by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Ill Met by Murder. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Charlotte is the costumer for the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company. It sounds like a peaceful job: sewing, repairing, and making sure costumes are ready for quick changes. Not so in real life. It’s hectic as this year it also involves a wedding. Once a year, the company performs for one night only as a fundraiser at Paula Van Dusen’s estate. This year her daughter, Belinda, is marrying Adrian, hardly her mother’s first choice as a husband.
Charlotte is called on to do the fittings for the bridesmaid’s and bridal gowns, in addition to her work. The other time-consuming part of the evening is that as in Shakespeare’s time, all parts are played by men so the skirts and dresses all have to be fitted for larger, flatter bodies.
Charlotte has the help of Aaron. He is a student of Parsons School but is torn between designing his own line of garments and creating stage costumes. He’s also in charge of the props and keeping the costumes in the order they’re needed because many of the actors have more than one role.
The play is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, always a fun program for the actors and the audience. During one scene, a character is turned into a donkey. When the donkey’s head prop goes missing, just before it’s needed, Charlotte has to scramble for a workable substitute. It’s assumed that a guest who’s had a bit much to drink is responsible for the missing head.
Things are going pretty smoothly except the groom is also missing. He’d had quite a bit to drink and might be sleeping it off somewhere—until the bride announces that the wedding is off since she found out Adrian cheated on her. It’s a little late for a change of heart with the caterers setting up and florists delivering fresh blossoms.
During all the drama, Aaron and Charlotte walk the grounds to look for the donkey’s head. They’re lucky enough to find it, but it’s stuck on the dead body of a man dressed in formal attire. Could it be the groom?
The body turns out to be Adrian’s business rival. Paula is determined to keep her daughter’s name out of the investigation and asks Charlotte for her help. Back-stabbing business deals, a missing poodle, iffy investors, and long forgotten family scandals all play into solving a murder that has more than its share of suspects.
This is the second book in the Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery series. Readers will enjoy the back stage view of an acting company, the modern setting of Paula’s estate where money is seemingly no object, and Charlotte’s romance with the police Chief, Ray. Aaron adds a nice counter balance as he decides his future, much as Charlotte is deciding hers.
Duncan also writes the Penny Brannigan mysteries (8 books). The To Be Read pile just got taller!
To enter to win a copy of I’ll Met by Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “met,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 4, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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