a much better writer. Rarely in detective fiction will you find such depth and variety of character drawing, and such charming and elegant prose.
Her sleuth is Chief Inspector Barnaby and his assistant is Sergeant Troy. As created by Caroline Graham, they are considerably different from their television depictions in a popular series “Midsomer Murders” that has already run to more than twenty episodes.