A HABIT FOR DEATH by Chuck Zito

A HABIT FOR DEATH

KIRKUS REVIEW

A summer-stock stage manager stalks both a killer and a hunky actor.

Controversy surrounds the St. Gilbert Summer Theatre Festival’s upcoming production of the cheesy musical Convent of Fear, though the pickets outside the theater are likelier to increase the box-office take than shut down the production. Stage manager (and narrator) Nicky D’Amico, who pictured a nice getaway from the craziness of New York City in rural Pennsylvania, finds himself dealing instead with Benny Singleton, The Artistic Director From Hell, Benny’s mean, precocious young daughter Olivia and a whole ensemble of neurotic characters. A flirtation with handsome cast member David Scott takes some of the edge off Nicky’s stress. But nothing can calm the company when nun Sister Sally, who’s portraying a murdered nun, drops dead at rehearsal. Toxic dust seems to be the cause. Sadness turns to suspicion when stuffy State Police Corporal Roberts begins treating her death as a murder. As the person responsible for sweeping the stage, Nicky finds himself a suspect. Can things get any worse? Yes, indeed. The uninvited arrival of Nicky’s flamboyant friend Paolo (think Will & Grace’s Jack to Nicky’s Will), along with his passive/aggressive boyfriend Roger, stretches Nicky even further, but the couple’s constant bickering certainly multiplies the camp-entertainment quotient. And they help him crack the case.

The panache of theater director Zito’s debut augurs well for a lively series.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7387-0836-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Midnight Ink/Llewellyn
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006




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