Murder at Drury Lane

Overview

The curtain rises on murder in this third excursion of the American agent Benjamin Franklin into the criminal underworld of London, when a relaxing night at the theater becomes the occasion for real-life intrigue and suspense. Sent on business by the colony of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin seeks a respite from his duties by attending a new play at Drury Lane Theatre, where the noted actor David Garrick holds sway. But when a heckler tumbles to his death, Franklin is drawn behind the footlights and into a whirl ...
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Overview

The curtain rises on murder in this third excursion of the American agent Benjamin Franklin into the criminal underworld of London, when a relaxing night at the theater becomes the occasion for real-life intrigue and suspense. Sent on business by the colony of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin seeks a respite from his duties by attending a new play at Drury Lane Theatre, where the noted actor David Garrick holds sway. But when a heckler tumbles to his death, Franklin is drawn behind the footlights and into a whirl of backstage mystery. Threatening notes are sent, fires mysteriously lit, and in order to save his playhouse, Garrick engages Ben to bring the miscreant to justice. Ben finds himself in the world of rakes, harlots, and jealous actors and actresses who jostle behind the green curtain. Once again, his keen mind and his broad humanity proves Franklin to be eighteenth-century London's most ingenious detective. Filled with the atmospheric charm and color of Victorian London, this is a mystery that demands all of Benjamin Franklin's legendary wit and wisdom.

While on a business trip to England, Ben Franklin decides to attend a new play at London's famous Drury Lane Theatre. During the performance, a heckler tumbles to his death, and Ben is drawn behind the footlights into a whirl of backstage intrigue complete with rakes, harlots, and jealous actors. Martin's.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in 1758, the latest well-crafted and entertaining Ben Franklin mystery (after The Case of the Christmas Murder ) finds the Pennsylvania colony's astute agent in England waging a snail-paced bureacratic battle with the Penn family. With him are his new-found natural son, 12-year-old aspiring artist Nick Handy, and his elder son William, law student and bedazzled admirer of a young actress at David Garrick's Drury Lane theater. But darkness--both actual and metaphorical--threatens the playhouse. Soon inventive Ben is not only devising improved stage lighting but also investigating anonymous letters, attempted arson and murder. Deftly plotted and chock full of historical tidbits, the tale offers a lively mix of real and fictional personalities in vividly depicted 18th-century London streets, taverns and backstage milieux. A recurrent theme here is the anguished situation of women at a time when marriage was virtual slavery, since a woman's possessions, salary and even children were the legal property of her husband. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Ben Franklin and son/narrator Nick return to London, where they witness a heckler's untimely death at the staging of a new play. Third in the delightful series.
Margaret Flanagan
Hall continues his series of Benjamin Franklin whodunits with a top-notch thriller set in the epicenter of eighteenth-century London's bawdy theater district. In addition to conducting pressing political business for the colony of Pennsylvania, Ben also manages to become ensnared in another particularly nasty case of murder. Together with his illegitimate son and indispensable sidekick Nick Handy, Franklin attempts to solve a succession of homicides plaguing the popular Drury Lane Theatre. After he begins receiving threatening letters, David Garrick, the legendary actor, impressario, and co-owner of the Drury Lane, implores the renowned American agitator and inventor to unmask the culprit. When Ben links the disturbing communiques to the seemingly accidental deaths of a disgruntled patron and a scorned playwright, the tension mounts. As the list of suspects narrows to a handful of wayward noblemen and ambitious thespians, the stage is set for yet another fatal confrontation. Hall does an admirable job of capturing Franklin's unique blend of provincial charm and cosmopolitan savvy. A superbly executed and delivered historical mystery.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312951122
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Series: Benjamin Franklin Mysteries Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.77 (h) x 0.79 (d)

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