Murder at the Theatre Royale was just as much fun as I’d hoped after reading Murder Most Festive. It’s not related to the first book at all, except in that it’s set at Christmas, and the narrative positively flies by — even more so than Murder Most Festive, I’d say. I’m a little disappointed there’s nothing else by Ada Moncrieff for me to inhale, because I had a lot of fun.
The main character of this one is more appealing than Murder Most Festive, through her determined industry at an actual paying job (rather than living off an estate) and her enthusiasm for her work. Daphne King is an agony aunt for a newspaper, but she wants to branch out and do more, her appetite whetted by a little mystery she solved involving a kidnapped person writing in to her column in code. Given the opportunity to do a little work for the culture section, she jumps at it, and finds herself embroiled in the mystery of the murder of an aging actor.
Veronica, who over time becomes Daphne’s Watson, is pretty cool too — not as sharp as Daphne, but a working woman trying hard to make her way, and a good companion for a little mystery-solving adventure…
I didn’t, in this case, figure out the culprit or the true motive for a while; I had my eye on a different character, because they seemed so unlikely at first (and the unlikely answer is often true). I should’ve thought more about the information I was being given about another character!
All in all, really enjoyable.