From Publishers Weekly
Introduced in A Little Gentle Sleuthing , plucky mystery writer Melissa Craig gets a taste of real-life nastiness in her low-key fourth adventure. Melissa agrees when millionaire Richard Mitchell asks her to write a murder mystery script for his birthday celebration on Halloween. But then in rehearsal at Mitchell's recently purchased Heyshill Manor Hotel in the Cotswolds, one of the players, a quiet, tense friend of Mitchell's, is fatally injured in a fall down the cellar steps. Mitch suspects the death was not accidental and asks Melissa to investigate quietly, suggesting she begin with the hotel manager. Melissa is puzzled to learn that the manager, whose wife has used exquisite art reproductions in decorating the hotel, has had a mechanic fit his car with a dummy tail pipe. On a walk in the countryside, she spies a car mysteriously leaving a hidden shed. As Halloween nears, Melissa uncovers a hidden stash of artwork and must figure out if the various mysteries she is encountering are connected. Fortunately her old friend Detective Chief Inspector Ken Harris comes to her aid and between them they solve the murder. Craig's slender plot is plumped up considerably by likable Melissa and her coterie of friends.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Another unabashedly retro adventure for Agatha Christie- wannabe Melissa Craig (Over the Edge, 1993, etc.), who agrees to write a mystery farce for the Stowbridge Players to perform at Heyshill Manor, the hotel recently acquired by blowhard millionaire Richard Mitchell. Rich Mitch is besieged by the contending forces of Dittany Blair, a librarian who plays the heroine in Melissa's play, and the Hon. Penelope de Lavier, of the Dizzy Heights boutiques. But the murder of Mitch's old mate Will Foley leads Melissa far afield from Mitch's romances, though closer to her own romantic interest, Chief Inspector Ken Harris, who keeps warning her to quit investigating the evidence that places an art-theft ring in Heyshill Manor. The inspector would sleep better if he realized that he was in the kind of book in which nothing really happens to the heroine. The stock characters are dusted off and put through their paces (archly civil spats, midnight searches, endless cups of tea) amiably enough until the unmasking of the hilariously unconvincing villain. By and large, though, it's all as soothing as a nice game of Clue. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.