A costume mistress helps solve a dastardly murder.
British-born Charlotte Fairfax’s romance with actor Brian Prentice ended, along with her stint as a designer for the Royal Shakespeare Company, with his announcement that he was marrying Lady Deborah, an aristocrat with the right connections. Now Charlotte’s made a home for herself and Rupert, her beloved corgi, at the failing Jacobs Grand Hotel in the Catskills, where she runs the costume department for the hotel's annual Shakespeare festival. Coincidentally, new director Simon Dyer has been able to hire Brian on the cheap for his latest play because the actor has a reputation as an unreliable drunk. Brian’s already celebrated by starting a romance with Lauren Richmond, the arrogant, young, and foolish actress playing Juliet to his Romeo. When the unpopular Lauren is found comatose, Charlotte learns from her assistant, the hotel owner’s nephew Aaron Jacobs, that Lauren had driven his cousin to suicide. Lauren recovers from her overdose of Tylenol just in time to get stabbed to death as she awaits her next scene on the balcony improvised for dress rehearsals. Although the state police are in charge of the case, Charlotte insists that her boyfriend, Walkers Ridge Chief of Police Ray Nicholson, needs her help. Charlotte’s snooping leads to more questions than answers, but she finally figures it all out.
In a departure from Wales and her Penny Brannigan series (Slated For Death, 2015, etc.), Duncan introduces a charming new sleuth and plenty of quirky characters sure to appeal to her base and to cozy fans in general.