Actress and sometime sleuth Jocelyn O'Roarke (The Queen is Dead, 1994, etc.) is back in Manhattan after a year of varied jobs elsewhere. One of her theater friends, P.J. Cullen, is an assistant stage manager at the regional Peakmont Theater and invites Jocelyn to attend the first preview night of Peter Pana strange production because Peter is being played by tall, 40-ish director Rich Rafelson, against the better judgment of his lover-producer Tony Romero. But all goes well until the final curtain call when Rich flies over the audience and falls to his deathhis harness strap deliberately cut. To Jocelyn's dismay, local police arrest P.J. for the murder. The charge against him is short-lived once a fiery lawyer friend of Jocelyn's takes him on, but a stronger case is built against the theater's master carpenter, Al Brenner, who has a prison record. Certain of Al's innocence, Jocelyn looks for a possible connection to the five-year-old arson firestill unsolvedthat burned down the old playhouse, giving ditsy board chairman Nan Semper and others the new theater they badly wanted. Means and motives grow ever duller and more confusing until Jocelyn stage-manages an unlikely scenario that unmasks the killer. Packed with theater buzz, hip chatter, plot zig-zags, and relentlessly colorful characters: Even theater buffs may find this one more exasperating than compelling.