The play’s the thing that gets a bookkeeper involved in murder.
Phee Kimball may be only a bookkeeper for a private detective in Arizona, but she has proven skills when it comes to solving murders. Now she gets a chance to show them off to the newest member of the agency, Marshall Gregory, another refugee from frigid Minnesota, whom Phee had a crush on when she worked for the police department back home. Phee’s mother and her fellow book club members in nearby Sun City West have all tried out for a staging of The Mousetrap. Her mother snags a part, and her friends volunteer for other jobs in the production. Given the checkered past of the zany group (Ditched 4 Murder, 2017, etc.) and all the backbiting among the cast and crew, Phee’s not overly surprised when Miranda Lee, the diva everyone loves to hate, is found dead on the catwalk and the police suspect murder. The production had already been in disarray since its director was sent to the hospital with possible salmonella poisoning, though she managed to get a friend with some experience to take over her job. The book club ladies have been receiving threatening messages, and some now claim to see Miranda’s ghost. The ladies hire the detective agency to find out what the police won’t tell them and draft Phee to dig up gossip and clues. So many people hated Miranda that it’ll be tough to find a killer whose motive may be buried in the past.
A more challenging mystery and a touch of romance for the heroine add to the hijinks of the usual cast of loonies to make this the best in Eaton’s series.