cover image What Bloody Man is That?

What Bloody Man is That?

Simon Brett. Holiday House, $14.95 (196pp) ISBN 978-0-684-18824-9

After tedious months of ""resting,'' Brett's endearing actor-sleuth Charlie Paris gladly accepts the offer to play multi-characters in a very economical Macbeth production. At the bar in the Pinero Theatre, in the English town of Warminster, Paris meets producer Gavin Scholes and others in the company. One is Warnock Belvedere, assigned the role of Duncan; he is murdered during rehearsals, to no one's regret. A vicious man, Warnock had offended barman Norman Phipps, his wife Sandra and the members of the cast. Since Charlie is the sole suspect, he turns detective to clear himself and nail the killer. As in all the series entries, this is a charmer enhanced by Charlie's comic asides about ``life upon the wicked stage.'' There are hilarious stories of performances for boisterous school boys who hear sexual overtones in the drama; of thespians upstaging each other; and the maddening delays created by the actress who plays Lady Macbeth. Among Brett's most entertaining creations, she insists on everyone ``interpreting'' the roles instead of acting. (August)