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About the Author
Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.
This is so fun! Even if you're not into Shakespeare, you cannot help but be pulled into this story of a struggling actress trying to make good. The production of Macbeth is a hoot. Even if the reader knows nothing of the play, one couldn't miss the absurd approach to it by the director. Ms. Brown has given us a protagonist filled with flaws, but flaws she faces as they rear their ugly heads. This makes her very real and, frankly, slightly noble. I understand this is Ms. Brown' first novel. I think she has a promising writing career ahead of her.
Cindy Brown's books came highly recommended and the reason is clear. MacDeath is intelligent and witty and it has a distinctively feel to it. Both the intricately plotted mystery and the singular characters are the kind of elements that stand out long after final chapter of the book is closed. It is not surprising to find unusual and strong characters among actors but I found Ivy's uncle as special as any of the other characters.
While the an actor's death haunts Ivy, the reason that she feels so compelled to solve what she is sure is murder is slowly revealed to us. This back story was one of my favorite parts of the story and helped me attach to Ivy even more that the time I spent with her in the theater. This beautifully built back story was the part of the novel that moved Ms Brown's status from an-author-that-I-highly-recommend to that special place in my heart of one of "my authors".
I have the next two books loaded on my Kindle and ready to go!
It's a cozy mystery fun, exciting, fast to read. It 's really good written with realistic characters and set in a wonderful place, which is the theater, with the curse of MacBeth in the background.
Ivy wants to be an actress and her dream is about to come true: was chosen to do the witch in a representation of MacBeth in Phoenix. But the day of onset the actor playing Duncan is found dead. It seems an accidental death for alcohol abuse but Ivy knows that he did not drink anymore. She decides to use her experience in her uncle's detective agency to investigate.
During the investigation it was nice to get behind the scenes of a play, relationships and complicity that are created between the actors, the atmosphere of tension: it shows that the author has experienced it firsthand. Ivy will be difficult to investigate and interrogate the actors, people who are well-versed in pretending.
It 's the first book in the series and can not wait to read the other (the next is expected to arrive in September 2015). It 's was really compelling, hard to put down until you have solved the mystery.
I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
This is a delightful light mystery, starring actress Ivy Meadows (real name Olive Ziegwart, perhaps not ideal for a future marquee), who finds herself involved in a circus-themed production of MacBeth. (She's a witch, and her leotard doesn't fit.) When a cast member dies under less than clear circumstances, Ivy takes on an investigation no one else believes in.
I really enjoyed the characters and story, as well as the setting--local theater in Phoenix, Arizona, both new to me. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I've already downloaded the nest two books in the series (I hope there will be more). This is another cozy mystery series from Henery Press, and I haven't read a bad book from them yet.
Mac Death is a worthy read for more than a few reasons. Brown takes her character; an actress named Ivy Meadows, and weaves a mystery around one of the last people one would think would end up solving a crime. In doing so she allows the reader to be a few steps ahead of the amateur sleuth which adds a truly fun element often lost in mystery writers today. Ivy had no intention of becoming a detective and is of a bit tragic in her feeling almost an obligation to solve the mystery at the risk of her career, friends and family. Ivy continues to carry a sense of being out of her element and appears often vulnerable which only helps endure her to the reader. To her credit, Brown quite masterfully casts suspicion on nearly everyone which keeps one guessing up till the end where she wrap things up with a classic Columbo-esque conclusion that doesn't string it out too long or wrap it up to easily. There is a bit of romance and a certain lack of grit that may leave the more testosterone laden readers behind but it is easily overlooked by the lightheartedness it brings to the overall story. Bottom line...Mac Death is a fun filled mystery chocked full of all that one looks for in a light recreational read that leaves the reader happy to have read it and waiting for the next installment.
Ivy Meadows (that's her stage name) is playing a witch in Macbeth. True to the belief that one does not mention the name of the play inside the theater (and, of course, someone always does), bad things will happen. Like murder. It's in Phoenix, it's hot, and Ivy is a beguiling bit player (theater-wise) and major player (sleuth-wise). Is the death an accident like everyone says, or murder? Are those mysterious accidents really accidents, or something far more deadly? And, does Ivy listen when her Uncle Bob, not to mention the police, tell her to keep out of the investigation? Of course not. Which makes for a riot of fast-moving action and danger for the engrossed reader. (Always a good idea.)
What starts as a much-needed role in an unusual production of Macbeth for Ivy Meadows takes a horrible turn when one performer dies. Is it suicide or murder? As Ivy decides to solve that question, more questions emerge. Brown's delightful debut of her Ivy Meadows series is wonderful, filled with quirky characters and humor amidst a fascinating mystery. I highly recommend this delightful novel. I'm off to enjoy The Sound of Murder.
I found this to be a fairly lightweight mystery. I found the characters to be shallow and, for the most part, not particularly engaging. The story unfolded at a very leisurely pace. On the positive side, the writing was quite good. While this is the first of a series and subsequent volumes might improve, I don't think I'll be tempted to read other installments.