designer Charlotte Fairfax hailed from Britain where she worked
with the Royal Shakespeare Company of Stratford-upon-Avon,
but now she lives in the Catskills and is the longest-serving
employee of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company. The
company performs at the Shakespeare festival at the Jacobs
Grand Hotel, and times have been lean of late, but the area
seems to be on the verge of an upswing.
Jacobs owns the hotel, and has brought his nephew Aaron on
board to assist Charlotte part time in the wardrobe department,
and part time as the stage manager, working for director Simon
Dyer. The new actors and actresses have arrived, and much
to Charlotte's dismay, the actor who will be portraying Romeo's
father in the staging of "Romeo and Juliet" is her
former lover, Brian Prentice, a man who had broken her heart
and who was the ultimate reason she stayed behind in New York
instead of returning to England with the RSC.
matters even worse, Brian is having an affair with the spoiled
diva, Lauren Richmond, who is playing Juliet, and to top that
off his wife Lady Deborah is along for the trip. It's no wonder
Brian has become a heavy drinker.
twist of fate, young Lauren is poisoned and nearly dies, and
then shortly thereafter is stabbed to death! The police suspect
Aaron because he has motive, means and opportunity, but he
can't be a killer - Charlotte simply won't believe it, so
she sets out to try to clear his name before he is charged
or arrested. Will she be able to solve the crime to save Aaron?
Or will her meddling cost her the romantic relationship she
has with Walkers Ridge Chief of Police Ray Nicholson?
Death is a traditional cozy with a small town setting
and a small enough cast of characters that it is easy enough
to keep track of who is who and what their role in the mystery
may be. The author, Elizabeth J Duncan, has, however, provided
enough red herrings that it isn't too easy for the reader
to solve the crime. The story is told in a calm and forthright
manner, making it a book that one can put down and pick up
as time allows without having to keep track of a million little
details. It is a pleasant, unassuming, yet entertaining and
charming story, and is the first in a new series.
like a cozy mystery reminiscent of one set in the Cotswolds
but set in the Catskills, with a touch of the British flair
on the American scene, you'll enjoy Untimely Death.
I will look forward to the next installment in the series.
of other titles in this series
[review 1] [review
Met by Murder #2
Ado About Murder #3
Notes: Elizabeth J Duncan also writes the Penny Brannigan