Death in Daytime
A Soap Opera Mystery with Alexis Peterson by Eileen Davidson
Review: Eileen Davidson, herself a star of daytime drama (most recently playing the role of Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless), sets her debut mystery in the world she knows best, introducing soap opera actress and amateur sleuth Alexis Peterson in Death in Daytime.
Alexis has been a regular member of the cast of The Yearning Tide for over 20 years. To add new life to the show, the producers hire a seasoned head writer, one Marcy Blanchard. Alexis immediately fears she may be written out of the updated soap opera plot. Marcy certainly seems to be trying to put Alexis in a bad light in the eyes of the producers, sending her the wrong script for the day's filming, or not sending one at all. When Alexis, in a fit of anger, faces off with Marcy, it's heard by everyone on the set. A day or so later, Alexis goes to Marcy's office to try to apologize and maybe clear the air, but instead finds Marcy dead. She had been bludgeoned with her Emmy and shoved under her desk. The authorities put Alexis at the head of their list as prime suspect because when they were questioned, most of the cast told the police about the altercation between Alexis and Marcy. They, too, did not doubt Alexis' guilt. Alexis decides to take on a little amateur detective work of her own to prove her innocence. Who would want to kill Marcy, and why? Against the wishes of her mother and the advice of her lover, she begins to go in search of a killer. She questions other cast members who she knows, or at least has heard, to have been at odds with Marcy, only to have them say that, although they are glad Marcy is dead, they did not kill her. And they resent Alexis for trying to cast doubt on their own innocence. But she learns of greed among the writers, unrest among the actors, even discontent with the make-up artists. Poor Marcy, it seems, was hated by everyone. Now Marcy's killer is on a mission to murder Alexis and to make it look like suicide, giving the police the ultimate performance of a guilty person.
Death in Daytime is a breezy read and, in the context of a typical soap opera, seems at times to be all too believable. The author clearly knows her milieu and brings her characters and setting to life. There are a lot of natural suspects together with a good amount of misdirection, the result being a credible whodunit. Other elements that add to the fun are the activities of what happens behind-the-scenes of a soap opera and the interpersonal relationships Alexis has with her mother, friends, and co-workers.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Death in Daytime.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Death in Daytime for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Dial Emmy for Murder
Signet (Mass Market Paperback), June 2009
ISBN-13: 9780451228253; ISBN-10: 0451228251
Location(s) referenced in Death in Daytime: Hollywood, California
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Death in Daytime by Eileen Davidson — A Soap Opera Mystery with Alexis Peterson
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publication Date: October 2008
List Price: $6.99