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Death on the High C's (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) [Paperback]

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Item description for Death on the High C's (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) by Robert Barnard...

Opera singers are often described as being larger than life, and certainly this is true of Gaylene Ffrench. Her appetites -- for men, for booze, for attention -- are gargantuan, and her ability to irritate is similarly outsized. So when someone electrocutes the bombastic Australian contralto, few tears are shed at the Northern Opera Company (though it's a pity her understudy's so lousy). In fact, most of the company members are dancing a jig, and it falls on Superintendent Nichols to determine which of them might have helped Gaylene along to her just reward. The black tenor tired of being the butt of Gaylene's bigotry? The soprano weary of jealous whispers in her ears? Gaylene's many bedroom conquests, all anxious to avoid a repeat performance? With so many potential suspects, Nichols has his hands full, but Barnard and his readers have a deliciously malicious good time.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   209
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 7.5"
Weight:   0.52 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 15, 2005
Publisher   Felony & Mayhem Press
ISBN  1933397055  
ISBN13  9781933397054  

Availability  0 units.

More About Robert Barnard

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert Barnard (1936-2013) was awarded the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Nero Wolfe Award, as well as the Agatha and Macavity awards. An eight-time Edgar nominee, he was a member of Britain's distinguished Detection Club, and, in May 2003, he received the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement in mystery writing. His most recent novel, Charitable Body", was published by Scribner in 2012.

Robert Barnard currently resides in Leeds. Robert Barnard was born in 1967 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Freelance Writer and Formerly University of Tromso Freelance Writer th.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > British Detectives
4Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Death on the High C's (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries)?

Death Strikes at the Opera  Jul 11, 2008
Barnard is extremely knowledgeable about opera as he proves in describing a British regional company rehearsing "Rigoletto." The cast of characters he has assembled are fascinating especially Gaylene Ffrench (with two f's) a brassy, bigger than life Australian contralto who loves to toot her own horn, sleep around, and stir up trouble. Barnard's comic and ironic impulses lead him in the direction of caricature, but that adds to the reader's enjoyment.
Two murders keep the reader guessing. As is the case with some of his other books the solution is unsatisfactory, out of left field, because the culprit's motivation seems inspired not by something that evolves out of the plot strands, but by some far-fetched scheme. The fun and pleasure, however, come from the way Barnard tells his story and the interest he builds up in his characters and their foibles. Nothing is as simple as it seems in their lives. Plenty of red herrings are loose in this effort.
Barnard has his good people and his nasty people, and his squalid ones are the most fun. Police Superintendent Nichols, an opera buff, has to sort through the opera suspects. For much of the time he is led astray, but a member of the opera company finally sets him on the right path. While he is at loose ends, we as readers have the most fun.
Barnard is a very clever writer who often uses people in the arts (opera, painting, literature) as the source material for his clever plots. He loves to pit professionals and amateurs in the arts against each other.
A fun reading experience!
Nine Lives Too Many
The Daemon in Our Dreams
The Rice Queen Spy
Clawed Back from the Dead
6 stars if you like opera, 7 if you know Rigoletto  Jan 2, 2006
Robert Barnard is amazing in the way he takes social commentary, disguises it as page-turning fiction, then adds a murder mystery to give it a little extra zing. He's done it in every one of his books that I've read.
Death on the High C's is a sly look at the workings of a provincial opera company preparing to stage Rigoletto while a murder investigation takes place in their midst, but you don't have to be an opera buff to enjoy the shenanigans.
Familiarity with the subject of any story will, of course, enhance your enjoyment of it, but Death on the High C's works, as is usual with Barnard, as flavorful social commentary spiced with murder mystery.
Fun!  Oct 16, 2005
Sure the action gets a bit silly. But what fun.

No need to be an opera fan. Only an appreciation of the difficulties likely to crop up among high-strung, theatrical characters is required. Sit back, enjoy the story and have a good time. Expect a few giggles. Excellent vacation reading.
Only so-so  Sep 24, 2002
In this spoof of opera temperments, Barnard looks at the death of an obnoxious Aussie diva. _Death on the High C's_ may be more interesting to real opera buffs, but to me any mystery was watered down by the overdrawn characters and the rather obvious red herrings the author employs.
Suspense plus spoof of the opera world!  Jan 4, 2002
Robert Barnard once again mixes an intriguing mystery with gently satirical portrait of a budding Manchester opera company with its "prime donne", dictatorial director, even a ex-military stage-door keeper! Highly recommended for those who love (or hate) opera. Even the detective is knowledgeable on the subject. And Barnard works his plot in nicely with production of "Rigoletto" that the company is rehearsing.

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