In England’s young silent-film industry, the
megalomaniacal Randolph Fflytte is king. But rumors of criminal activities
swirl around his popular movie studio. At the request of Scotland Yard, Mary
Russell travels undercover to the set of Fflytte’s latest cinematic
extravaganza, Pirate King. Based on Gilbert and Sullivan’s The
Pirates of Penzance, the
project will either set the standard for moviemaking for a generation … or sink
a boatload of careers.
As the company starts rehearsals in Lisbon, the thirteen blonde-haired,
blue-eyed actresses whom Mary is chaperoning meet the swarm of real buccaneers
Fflytte has recruited to provide authenticity. But when the crew embarks for
Morocco and the actual filming, Russell senses ominous currents of trouble: a
derelict boat, a film crew with many secrets, decks awash with budding romance—and
now the pirates are ignoring Fflytte and answering only to their outlaw leader.
Where can Sherlock Holmes be? As movie make-believe becomes true terror,
Russell and Holmes themselves may experience a final fadeout.
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