Inspector Lestrade to the rescue! He asks Mary to be his "mole" in a silent film company owned by megalomaniac Randolph St. John Warminster-Fflyte ("Fflyte films -- Fflytes of fancy") who has decided to make a film about a film company making a film of a production of The Pirates of Penzance. And Mr. Fflyte has a need for authenticity, so they will be filming on location. No, not in Penzance. In Lisbon. You'll need to read the book to find out why.
From the time that Mary appears to the offices of Fflyte Films and introduces herself to general manager Geoffrey Hale, whose assistant she is replacing, the narrative begins to resemble an episode of I Love Lucy, with the distinction that if Mary takes one action things could be fine, the opposite could mean death or worse.
Yes, the tale is more humorous than other stories in the series, but that doesn't make it trivial. Trying to keep track of the whole cast and crew of the production is no easy task, but of course Mary manages magnificently. And in the process, she just happens to solve a mystery or two (with some help from her husband).
This book is truly a delight. It will certainly be enjoyed by Mary Russell fans, and might even draw some more into the company.
*Many thanks to Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.