Bloody Instructions

Simon Shaw, Author
Simon Shaw, Author Doubleday Books $17 (224p) ISBN 978-0-385-42442-4
Hardcover - 978-1-86042-052-8
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Noel Coward could have written this snappy show-biz tale starring English actor Philip Fletcher, the clever, lecherous and charming murderer Shaw introduced in Murder Out of Tune. Invited to join the repertory productions of Twelfth Night and Macbeth scheduled to open in London and move to New York, Philip plays Malvolio in the former and Banquo in the latter, which stars an American movie idol as the main Thane. The ill will between Philip and the young star leads to a fierce public fight. When Philip discovers the young man stabbed to death in a nearly empty theater, he must extricate himself nimbly, especially since the authorities have remained suspicious of his earlier crime capers. Thrust into public attention after assuming the title role in Macbeth , Philip publicly denounces a critic who has given him a nasty review. Then the critic is discovered dead in his bathtub and Philip is in even hotter water. Actor and author Shaw delivers a delicious, cynical denouement, a lively, colorful cast and a series hero who would be boffo on Broadway. (Nov.)
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