Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Review: Funeral Of Figaro
Funeral Of Figaro by Ellis Peters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Funeral of Figaro, by Ellis Peters, was first published in 1962 as "operatic whodunnit", as it says. It tells of the events at Leander Theatre, near London, and the murder of one of the best Figaros in the world, right during the fourth act. The theatre company are a very tight-knit group, held together by Johnny, who started all this after the war. It's his war activities, smuggling goods and people, and not always strictly for his country, that bring him trouble with this Figaro, who doesn't belong to the original crew. That Johnny's teenage daughter seems to be interested in the man, who is as old as her father, doesn't simplify matters at all. But those are not the only motives for the murder, and Johnny certainly isn't the only suspect...
Detective Inspector Musgrave, who was in the audience as the crime happened, dives head-first into the investigations, using his time at the theatre to comment on the plays probably more than he comments on the case. No wonder everyone is happy to see him go once all is cleared, the man who prefers Wagner to Mozart!
Yes, I took another break from my Terry Pratchett quest. I found Funeral of Figaro at a jumble sale and, being a huge fan of Ellis Peters, was delighted to learn that she was British and I could include her in the British Books Challenge.
If you'd ever care to ask me for my favourite author, I'd have to name three: Terry Pratchett for his wit and the wisdom in his words, Oscar Wilde also for his wit and for almost making me cry in public, and Ellis Peters (or Edith Pargeter), whose talent with words and descriptions I deeply admire.
I read Funeral of Figaro during two five-hour train rides, almost unable to put it down to get some rest. If you've never read one of Ellis Peter's novels, but want to give her a try, this might be a good place to start.
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