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Monday, November 13, 2017

Much Ado about Murder

Much Ado About Murder: A Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery
by Elizabeth J. Duncan

Much Ado About Murder: A Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 7, 2017)
Hardcover 265 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313250
E-Book ASIN: B071RR32NZ

Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest performance of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, Much Ado About Nothing. The company’s steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright.
Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner’s secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund’s plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way?
With a whole cast of characters to investigate, Charlotte is determined to unmask each one before it’s final curtain call on the whole production in award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan’s third Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Much Ado About Murder.

What I Thought:

This is was another great installment of the Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery Series.  In this one, Charlotte is trying to find out who murdered the new director of the current play.  There are many suspects in this one and the author does a great job giving hints as to who could be the killer, but then putting in a twist to lead the reader in another direction.  The writing was superb and the plot was well though out.  I enjoy the returning characters in this series as they are well rounded and very likable and I also like the new characters.  I am not very familiar with theater but the author did a great job with this aspect of the story also.  I look forward to more in this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

About the Author
Elizabeth J Duncan is the author of two mystery series – Shakespeare in the Catskills and the Penny Brannigan mystery series set in North Wales. She is a two-time winner of the Bloody Words Award for Canada's best light mystery and lives in Toronto.

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Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Tarkington Treasure

The Tarkington Treasure (The Charlotte Ross Mysteries)
by Evelyn Cullet

The Tarkington Treasure (The Charlotte Ross Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Self Published
Paperback: 338 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1540852106

"In the world of logic, it's always our assumptions that lead us astray."
A spooky old house, rumors of a hidden Civil War treasure, a neighbor’s murder, and an ex-fiancé falling unconscious at her feet—Charlotte Ross has her hands full when she’s invited to stay at her friend, Jane Marshall’s home while her apartment is being renovated.
Jane and her new fiancé have sold everything to move to the large estate she’d just inherited near the small town in Illinois, where she grew up. She’s always loved the house, but the cost of living in, and fixing up, a deteriorating old mansion is more than both their incomes combined. If she can’t come up with the money for the next property tax payment, she’ll be forced to give it up.
Charlotte is intent on winning back her ex, but her efforts are stymied when he’s suspected of murder.
The two couples soon discover the rambling old house holds more than one secret when they join forces to find the real killer—and the elusive, Tarkington treasure.
What I Thought:

I figured I would like this book because I like cozy mysteries and I also like history.  This one did not disappoint.  It was well written with a believable plot, though I wondered about that hence the name. Jane and her friend Charlotte are staying in an old mansion that Jane has inherited.  There is rumors of a treasure in the house, and they need to find it.  So they embark on a mission but end up solving a murder also. There are also some romantic twists in this story to help make it entertaining. When it looks like Jane and Charlotte have solved the mystery or mysteries, there are more twists to keep them looking, and the reader guessing.  This was a real page turner and I look forward to reading more by this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.


About the Author
Evelyn Cullet has been an author since high school when she wrote short stories. She began her first novel while attending college later in life and while working in the offices of a major soft drink company. Now, with early retirement, she can finally write full time. As a life-long mystery buff, she was a former member of the Agatha Christie Society, and is a current member of the National Chapter of Sisters In Crime. She writes cozy mysteries with warm romance and a little humor. When she’s not writing mysteries, reading them or reviewing them, she hosts other authors and their work on her writer’s blog. She also plays the piano, is an amateur lapidary, and an organic gardener.

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