Jubilee Showboat Mystery
Stagestruck, Cynthia Thomason introduces readers to a small
town Ohio assistant librarian Gwen Barlow. Along with her widowed
mother and younger brother Preston, Gwen's life is changed forever
when her mother inherits a Mississippi showboat after the unexpected
death of Gwen's uncle. Authorities call his death a tragic accident,
but soon after arriving at the showboat, Gwen begins to wonder if
her uncle's death was accidental-especially when so many people
had reason to hate her uncle. As Gwen struggles to pay the many
debts and hard feelings left by her uncle, she determines to learn
the truth about the accident, which took place aboard the Jubilee
I enjoyed Ms. Thomason's Stagestruck.
The mystery is populated with likable characters, including the
Barlow family and the showboat cast. Ms. Thomason quickly immerses
readers not only into the lives of the Barlow's family, but also
into the lives of most of the crew and cast of the showboat so that
I found myself hoping, along with Gwen, that none of those aboard
the Jubilee Place are guilty of murder.
Thomason's style was pleasing, the mystery was well written and
paced so that I felt no need to skip over lengthy passages of either
narrative or unnecessary minute description. But more importantly
to this lover of mysteries, she played fair, laying the clues out
so that the reader had an equal chance of solving the mystery along
with Gwen instead of having Gwen discover some important clue that
is withheld from the reader, so that at the end, the reader is left
feeling as if the solution had been pulled out of thin air.
would love to travel back to 1898 again to board the Jubilee Place
to see what new mysteries await the Barlows and the other inhabitants
of the Mississippi Riverboat.
Mystery / Amateur Sleuth
Reviewer Mary Lynn is the author of "Dear Cari."