Murder On Cue by Jane Dentinger

Murder On CueJocelyn “Josh” O’Roarke is a struggling but talented actress, but is on the verge of a big break – an old friend had written a play for Broadway and although the famous Harriet Weldon has been cast in the lead, strings have been pulled for Josh to get the role of understudy. As rehearsals progress, it becomes clear that Josh has more talent in her little finger than Harriet possesses in total. Hey, guess who gets murdered! Luckily almost everyone else in the cast and crew has a motive for murder as well. But as prime suspect, it seems as if it’s up to Josh to catch the murderer before the body count gets much higher.

The first in a series of six novels from Jane Dentinger featuring Josh as detective – all of which centre around some aspect of theatre or cinema. All six have been released by Open Road Media as ebooks. But… oh, I’m too busy. Can someone think of a good theatre pun to put here please?

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last week. Starting a new job in a new location can be both distracting and time consuming – in a good way, I’m pleased to say, but it does cut into my reading and blogging time at the moment. Apologies for those publishers waiting for a review from me – they’re on their way, I promise.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Murder On Cue.

Basically, this could be compared with the Charles Paris books, with a female protagonist replacing Charles and the action transcribed to the US. Remove the drinking problem and make the actress actually talented and you’ll have a fair idea of the sort of thing here.

In terms of everything else, this was a really pleasant surprise. The characters are strong, the plot makes sense and there are clues knocking around. The central romance is very well handed and the heroine engaging. I was a little wary of this as I’ve been stung by a couple of “chick-lit-crime” novels recently – they never made it as far as the review stage – but this certainly doesn’t fall into that category. Nor did it really fall into the cozy category – it’s not messy at all, but I tend to view the cozy description as one where the sleuth’s quirk (Haunted Yarn Shop mystery, for example) tends to dominate proceedings. This is a straight murder mystery and it’s highly enjoyable.

A huge pile of marking is beckoning, so I’ll leave this by confirming to you that this is Highly Recommended. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

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8 comments

  1. Glad to hear this is a good one (especially as a fan of Brett’s Paris books) – Watch out my friend, phrases like “chick-lit-crime novels” will get you tarred and feathered in my neck of the woods 🙂

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  2. I knew the name Jane Dentinger sounded familiar when your post popped up in my email feed. And, sure enough, a paperback copy of this very novel made its way into my home and onto my TBR stacks at some point. Where it has languished ever since….your excellent review reminds me why I brought it home in the first place. And your recommendation tells me I should move it up the ranks in the stacks….

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  3. I have the first four in this series and read #1 and #2 in early 2012. I enjoyed them very much and agree with the points in your review. I am sure I will get to the next two someday. My copies are paperbacks

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  4. I have just read this book. A witty and entertaining read, though I was able to guess the murderer.
    It definitely cannot be regarded as a cozy mystery because of the invectives used and the blatant sex talk.

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