A cosy Christmas murder mystery with plenty of 1930s charm and glamorous thespians. And a dishy Bob Cratchit. Didn't see that coming.
A newspaper agony aunt steps in for a colleague to cover the local theatre. They are putting on the famous and festive play A Christmas Carol when the actor playing the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, suddenly drops dead during rehearsals. Everyone assumes he has had a heart attack, but the reporter begins to look for clues to a murder.
Set in London in 1935, this book has a lovely period feel with a host of characters who all have their own foibles. The language used is mostly appropriate, with 'quite' and 'queer' used in the ways of early twentieth century England, but a little forced at times. The reporter sets about researching the history of the characters in an attempt to find out whodunnit. Obviously, the police are of no use at all.
Told from the reporter's point of view in the third person, with the occasional delve into other people's thoughts, the story ambles along in a pleasant and stress-free manner. There is a little tension between the cast members and some are better actors than others. Oh yes, the reporter-detective even has a magnifying glass. Jolly stuff.
An enjoyable festive read.
Published by Vintage, Random House UK on 13 October 2022.
Advance review copy supplied by the publisher.