SICKEN AND SO DIE by Simon Brett

SICKEN AND SO DIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Shabby actor-sleuth Charles Paris feels a bit cheerier than usual as this 16th outing begins (A Reconstructed Corpse, 1994, etc.). He's gotten a great Shakespearean role at least--Sir Toby Belch--even if this Twelfth Night is just a sturdy, conventional, touring production. Also, he's living again with estranged wife Frances, even drinking less. Midway through rehearsals, however, things turn grim. The director falls ill (poisoned?) and is replaced by Romanian ``boy wonder'' Alexandru Radulescu--who, to Charles's horror, adds sitar music, casts a tubby West Indian as Sir Andrew Augecheek, and along with some superb visual ideas, adds a slew of radical/trendy gimmicks. (``You will have a `Guns and Roses' T-shirt under your doublet. That would certainly offend Malvolio.'') Then the Viola, a onetime TV star, dies from a lethal injection during the rainy dress rehearsal at an outdoor arts festival. And soon Charles is sleuthing (and boozing) again, convinced that there's been a murderous conspiracy to turn the show into the ultimate gender-bender. Rather feebly plotted, this is hardly prime Brett--but for unpretentious readability he's hard to beat, especially with a few choice send-ups (the ``festival'' racket, politically correct ``artspeak'') and the endearing ups and downs of poor old Charles. (Mystery Guild alternate selection)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-684-82459-0
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1996




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