Over the epistolary protests of his wife in Copenhagen, Bertie, the Prince of Wales (Bertie and the Seven Bodies, 1990, etc.), is up to his stiff upper lip in murder again. This time he's in Paris in the spring of 1891 when he learns that Maurice Letissier, the fiancÇ of his old friend Jules d'Agincourt's blooming daughter Rosine, has been fatally shot during an unusually distracting solo number at the Moulin Rouge. Despite the presence of 500 potential suspects, the circle is swiftly narrowed with the discovery of the murder weapon, emblazoned with the d'Agincourt crest and evidently removed from the family's gun room by either Jules, his domineering wife, Juliette, his teenage son Tristan, or Rosine herself. There'll be some piquant twists--Rosine's frank confession that she was willing to marry her family's chosen suitor so that she could give him a son and commence a proper affair with her own lover, painter Glyn Morgan; a most revealing odyssey through the bridegroom's earlier lovers; a climactic showdown in a Turkish bath--and obligatory supporting roles by Moulin Rouge specialist La Goulue, lowlife painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Bertie's sidekick, actress Sarah Bernhardt. This time, though, the story's charm is a little forced and routine. Foolish, lighthearted Bertie's distinctive edges have worn so smooth by now that he seems no more quaint than any other historical detective, and hardly more than any detective at all.