Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Note: Macdeath

Brown, Cindy. Macdeath. Dallas: Henery Press, 2015.

Speaking of Mysteries avec Shakespeare, we arrive at Macdeath. It's another in a mystery series—there are other Ivy Meadows Mysteries on the way (The Sound of Murder and Oliver Twisted, if you're keeping score).

I'm afraid I feel that I'm not the target audience for this book, and that will, of necessity, color my review. I enjoyed our heroine, Ivy "Olive" Meadows, most of the time, but she is too inclined to go on about the dreaminess of the male actors—and then is too quick about jumping into bed with them.

Other than that, the story is a reasonable murder mystery. Because it's the first of the series, I think there's more building of character and background than you might expect (or desire). And our heroine is just starting to think about the role of the investigator (she has an uncle who, as a private eye, is able to give her advice).

The general plot is that an actor is killed during a production of Macbeth—our heroine plays one of the witches, so she has a fair amount of time to nose around and find out which other actors / directors have motives and opportunity.

My main critique—as you might expect—is that there's not enough Shakespeare. I'd like to have more of the details of the theatre life and of this particular production of Macbeth. That's where a rote mystery takes on a greater depth and interest to me. I'm reminded of Ngaio Marsh's Light Thickens, for example (for which, q.v.), which does that brilliantly.

I'll leave you with a sample from early in the book—that will give you a flavor of the novel and let you know whether you're in its target audience or not.

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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