Rating: Very Good
Description: Sam Clair figures she’ll be a good sport and spend a night out at the theater in support of her upstairs neighbors, who have small parts in a play in the West End. Boyfriend (a Scotland Yard detective) and all-round good sport Jake Field agrees to tag along to what is apparently an extra-bloody play filled with dramatic, gory deaths galore. So Sam expects an evening filled with faux fatalities. Until, that is, the curtain opens to the second act, revealing a dummy hanging from the rafters, who’s been made up to look suspiciously like Campbell Davison, the director of the production.
When Sam sees the horrified faces of the actors onstage, she realizes that this is indeed not a dummy, but Davison himself—and this death is not part of the show. Now everyone wants to know: who killed Campbell Davison? As Sam learns more about the murdered man, she discovers that he wasn’t all that well-liked amongst the cast and crew, so the suspect list grows. The show must go on—but Sam knows a murderer must be apprehended, so she sets out to find out what happened, and why.
Why I Picked This Book: I had enjoyed a previous book in this series and couldn't resist this one!
My Impression: This was a fun one! This is one of those mysteries where the day to day life of the main characters takes up almost as much page time as the mystery itself. Sometimes this can get tedious but luckily in this book Sam, Jake, Kay and the rest of their world is entertaining and engaging. I also loved the behind the scenes look at life on stage and at life behind the desk at a publishing office.
This is not one of those books where the main character has a cool job and mentions it occasionally but never ever goes to it. We go to work with Sam a pretty good bit and between all the book talk and the selling books talk and the meeting authors talk I could have had an entire book of nothing but that. I love that Sam is good at her job and driven but also has a fairly balanced personal life. Her relationship with her mother, Helena, was entertaining and felt authentic as well as her relationship with Jake. Jake is CID and is usually involved in the official investigation of whatever Sam is sticking her nose into. I liked that he clearly didn't want to talk about the case with her but she was so interested and asked such good questions that he would forget he felt that way from time to time.
The mystery itself is fascinating with lots of behind the scenes peeks at rehearsals. I loved seeing how it all ran and just what everyone did. While I did have a guess at the killer I wasn't convinced I was correct until the very end. Between trying to figure out just who had killed the director in such a brutal way and wanting to spend more time with Sam this made for a can't put down read!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely! I'm already looking forward to the next book.
Would I Recommend this Book? I would. This is a fun mystery with an interesting look into the publishing world.