Sleuth - Featured Mysteries

Scripted Mystery

Of Phoenix and Concubines

by Joseph Zeo
Difficulty: Really really hard
City: Shanghai


During the première performance of a Chinese opera at the Grand Theatre, the prima donna is killed in a tragic stage accident… or was it a 'staged' accident!


"[DetectiveName], you must come to our premiere of 'The Concubine'! It's the first time a Chinese opera will play at the Grand Theatre!" the theatre company chief, Heung Hing, exclaimed with enthusiasm.

A Chinese opera - I anticipated an enjoyable experience.

The moment the curtain opened I regretted my assumption. The singing was horrific and the noise of the clattering percussion was deafening, but since Heung Hing was my friend and an influential figure in Shanghai, I could do nothing but bear the opera, sitting beside him in the first row of the audience. Everyone else seemed to be enjoying themselves, so perhaps it was just me.

"It's the first time we've played on a western stage." Heung shouted above the noise, "Traditionally we build our own...