Full Length Play
More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
FEATURES / CONTAINS
Unit Set/Multiple Settings
Mild Adult Themes
Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
In this labyrinthine mystery Inspector John Ruffing returns to try and unravel the increasingly baffling enigma of the poisoning death of a young husband, Charles Reno. Ruffing's predecessor on the case, Derby, who was thrown off it for getting drunk and urinating on the vicar, insists the murderess was Reno's beautiful young wife, Florence, but he can't prove it. He warns Ruffing to be careful not to fall under her spell, that she is like the Lorelei, luring men to their doom. And Ruffing is vulnerable, still recovering from his wife's death and wrestling with a serious drinking problem. He's determined to be objective and find the truth, but truth is murky here. Florence's first husband, the dashing Captain Fortune, has also died under mysterious circumstances. Her companion Jane Nix has a questionable past and a dead husband of her own. Both husbands had become increasingly jealous of the family physician, Dr Bull, who seems to have some sort of hold upon Florence. Old Mrs Reno, Charles' eccentric and demented mother, is convinced that Florence is up to no good, and the servants, Rowan and Tabby, have just about reached the limits of their patience with these people. Was it suicide? Were there in fact two murders? And can Ruffing carve his way through the tangled forest of lies and half truths, put aside his own feelings, and find the solution? And all the while, underneath the framework of this classic mystery, there is another set of deeper questions about the nature of reality, the possibility of certainty, and the destructive and compromised nightmare of desire and love. Part of the continuing series of Inspector Ruffing plays which includes the full lengths Mephisto, Widdershins and Ravenscroft, and the shorter plays Creatures Lurking In The Churchyard, The Rooky Wood, and Demonology.