Ill Met by Murder

The Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company is holding a fundraiser featuring a production of A Midsummer's Night Dream. Wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen is hosting the event in conjunction with a pre-wedding party for her daughter Belinda and fiancé Adrian. The performance is perfect--until a body is discovered nearby, murdered with a prop from the play. Ill Met by Murder is a delightful whodunit weaving together theater, shady dealings, love triangles and family secrets.

Elizabeth J. Duncan (Untimely Death) brings back Charlotte Fairfax for her second appearance as the costumer and amateur sleuth with boundless curiosity. Hugh Hedley, the dead man, was involved in the vicious Manhattan real estate market, and Charlotte soon discovers that two of his business rivals might profit from his death: the groom-to-be and Joseph Lamb, both of whom had unorthodox business arrangements with Hedley. Meanwhile, the search for a missing dog leads Charlotte to a shocking Van Dusen family secret that turns out to be an important clue in the murder investigation. 

The large cast of characters and numerous red herrings make the ending truly a surprise. Charlotte's obliging sidekick, Aaron, is more than willing to accompany her while figuring out what he really wants to do with his life. Her boyfriend, a local police officer, provides her with professional and personal support, and their deepening relationship offers a heartwarming subplot to the murder investigation. Duncan, author of the Penny Brannigan mystery series, seamlessly connects her plot lines for a satisfying conclusion. This is perfect for fans of Joanne Fluke and Lorna Barrett, as well as anyone looking for a cozy mystery. --Cindy Pauldine, bookseller, the river's end bookstore

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