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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Fatal Finale by Kathleen Marple Kalb

A Fatal Finale

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2020 by Kensington Books

Goodreads synopsis: 
On the cusp of the twentieth century, Manhattan is a lively metropolis buzzing with talent. But after a young soprano meets an untimely end on stage, can one go-getting leading lady hit the right notes in a case of murder?

New York City, 1899. When it comes to show business, Gilded Age opera singer Ella Shane wears the pants. The unconventional diva breaks the mold by assuming “trouser roles”—male characters played by women—and captivating audiences far and wide with her travelling theatre company. But Ella’s flair for the dramatic takes a terrifying turn when an overacting Juliet to her Romeo drinks real poison during the final act of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

Weeks after the woman’s death is ruled a tragic accident, a mysterious English duke arrives in Greenwich Village on a mission. He’s certain someone is getting away with murder, and the refined aristocrat won’t travel back across the Atlantic until Ella helps him expose the truth.

As Ella finds herself caught between her craft and a growing infatuation with her dashing new acquaintance, she’s determined to decode the dark secrets surrounding her co-star’s fatale finale—before the lights go dark and the culprit appears for an encore . . .


4.5 Stars

This looks to be a standalone historic cozy mystery by Kathleen Marple Kalb. I do hope it will become a series.

I am totally intrigued by the relationship between the Duke Gilbert and Ella Shane.  That alone will keep me coming back for more.

Basic premise: A girl in the role of Juliet is found dead by an overdose of nicotine. Turns out the girl is more than she seems and is related to English royalty. She had been working for Ella’s theater company and she feels compelled to find the reason for her ingenue’s death. This introduces her to Duke Gilbert and an unknown assailant who wants Ella dead as well.

Loved the park scene with the velocipede, sort of like a big tricycle for adults. It was an incarnation of the bicycle. This helped to show how forward thinking Ella was and how the society was back at this time.

I was hooked the entire time. I relished the scenes where Ella and the Duke were together. Plus the whodunit was so spot on that I had  no clue who the bad guy was until the bad guy was revealed. Just one stellar read! I definitely want this to be made into a series… did I say that already?

If you love a good historic cozy mystery, definitely check this one out . You won’t be disappointed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

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