When a distressed theater owner comes to the Moriartys for help, Angelina jumps at the chance to get back on stage in a plum role during a Christmas pantomime. Moriarty himself is more cautious, but is soon led to invest both his money and his detective skills into the Galaxy Theatre. But as the accidents affecting the production take a sinister turn, it becomes increasingly doubtful whether the show can go on. Moriarty cudgels his brain to discover who could possibly profit if a theater company goes under while trying to protect his wife and other principals from loss of life or limb. At the same time, he must evade the watchful gaze of Sherlock Holmes who is determined to catch the professor in some sort of felony.
The third book in the Professor & Mrs. Moriarty series provided an intriguing look at the backstage of a Victorian theater. The jealousies and rivalries between the dressers, the lighting managers, the scenery movers, and the actors is shown in high relief. Angelina is charming as usual, desperately dieting to shed a few pounds before returning to the stage that she deserted a decade ago. Her brother Sebastian, one of London’s most sought after male leads, takes on the new role of theater manager, using his extensive experience to govern every aspect of the show. Moriarty himself, learns the theater business in an astonishingly short time, finding that his acumen for financial matters may bring him a fine return on his investment as well as help solve the mystery of the murderous ghost at the Galaxy Theatre. This novel is a worthy continuation to the series, and an enjoyable mystery story in its own right.