Murder of Gonzago: An Antonia Darcy and Major Payne Investigation
by R.T. Raichev
Review by Verna Suit
Soho Constable Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616950866
Date: 17 April 2012 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
R.T. Raichev is back with another delightful literary farce. This time an actual murder takes place during an amateur re-enactment of The Murder of Gonzago, Shakespeare’s play within the play of Hamlet. No one mourns the victim, Lord Remnant, because he deserved to die, but was his murder unintentional or planned?
The murder took place on Lord Remnant's private island in the Caribbean, but fortunately it was filmed. Back in London, the new Countess Remnant receives a copy of the film and is intrigued. She asks Major Hugh Payne to investigate her brother-in-law's elaborately staged death. Major Payne and his mystery author wife Antonia interview all those who were present, and in good classical mystery tradition, they find that everyone is suspect. To complicate things further, a mysterious Mr. Quin is inexplicably left a large amount of money in Lord Remnant's will.
Like its six predecessors in this series, The Murder of Gonzago is packed with references to classical mysteries and their conventions, literature, and all branches of the arts. Word play abounds. A familiar motif in Raichev's novels is someone dressing up as another person and this book has variations on that theme in abundance.
The final showdown takes place in the wonderfully Gothic Remnant Castle, a 1000-year-old former priory with 58 rooms. With plenty of unexpected twists and a good ending, The Murder of Gonzago is pure fun!