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Reeves, John.

Toronto, Doubleday Canada, c1985. 207pp, cloth, $17.95, ISBN 0-385-23036-1 CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Jerry McDonnell

Volume 13 Number 5
1985 September

Inspector Coggin and his wife are attending a performance of Tosca when the tenor is killed in the execution scene. In spite of the fact that there are two thousand witnesses no one could identify the killer or even give the cause of death with any certainty.

Coggin and Sergeant Sump, along with the Toronto police, question everyone connected with the production but come up dry of clues or leads. With painstaking care and an eye for infinitesimal detail, Coggin and Sump interview all of the cast and crew, some several times over, in an attempt to solve the mystery. Examination of the props eventually uncovers a very ingenious and complicated means of murder perpetrated by a member of the production crew.

This is not a story of great action or adventure but rather one of almost cerebral and intellectual detective work that requires a great deal of unravelling. A little knowledge of opera certainly helps too. Because of the lack of action, this book will appeal more to mature readers who enjoy puzzling out the solution from the clues given along the way. Recommended for supplementary reading in the senior grades of high school and for adults.

Jerry McDonnell, F.E. Madill S.S., Wingham, Ont.
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