This week I will be posting the reviews I did for the May issue of Historical Novels Review Magazine. I was not able to post them until after they appeared on the Historical Novel Society website on May 1st. They will also be in the May print issue of Historical Novels Review. The first is an outstanding cozy mystery that had me chuckling throughout. It is call Death of a Showman and is set in 1914 New York.
This fun and well-written cozy historical mystery by Mariah Fredericks takes us right to the heart of Broadway. This is the fourth book in the Jane Prescott series. It can be read as a standalone, but events from previous books are discussed in this story, so reading the first three books would be beneficial. In 1914 New York City, Jane Prescott, lady's maid to Louise Tyler, is back in New York after a trip to Europe. Louise has invested in a Broadway Show and Jane begins accompanying her to events and rehearsals as a chaperone. Leo Hirschfeld, Jane's romance from the previous summer, has written this Broadway musical. He has also made some choices that are hard for Jane to accept. Then a well-known producer is killed in a bathroom of the famous Rector's. Tabloid reporter Michael Behan is on the case. Will Jane help him find the killer? Mariah Fredericks takes us on a sometimes hilarious journey into the world of Broadway and the elite circles of 1914 New York City. The author's wry humor will keep you chuckling as we uncover more secrets and clues, and we learn that especially in show business, things aren't always as they seem. Jane is an engaging protagonist. Her shrewd mind, adventurous spirit, and clever wit will definitely keep the reader entertained. Jane is perfectly imperfect, and stumbles frequently into mishaps and mayhem, taking us along for the ride. The mystery is multi-faceted and compelling, and the characters all shine. Historical people, places, and events from Gilded Age New York are shown in vivid detail. This was an enjoyable read from start to finish. Highly recommend. I received a free copy of this book from Minotaur Books for review in Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mariah Fredericks was born and raised in New York City, where she still lives today with her family. She is a graduate of Vassar College with a BA in history. She has written several novels for young adults; her novel Crunch Time was nominated for an Edgar in 2007. A Death of No Importance is her first mystery for adults.