Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse

Angie Tremont decides to take her husband, Gabe, to the Bearcrest Mystery Dinner Playhouse for dinner and a play, saying as a retired detective he will enjoy solving the mystery that’s playing.


Before they get there, Gabe predicts the butler will commit the crime. The setting is an English country inn with owner, cook, butler, and three guests. When a staged death turns real, all heck breaks loose, and Gabe is asked to help solve the murder. He discovers the playhouse director, the cast and a spy from a competing theater all have reasons to want the murdered man dead, Gabe must sort through the lies and acting talent to find out who killed the butler.

Based on 21 Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars What? Retire?

Detective Gabe Tremont thought he was retired when he is unexpectedly pulled in to solve a murder at a local dinner theater. Though this senior detective struggles with aging and retirement—guided by his wife and interesting community neighbors—he’s a policeman first and foremost. And getting back to what he knows best is like walking in old, comfortable shoes. ‘Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse’ showcases Mike Befeler’s easy writing style of creating characters with a sense of purpose and place. Descriptions generate a world of people that will pull you into the story. Be sure to keep track of the clues. This mystery harkens to classic Agatha Christie with multiple suspects—all potential murderers. And don’t discount the intuition of a seasoned detected. I thoroughly enjoyed this. You will, too.

James N Simpson
February 9, 2016

Very Clever Overall Story, But Didn't Like Gabe as Much as Paul Jacobson From the Are Murder Books

Having read most of Mike Befeler’s Are Murder series, upon seeing he had written a book revolving around a completely different character, I thought I’d give it a go, since I loved the other novels but they were getting a bit formulaic, just set in different places. Mystery of the Dinner House has again an elderly lead character (which is fun to experience a story through because it’s pretty rarely done), this one’s name is Gabe Tremont, and he has just retired from being a detective. He’s a lot less eccentric than Paul Jacobson, and unlike Paul, can remember stuff that happened before he went to sleep, which is quite handy when due to staff shortages at his old police station, he is asked to fill in at the murder scene, that he is already at because his wife dragged him there as she thought he would enjoy it. He disagreed. That scene is a dinner theater, where he was supposed to as part of the night’s entertainment, work out along with the other diners, who killed one of the characters from a cast of suspects. Of course things are a lot more serious when a cast member is killed for real. Overall I found Gabe to be a bit less interesting than Paul. The Are Murder series, is a lot more light hearted fun, like that series this book does exaggerate stereotypes of older people, but that series was more the fun stuff, whereas this world is more the grumpy don’t want to do that, can’t see myself spending the rest of my life, pessimistic outlook on life, wife forces him to do stuff he doesn’t want to type of elderly male character trait. The overall story though was good, especially when you find out who murdered the actor, which was cleverly done but Gabe doesn’t draw me to accompany him on his next adventure as much as Paul did.

July 13, 2015

4.0 out of 5 stars Retirement isn't always Enjoyable!

I really liked this book. A fun murder mystery. Hoping it is a series and looking forward to the next one if so. Thinking of retirement myself I could see where Gabe was lost in retirement with nothing to do and not sure what he wanted to do. His wife, Angie, his children and friends knew him better than he knew his self. The murder investigation is a set of revelations about the victim and the suspects and Gabe does figure out his dilemma of what to do in retirement.

The Happy Reader
April 30, 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse is a winner

Mike Befeler’s characters are real, funny, and older. How refreshing. No twenty-two year old bumbling around here. We have a recently retired police officer looking for a reason to stay retired. The searches run through this delightful story, along with his adoration of his wife, and his need to feel useful. I enjoyed this very much.

March 25, 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars Love the way Mikes brain works

Love the way Mikes brain works, lol All of his books are very enjoyable. Love the relationship between Gabe and Angie. This book and mystery is very believable and hope this is a 1st in a new series.

David E. Scott
February 25, 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars I sure enjoyed the way Mike handled the characters and the flow …

I just finished this most enjoyable book and hope there are more stories about Gabe and Angie in the pipe line. I sure enjoyed the way Mike handled the characters and the flow of the story. I also hope at some point to see this story made into a film

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