THE writer of The Avengers and the Professionals has come up with a comparatively new murder/mystery presented this week by the Canterbury Players at the Methodist Church Hall, Brook Road, Flixton.

Murder Weapon is about what happens when Diane (April Johnson) returns home from a concert with her friend, Chief Constable Jessica Bligh (an excellent Caroline Mears) to discover her husband dead and an ex-convict standing over him with a gun.

It would appear to be an open and shut case but the chief constable, determined to get at the facts, starts to investigate immediately.

In an exceptional performance, Charlie Roberts gives the ex-con, Charley Mirren, just released after being arrested for killing his wife and kids, an evil air.

His Charley is not the brightest cookie in the jar. He has a disturbed disposition and his nervous ticks are disconcerting. If anyone looks like a murderer, he does.

There is much banter between the chief constable and her side-kick, Inspector Fremont (John Keggan) as they seek the truth using flashbacks.

Flashbacks are not easy for amateur societies to do but the Canterbury Players illustrate clearly to the audience, what is happening, when and to whom.

Their diction is clear and they get the pace slow enough for the audience to work out what is happening in this complicated plot.

They wind a fascinating detective trail and discover all is not what it seems.

It’s a play that has you on the edge of your seat and the ending is definitely unexpected.

* Murder Weapon is on until Saturday (April 14). For tickets, telephone 0161 748 8403 or email Star rating: * * * *.