The Causton Amateur Dramatic Society is preparing to perform Amadeus, and Inspector Barnaby is persuaded to paint the set. In the final act the script calls for Salieri, played by Esslyn Carmichael, to slit his throat. In rehearsals the blade of the razor is wrapped in plastic, and the effect is convincing. But on opening night, the audience is amazed at the reality of the death scene--until they realize it is not brilliantly staged, but horrifyingly real! Barnaby is immediately called on to make some sense of the tragedy. Could Esslyn's suspicion of his wife's affair have drove him to suicide? Or was it murder? It is up to the redoubtable Barnaby to uncover the truth.
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