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An Ivy Meadows Mystery by Cindy Brown

Macdeath by Cindy Brown

Review: Ivy Meadows — that's the stage name of Olive Ziegwart — has wanted to be an actress since she was five years old and she has finally been cast in a bit role as one of three acrobatic witches in an adaptation of Shakespeare's drama Macbeth. The play is being produced in a local theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. Instead of the original dark drama, it is staged in a circus atmosphere. The costumes are outlandish: from a top hat for Duncan to a gaudy bright colored leotard for a witch. The cast is honored to have Simon Black, one of England's most talented actors — and a recovering alcoholic — in the role of Duncan. Of course something bad is going to happen because everyone with any knowledge at all about the theatre knows it is the "Curse of the Scottish Play" for anyone to utter the word "Macbeth" while in rehearsal and of course someone does. After the first performance, the prematurely doomed Duncan is found dead in his room, in Macdeath, the first mystery in this series by Cindy Brown.

It is assumed that Simon Black had simply gone off the wagon, and drunk himself to death. But Ivy suspects otherwise. Her "Uncle Bob" is a private investigator, and she asks for his help. There are plenty of suspects, as it seems everyone had a reason to hate Simon. And as soon as Ivy starts asking questions, the cast turns on her, too. But she doesn't give up, especially when other actors start becoming ill or are injured on the set. Even Uncle Bob has to be rushed to the hospital for treatment. Now on her own, she tries to follow his instructions on how to pose questions in order to get the information she needs, not an easy task when actors are trained to give a performance, which may or may not include elements of the truth.

Macdeath is a highly entertaining mystery. The backstage details (and drama) in producing a play, even one as odd as a circus-themed Macbeth, provide an interesting and informative backdrop to the action. Ivy Meadows is a most engaging lead character, as is her mentor, Uncle Bob. The cast and crew of the production are creatively drawn, and the whodunit element is exceptionally well handled. A very strong start to this series, one that will have readers looking forward to Ivy's next starring role.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Macdeath.

Acknowledgment: Henery Press provided an ARC of Macdeath for this review.

Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: The Sound of Murder by Cindy BrownThe Sound of Murder
Henery Press (Trade Paperback), October 2015
ISBN-13: 9781943390014; ISBN-10: 1943390010

Location(s) referenced in Macdeath: Phoenix, Arizona

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Macdeath by Cindy Brown

Macdeath by An Ivy Meadows Mystery

Publisher: Henery Press
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-940976-69-3
Publication Date:
List Price: $15.95

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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