Review – Final Acts

Posted June 9, 2024 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review – Final Acts

Final Acts: Theatrical Mysteries

by Martin Edwards (editor)

Genres: Crime, Mystery, Short Stories
Pages: 347
Series: British Library Crime Classics
Rating: three-stars

"… and what a motive! Murder to save one's artistic soul… who'd believe that?"

Behind the stage lights and word-perfect soliloquies, sinister secrets are lurking in the wings. The mysteries in this collection reveal the dark side to theatre and performing arts: a world of backstage dealings, where unscrupulous actors risk everything to land a starring role, costumed figures lead to mistaken identities, and on-stage deaths begin to look a little too convincing...

This expertly curated thespian anthology features fourteen stories from giants of the classic crime genre such as Dorothy L. Sayers, Julian Symons and Ngaio Marsh, as well as firm favourites from the British Library Crime Classics series: Anthony Wynne, Christianna Brand, Bernard J. Farmer and many more.

Mysteries abound when a player's fate hangs on a single performance, and opening night may very well be their last.

Final Acts is another collection from the British Library Crime Classics series, edited as always by Martin Edwards, and this time all themed around the theatre and acting. It’s a fun spread of stories, not all using the theatre in quite the same way, and as usual demonstrating a bit of a spread across time as well.

The one thing to note is that there’s a repeat story in here, by Christianna Brand. I’m not sure which other anthology it appeared in, or whether it was maybe included with one of her novels, and I’m also not sure (because of that) whether this is the repeat or the other is the repeat. Still, bit disappointing.

Still, as usual, a fun handful of stories.

Rating: 3/5

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