CeLEhc6W8AANLy6.jpg_largeFor a very brief moment Pearly longs to join but almost immediately her big city suspiciousness takes over and puts a stop to her yearning.

‘Just who are these people,’ she wonders, ‘and what do they really think they know about the arts, dramatic or otherwise? What makes them think that Fallstown even needs a drama society?’ She snorts. ‘This isn’t really the town for that sort of thing.’

In the usual comic book way, one thing leads to another and leads to another and another and another and then one more – like the comforting turn of a well-oiled narrative cog – and it isn’t long before Wanderley disguises himself and his brothers as amateur dramatists and they go along to find out more.

To begin, it appears that everything is normal, but it isn’t long before the flamboyant ways of Octavio Octavious start to arouse suspicion among the young detectives.

‘There’s more to that man than meets the eye,’ reports Wanderley to Pearly. ‘He loves to use really long words while waving his arms around.’

‘That’s not all,’ says Wes gruffly. ‘I checked out his flat while he was at rehearsals.’ He whispers conspiratorially. ‘Full of books, it was. Full of them, I tell you.’

‘Good work, lads,’ says Pearly. ‘I knew there was a chance that something fishy might be going on.’

But nothing fishy was really going on. In fact, nothing much of anything was really happening here, and the struggle beating at the dramatic heart of Pearly Breaks a Leg was more about the writers looking for inspiration than it was about the detective friends solving another mystery.

Pearly almost accuses Octavio Octavious of something but doesn’t in the end, and a lot of time in the story is taken up with people getting up to things backstage whilst rehearsing for a show that never happens.

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