Firstly I wish to thank Kelsey Butts of Book Publicity Services for inviting me to read and review this book
Talk about drama! To celebrate the opening of his new play, the playwright invites the entire cast to his mysteriously medieval mansion for a gala dinner. As the curtain rises on this festive feast, a scene of chaos occurs when the leading man is murdered. Who could have done it? And why? Old friends – Inspector Stan Burgess, Actor Berry Beresford, and Sir Victor Hazlitt – question an outlandish cast of frightened actors and household staff. The plot thickens with yet another murder occurs, and the intrigue continues until…
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Well this is the second book that I have read of A. H. Richardson involving Inspector Stan Burgess, Actor Berry Beresford and Sir Victor Hazlitt. On paper these three make an unlikely trio of investigators but the whole thing works a dream.
When all of the cast of actors and actresses are invited to the Playwright’s Medieval Mansion for a gala dinner, to celebrate his new play, they all take the opportunity to have a good look round the place. They are quite a mixed bunch but what most of them have in common is their dislike for the leading man, who seems like he has managed to upset most of them, in different degrees, at some point. It isn’t surprising when he collapses and dies suddenly that the only concern his fellow actors have is for their own safety not his demise. It is soon established that he has been murdered. The mansion is quickly put on lock down until all the guests can be interviewed, along with the staff that are employed.
This just feels like a game of Cluedo but with real characters in the story. The cause of death is quickly established, as is the room where it took place. The only piece left to solve is who wanted Judson, victim and leading man in the play, dead. There wasn’t any time for me to determine what I thought of the man, as he was murdered so quickly in the story, so I had to mentally make notes of what his fellow actors thought of him and draw my conclusions from the stories they told.
This story really had me giddy as I couldn’t imagine a harder bunch of characters to interview, after all apart from the staff, they were actors use to playing the part of whoever they wished. Were any concerns genuine and tears real?
This is a good old-fashioned murder mystery to be solved with good old-fashioned questioning, reasoning and deduction not clouded with shocking descriptions. Tension yes, gore no. I did have to smile at the thought that these people were going nowhere until this case was solved, no matter how long it took. This may seem a strange thing to say but it was a light and entertaining book to read. The characters were as I thought actors of this time would be. Very dramatic and a little eccentric to boot as well as colourful. There was also a clear hierarchy in the household of servants, where each knew their place in the upstairs, downstairs sort of feel to the story.
There was only one thing that would have improved this book for me and that would have been sitting in the sun at the local village cricket match, reading my book and having cucumber sandwiches at lunch time. It makes a steady Sunday afternoon read, just perfect!
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A. H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.
She published her debut novel Jorie and the Magic Stones in December 2014. At the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story, Richardson has written a sequel titled Jorie and the Gold Key, and she is currently working on the third book in the series.
In addition to children’s books, she also enjoys writing murder mysteries. She is the author of Murder in Little Shendon, a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two, and introduces two sleuths, Sir Victor Hazlitt and his sidekick, Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearian actor. And she has more ‘who-dun-its’ with this clever and interesting duo… Act One, Scene One – Murder and Murder at Serenity Farm.
A. H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.