Much Ado About Murder by Elizabeth J. DuncanMuch Ado About Murder by Elizabeth J. Duncan
Series: Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery #3
Published by Crooked Lane Books on November 7, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
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Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest performance of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, Much Ado About Nothing. The company's steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright.

Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner's secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund's plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way?

With a whole cast of characters to investigate, Charlotte is determined to unmask each one before it's final curtain call on the whole production in award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan's third Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Much Ado About Murder.

I finished Much Ado About Murder a few days ago, but then I couldn’t remember if I finished it or not. I had started another book on my Kindle, which meant I must have finished it, but then I had to look back and see who the killer was. The book obviously didn’t leave much of a lingering impression, or at least the reveal didn’t.

I like the setting, a hotel/theater in the Catskills. I also like Charlotte. She’s from England and is a very talented costume designer. Due to the turnover of directors and her friendship with the Director of the Board, she is to some extent in charge of the theater. Between the actors, director and costume staff, we’ve got a lot of characters, several of whom had motive for killing Edmund, because of course Charlotte’s right—it was murder.

I guess overall it was just fine. The characters were fine, each had their bit of backstory that made them possible suspects. The clues were there, not too obvious, but it made sense (once I remembered how it ended). Charlotte and her cop boyfriend have a fine relationship, they get along well but without any major ups or downs. In the end, the play does go on.

Fine is not bad though. It’s a quick, light read and sometimes that’s just what you’re looking for. The murder doesn’t happen until almost halfway through the book, so there’s plenty of time to get to know the people involved.

About Elizabeth J. Duncan

After graduating from Carleton University, Ottawa, with a BA in English, Elizabeth J. Duncan worked as a writer and editor for some of Canada’s largest newspapers, including the Ottawa Citizen and Hamilton Spectator.

The author of two traditional mystery series, Penny Brannigan set in North Wales and Shakespeare in the Catskills featuring costume designer Charlotte Fairfax,
Elizabeth divides her time between Toronto, Canada and Llandudno, North Wales.


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