A number of people who write murder mysteries provide some kind of background for their settings. Nevada Barr has national parks, Martha Grimes had British pubs, Diane Mott Davidson has a catering service, Susan Conant has malemutes...and Rosemary Boyd has an itinerant opera troupe. When done well, these stories are as good for the background one imbibes as for the plotting and action themselves. Fortunately, Boyd appears to know well the various fascinating details of the lives of opera companies traveling around Europe, performing a few nights in one place, then moving on to the next. This should come as no surprise, of course, given that Ms. Boyd's daughter was involved in just that life for a number of years.
Anyway, the two principals in Così fan Tutte, who had previously been the best of friends, suddenly have a major row just before the curtain is to rise. One of them gets sick during the first act, and dies an agonizing death back stage. The company's hair dresser makes an off-hand comment to the understudy for the stricken diva that the bad blood between the two principals is likely related to something that happened in the Hungarian home town of the one of the divas back before World War II. Apparently, the murdered woman's mother had lived there at the time as well. So, the protagonist, understudy Deanne Brown, investigates. She has some facility at this, we are told, because her mother is a famous writer of mysteries and her father is a forensic chemist.
So, we get a trip or two to Hungary, lots of background on the workings of an itinerant opera company, and the daily lives of the cast and crew, and so forth. It's all good fun.