Phryne Fisher goes to the theater and witnesses a lead actor and the understudy be poisoned. Helping her friend, the theater manager, discover who poisoned the two actors and who is the trickster that is causing problems for the cast. Phryne is almost tame in this adventure compared to previous books. Phryne being Phryne, does get a new “pet” and solves the murder mysteries, one was decades old. The main cast of characters was not as well developed or mentioned in this book as in others, but the loved characters of Dot, Bert, Cec, Mr. & Mrs. Butler were all mentioned. A great read, and calm adventure compared to Phryne’s past exploits.
Character List/Book Summary:
Phryne Fisher = old friend of Bernard, being followed by a Chinese man, almost killed in the theater when the Prompt was killed
Dot = worried about Phryne visiting the psychic, finds questionable items in the dressing rooms to help Phryne, practicing French with Hugh
Bunji Ross = good friend, pilot, jumped into a fight to help save an elderly Chinese lady, Phryne joins in to save the dress she bought Bunji
Lin Chung = it was his grandmother who Bunji and Phryne saved, was educated at Eton and Oxford, trained as a magician, calls Phryne Silver Lady due to her outfit when they first met, silk trader, becomes one of Phryne’s pets
Diana Ffoulkes = terribly rich, terribly cored, penchant for celebrities, affairs never last, was hoping to get Mr. Evan’s regards
Leila Esperance = opera singer, good voice, evil temper, star of the show, claims there is a ghost and theater is haunted, Phryne finds her antics overrated, claims to have seen the ghost
Walter Copeland = actor, poisoned during the show, mean, never had a good word, takes indigestion pills, dies, cigarette smoke made him ill, had a drinking problem and recently fell off the wagon. Left his house to his dresser, 50 quid to Tom Deeping (doorman), a legacy to Leila, and Herbert who shows promise
Gwilym Evans = actor, born in Wales, 31 years old, smokes, wanted to play Walter’s role, tries to seduce Phryne and fails, flirts with Leila to help boost his career, has flirted and gone through several of the girls in the chorus.
Sir Bernard Tarrant = ask Phryne for help, hesitates to involved the police in the poisonings – but does, manager of the opera house, stills loves Dorothea even years after her death, would have married Dorothea but got a message to not show up and meet her one night, did not know about a daughter Dorothea had until Phryne finds her
Robert “Robbie” Craven = fills in for Walter in the second act, after Walter was poisoned, and was poisoned as well
Detective Inspector John ‘Jack” Robinson = does not like theater, in charge of the murder investigation and leans on Phryne for help with asking questions and looking around the theater.
William Naylor = police constable, Bert warns Phryne to stay away from him as he is bad news and beats up innocent people, attacked the carpenter while trying to question him
Dr. Mark Fielding = called to help with the poisoning, suspects opium was the cause, takes an interest in Mollie Webb and Phryne approves
Mollie Webb = trained nurse, actress, was in the play and helped Dr. Fielding when the two actors were poisoned. 25 years old, Australian, having supper with Dr. Fielding and thinking of joining him as a nurse. Thinks that one of Leila’s suitors is the “ghost”
Herbert Cowl = call boy, about 11, wants to be an actor, likes detective novels/radio shows and offers to help Phryne when he finds out that she is a detective. Ends up being put on contract to be trained as an actor
Selwyn Alexander = actor, gray, fat, balding man. Thinks the ghost is leaving “stolen” items in his room claims to have seen the ghost, goes to a psychic with Phryne and his dresser
Violet Wiltshire = actress, wants to kill Mr. Evans for breaking her heart, he told her he loved her and then left her for Leila, doesn’t believe in ghosts thinks it is a member of the chorus
Dupont Franklin = chorus master, plans on managing and marrying Mellicent Hyland who is a good singer and could be better with his tutoring