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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Book Review: Death of a Showman by Mariah Fredericks

The lady Jane Prescott is maid to, Louise Tyler, is interested in the theater, and as her new husband isn't paying much attention to her, when Jane learns her old friend Leo Hirschfeld has co-written a musical that is actually being produced on Broadway, the two of them start attending rehearsals, and Louise is soon pressured into financially backing the production. 

Jane isn't thrilled about seeing Leo every day as there  had been sparks between them, but Leo has recently and suddenly married a chorus girl in his new musical, whose claim to fame is slowly--and bouncily--walking down stairs. That's it. Jane understandably feels slighted that Leo would go from her to... this. But Jane is also a sensible woman and an excellent maid so she overlooks that for now, and even tries to get to know the woman. If Leo married her she can't be as stupid as she seems, can she? 

One night the whole cast and crew go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and Leo's partner is murdered in the bathroom! Who could have done it? His wife? The woman he was stepping out with? Leo? The lead actress's disgruntled boyfriend? Whoever it is, the scandal could close the show, losing all of Louise's money, so Jane must go to work as the police are all too eager to lay the blame at the feet of someone who obviously had an alibi. Luckily for Louise, Jane is an excellent detective. Luckily for us readers, Jane is also a delightful sleuth to tag along with, during the beginning days of Broadway's height, as the musical was finding its feet in the transition from Vaudeville. Join her and Louise as they have a fun time dabbling their toes into the exciting life of the theater!

This book is published by Minotaur/St. Martin's Press, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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