Actors do love their dramas, and the members of the Causton Amateur Dramatic Society are no exception. Passionate love scenes, jealous rages-they're better than a paycheck (not that anyone one in this production of Amadeus is getting one). But even the most theatrically minded must admit that murdering the leading man in full view of the audience is a bit over the top. Luckily, Inspector Tom Barnaby is in that audience, and he's just the man to find the killer. With so many dramas playing out, there's no shortage of suspects, including secret lovers and jealous understudies galore.
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Compared to the previous book in the series, this was a slow one. The body doesn't show up until the half-way mark. Due to the complicated relationships between the characters and the fact that Inspector Barnaby was familiar with most of the suspects, having worked on previous sets for the CADS, a certain amount of set-up was necessary for the story. It would have felt forced and unnatural to shoehorn all that information and backstory in after the murder. However, just because I understand why the book was laid out like this doesn't excuse the fact that it ran a little long. This was a re-read and I remembered quite a lot from the first time and I still kept thinking, "When is he going to die already?" The ending itself was also a bit of a letdown from The Killings at Badger’s Drift. The way Inspector Barnaby revealed who the murderer was felt out of character to me. After recovering the razor, would Inspector Barnaby really go to the theater and confront everybody like that? From my reading of his character he would be more likely to pull the killer aside, mention how he had a few follow-up questions for everybody and then arrest the killer. He never struck me as a showboat and that's what the ending felt like, showing off. I gave this book 3 1/2 stars it just wasn't as good as The Killings at Badger's Drift.