Nominated for a 2008 Edgar Award, DEADLY MURDER (aka DEADLY GAME or IF/THEN) is a 3-character thriller in the tradition of SLEUTH and DEATHTRAP. Camille Dargus is a successful New York jewelry designer with a roster of high-end clients, a glamorous loft in Soho, and a weakness for handsome young men. One night, at a boring society function, she picks up Billy, one of the waiters, and brings him home. But there’s more to Billy than meets the eye, and before long she’s summoned her security guard, Ted, to get him out of her apartment. And so begins a game of cat-and-mouse involving a mysterious jewel, reversals, crosses and double-crosses, murder, and a devastating journey into the past that Camille has tried to leave behind.
Holly Johnson, The Oregonian
This Is Gloucestershire
DEADLY MURDER began as a bit of a lark. The Ohio Theater production of CRESSIDA AMONG THE GREEKS had just closed, and I needed a break from war and tragedy. I thought I’d try my hand at a thriller. For fun and profit. Profitable it’s been. It’s the most produced of my plays, having had productions in England, Austria, Germany, The Czech Republic, Greece, and France among others, and the idea of all those Camilles and Billys out there speaking all those languages has been pretty thrilling. With the publication of the Samuel French edition a couple of years ago,the play is now making its way around the U.S. I’ve received various comments on the title (which, in any case, is not mine; I called it IF/THEN; a British producer gave it its current title), but a lot of people like its cheeky redundancy. Perhaps the title captures some of the fun of creating the play. As I wrote in a program note for the Vienna production, “I’ve always loved thrillers and mysteries. When I was a kid, we came home from school and watched Perry Mason on TV. I whiled away summer afternoons with Agatha Christie. I love Ira Levin’s fiendish entertainments, and the elegant gamesmanship of Anthony Shaffer’s SLEUTH.” I can’t hope ever to rise to the level of those masters, but it was enormous fun to try.