'So what tips do you need of a criminal nature?'
'Oh, nothing complicated. Just the basic rules for committing the perfect murder will do to be going on with.'
The Rotunda in Dearehaven has a reputation as one of the most distinguished theatres in the country. Its success is due to its owner, Elfrieda Henshaw, a strong-willed woman whose character and methods have moulded a professional and happy company.
Tessa Crichton joins the cast of the new play, only to find the company has been upset by Elfrieda's protégée. Melanie, a young woman with a wayward past who has bewitched the old lady.
As rehearsals get under way, Melanie disappears and everyone except Elfrieda is convinced she has absconded with the theatre's cash. Elfrieda is found dead, in puzzling circumstances which sharpen Tessa's acute antennae for the mysterious. It is then discovered that the famous Rotunda is nearly bankrupt — and the small residue of the once great fortune is bequeathed to Melanie.
In splendid form Tessa ferrets her way to the truth in a most satisfying dénouement.
Death in the Round was originally published in 1980. This new edition features an introduction and afterword by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.
'Actress Tessa Crichton is just the girl to have in the wings when disappearance and death take the stage at a seaside rep. On cue.' Evening News