Today it’s my turn on the BlogBlitz Foul Deeds Will Rise by Elizabeth Ireland. It’s an intriguing combination of mystery, murder and love of theatre and acting.
Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.
She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.
By 1875, Lillian Nolan believes she has successfully shut off any connection to the spirit world. That winter she is thrilled when she wins the role of Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet in her home town of Chicago. Everything changes when the body of the managing director is found sprawled across the steps of the dress circle and all the investors’ money is missing. Lillian fears, once again, her career is over before it begins.
After her dearest friend is arrested for murder, Lillian commits herself to discovering the truth. Her search is complicated by a strange man who is following her, the romantic overtures of her co-star, and a reunion with an old nemesis. But nothing is what it seems. What she does find puts a member of her own family at risk and leads to the unmasking of the killer with lethal consequences for herself.
The Backstage Mysteries can be read as stand-alone novels. They feature the same ghost absorbing actress sleuth, who has decided to have the adventures of her long life penned for posterity. During the many years of her career I think Lillian must have developed a reputation for always being in the same place where bodies suddenly appear. Just saying.
In this story Lillian has to solve the murder of a nasty little managing director of a theatre, when her friend is accused of killing him. It doesn’t help that she appears to have the perfect motive, well more than one actually. He was stealing her money and treating her like an idiotic pesky fly and her young son was petrified of him. All very good reasons to get rid of him.
The author has taken an air of Christie and combined it with the genre of paranormal fantasy – ghostly mysteries with a classic detective vibe. It absolutely has television series written all over it. A Father Brown meets Shakespearean theatre murder mysteries. Midsomer Mysteries meets ghost-whispering sleuth.
It’s an intriguing combination of mystery, murder and love of theatre and acting. Ireland shows an excellent understanding of the motivation, thrill and lives of committed thespians.
It isn’t easy to explain the joy of entertaining and getting a physical non-drug related high from the audience response, but Ireland captures it really well, especially in the first book, A Walking Shadow. She also captures the other end of the spectrum in equal measures, the ego you need to have to perform on stage whilst believing in your own greatness. Kudos to Ireland for the ode to Shakespeare and his immortal words in the Backstage Mystery series.
Buy Foul Deeds Will Rise (Backstage Mystery #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.