Once more, Robert Barnard brings to center stage his wit and clever plot lines.
In “Death and the Chaste Apprentice” he is right on form and, as usual, a delight to read.
Set at the Ketterick fine arts festival in London, the scene is quickly set: a murder most
horrid! Everybody is suspect yet all have perfect alibies--after all, the death--a knife in the
back!--occurrred while “The Chaste Apprentice” was being presented! Des Capper is the
victim--an obnoxious Australian who is the official host at the Saracen Head Hotel, where
the cast and crew are presenting their play (as well as residing). Of course, the usual
“theatical subplots” are tossed about (infidelity, jealousy, sexual trysts, you name it!).
The book moves along at a delicous pace and, too, we are introduced to Charlie Peace, of
Scotland Yard (Peace appears in other, later Barnard works), who just happens to be
attending the peformance and is quite convenient to assist Superintendent Iain Dundy n his
investigation. With typical Barnardian manner, of course, the murderer is revealed and
the curtain closes on another exciting and worthwhile book!
This report prepared by Bill Hobbs