A gathering of former college friends brings back memories, not all of them nice.
Nicky D’Amico (A Habit for Death, 2006) has stepped in as stage manager for a far-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The theater group includes all but one of seven special Baldwin University buddies; the director is Nicky’s former classmate and lover, Marcus Bradshaw. The play follows Shakespeare in casting all male actors—a famous drag queen plays Titania—but the costumes are modern in the less-is-more tradition. When Alex Isola, who plays Puck, is found dead in a gated theater alley, it appears that someone connected to the show must be guilty. Hardened producer Anna Mikasa holds things together despite the drag queen’s antics, the annoying presence of two color therapists dogging their idol Stacey Rose (Oberon) and a good deal of tension from unresolved college relationships. Meantime, Nicky is romanced by Marcus and Sean (Bottom). He’s still half in love with Marcus, who’s conquered his alcohol and drug habit. Nicky’s friends and fellow sleuths Paolo and his partner Roger are on hand to give advice and support. Nicky hopes the killer is their pot-dealing landlord or one of the drag queen’s pals rather than one of his dearest friends, but the clues all lead him to a disturbing conclusion.
An insider’s look at theatrical production and a nail-biting mystery for likable Nicky.