Death by Diamonds
A Vintage Magic Mystery with Madeira Cutler by Annette Blair
Review: Vintage clothing shop owner Madeira "Maddie" Cutler travels to New York City after the death of Broadway star Dominique DeLong and is drawn into an investigation of how she died — and who might have wanted her dead — in Death by Diamonds, the third mystery in this series by Annette Blair.
Maddie and Dom shared a love for vintage clothing, Maddie having once designed a gown for the star. When that same gown arrives in Maddie's shop by special courier and includes a note from Dom saying "I hoped someday to give it to you, in person. If you have it, and not from my hand, I'm dead", Maddie knows that the gown may contain clues that will tell her how her friend died, but is somewhat reluctant to use her "talents", especially since the case is complicated by a missing strand of extremely valuable diamonds, which has caught the attention of the FBI. It isn't until Dom's son, Kyle, calls Maddie, telling her that she is the executor of Dom's estate, and she needs to be in New York City to deal with the media circus that has enveloped the family and Dom's production of Diamond Sands, that Maddie realizes she has the perfect opportunity to do a little sleuthing.
Fans of paranormal mysteries will be taken in by the delightful Maddie, who has "visions" while wearing or touching vintage clothing, during which she zones out to "view and hear snippets of greed, jealousy, hate, vengeance, secrets, all of which often translate into: means, motive, and opportunity, vintage style." The author's light, breezy approach to the narrative keeps the pace of the storyline of Death by Diamonds moving forward even though it is weighed down somewhat by a large cast of weakly drawn characters who represent the suspects in Dom's murder. That these same characters are used in a rather derivative murder mystery plot doesn't help. The Broadway venue, however, adds interest and entertainment value.
Acknowledgment: Book Trends provided an ARC of Death by Diamonds for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Death by Diamonds: Connecticut, New York City
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Death by Diamonds by Annette Blair — A Vintage Magic Mystery with Madeira Cutler
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: July 2010
List Price: $7.99