Talented Simon Brett can't quite put it all together these days. Star Trap (1977) was weak on mystery but resplendent with up-to-date theatrical satire and the charm of shabby actor-detective Charles Paris. An Amateur Corpse (""corpse"" is British show-biz slang for getting the giggles onstage) boasts a timetable/alibi double-loop plot almost worthy of Agatha C., but Charles' charm isn't much in evidence, and the satire--on community theater--is a bit tired. The victim is luscious Charlotte Mecken, leading ingenue of the Breckton Backstagers, a suburban group out of its depth with Chekhov and Shakespeare. The very obvious suspect: Charlotte's much-older, alcoholic hubby Hugo, an ad-man who's been giving Charles some work in TV commercial voice-overs (which provide a few chuckles). Charles, determined to exonerate Hugo, hangs about the Backstagers' clubroom and investigates Charlotte's backstage extramarital activities. Nicely done indeed, but Brett (So Much Blood) can do so much better.