The Bloody Man


216 pages
ISBN 1-55128-007-8
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by Albert Stray

Albert Stray is librarian and manager of the Streetsville Public


Set in and around Stratford’s Festival Theatre, this mystery is
presented as a five-part play, complete with cast list; each act is
preceded by a mood-setting quote from one of Shakespeare’s plays.

Jean Claude Keyes, the reluctant sleuth and former Shakespearean actor
turned writer, returns to Stratford to further research the biography of
larger-than-life actor and friend Seamus O’Reilly. Alan Wale, an
egotistical young actor from southwestern Ontario, is “the bloody
man.” A cast-iron bust of Shakespeare is found next to the dead
actor’s head. Keyes fears that his former love, Sandra, may be
involved. In fact, all the principal characters—even Keyes—had a
motive for killing Alan Wale.

The author, a former actor, brings to life a world usually hidden from
those of us on the other side of the curtain. While Amberhill
successfully re-creates the town on the Avon River, some of his
characters seem like caricatures, and it is hard to feel any sympathy
for the victim. Nevertheless, this light read may just put you in the
mood to visit Stratford’s Shakespearean Festival.


Amberhill, Bevan., “The Bloody Man,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,