Good morning my lovelies. Today I’ve got a few posts for you, starting with a review on the blog tour of Murder at the Playhouse by Helena Dixon. This is a charming cozy historical fiction murder mystery that was delightful to read…..
The scene is set for murder… and Kitty Underhay’s partner has been cast as the killer.
Late Summer, 1933. After a quarrel with too-plucky-for-her-own-good amateur sleuth Kitty Underhay, dashing ex-army captain Matthew Bryant is nursing his wounds, and a tumbler of brandy, when there’s a heavy knock at the door and he finds himself arrested for murder. The body of aspiring actress Pearl Bright has been found, strangled with one of Matt’s own bootlaces, and the evidence seems to be stacked against him.
The local constabulary might have locked Matt up, but before they can throw away the key, Kitty hears the news and hies to his aid, determined to prove his innocence. And when her investigations lead her to the home of retired theatre impresario Stanley Davenport, and the local amateur dramatics society, Kitty uncovers a web of deceit that stretches far beyond the stage make-up. But Kitty’s digging is bringing her to the attention of the killer. Without her partner in crime-fighting, can Kitty expose them and clear Matt’s name? Or will it be curtains for them both?
A gripping Golden Age cozy murder mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T E Kinsey and Lee Strauss.
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I love a cozy mystery and definitely don’t get to read them enough, so I was delighted to review this!
Kitty is gobsmacked to discover that her friend and partner-in-crime, Matt has been arrested for the murder of a girl who had been attending a party locally. But although Kitty and the police know Matt couldn’t have done it, the evidence is against him. Kitty sets out to discover who the real culprit is, and to clear Matt’s name. But as she does so, the killer realises that she’s poking her nose in and she ends up putting herself in danger. Will she be able to clear Matt’s name? And will she make it out alive?
I was completely sucked into this delightful story. As we all know I love historical fiction, and teaming it with a cozy mystery is a dream! The plot is fantastic and I flitted back and forth between characters and who I thought was the murderer, and was actually still quite surprised by the ending!
I’ve not read any of the the previous Miss Underhay Mystery series, so this was my first meeting with Kitty and Matt and I adore them. Kitty is a charming and determined young woman, caring and resilient but definitely with a hint of fieriness hiding under the surface. Matt is also a charming gentleman, with his own past issues and I really really want them to get together! Kitty’s Grandmother is also brilliant, and I love that there are interfering busy bodies in this who are tolerated, but you can still see how their behaviour affects the main protagonists.
Dixon’s writing is wonderful and descriptive, and I honestly felt like I was back in 1933. I could picture the outfits, the hotel, the theatre, the cars and the scenery; the writing brings it all beautifully to life. The way the characters greet and speak with each other, and how Kitty formally dines every night with her Grandmother, just makes it even more real and gives a good sense of what times would have been like.
As well as being beautifully written, it is easy and enjoyable to read and follow; I enjoyed it so much I didn’t want it to end! I’ll definitely be reading the first two books when I have time, and looking out for more from Helena.
If you love a good murder mystery that will keep you turning pages and thoroughly enchant you then you should definitely check this out. Highly recommended by me.
about the author
Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 with her book Marrying Max, and winner of Love Story of the Year 2010 with her book, Animal Instincts. She also writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime as Helena Dixon. You can also learn more about Helena in my Meet the Author interview with her.
tour hosted by
Thanks to Helena, Bookouture and NetGalley for a copy of the book in return for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.
Back soon lovelies!