With his love Joanna off playing violin at a British opera festival, Detective Inspector Bill Slider puts aside his pub time to get involved with the Arts himself. At the BBC studios, a prominent music and opera critic has apparently committed suicide in the gentlemen's loo prior to his scheduled appearance on a panel discussion program.
As Slider and his skilled yet cheeky crew examine the body and blood-smeared scene of the crime, it looks like murder, not suicide. But who killed the renowned critic, and why? There's no shortage of suspects in the studio who wouldn't mind seeing the snooty reviewer permanently silenced. A smarmy rival had a very public feud with the deceased, and the director of the Royal Opera House regularly suffered the dead man's professional scorn. Even the program's staff was not overly fond of their ex-guest. The able police detective uncovers any number of plausible motives -- and absolutely no one has an alibi. Slider soon finds himself cast opposite a very crafty killer in a diabolical two-character opera -- and the critical response could prove fatal.