Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Humor, deep characters, good mystery
Cons: Sub-plots overwhelm a bit in first half, but still a great book
The Bottom Line:
Murder of neighbor
And Ivy’s new dinner show
Another fun book
Sounds Like Another Winner to Me
When I tried the first Ivy Meadows book a few months back, I loved and I couldn’t wait to start the next one, so I’m a little surprised it took me until now to get around to reading The Sound of Murder, her second mystery. The wait was worth it, however, because this was another fabulous read.
Ivy Meadows is trying to divide her time between two interests, acting and learning to be a PI. On the acting front, she has landed a gig in The Sound of Cabaret, a new musical that combines The Sound of Music with Cabaret as Mary, a postulant nun, helps a bunch of Jewish dancers flee the Nazis while falling in love with the Captain Vaughn Katt, the owner of the club where they dance. This show is at a dinner theater in the community of Sunnydale, outside of Phoenix proper and large enough to really be its own town.
Unfortunately, Ivy has just had a small fire in her own apartment, and she is looking for a place to live while it is being renovated. Fortunately, she lands a housesitting gig for a resident of Sunnydale. But she’s barely arrives when one of her new neighbors dies in his garage, an apparent suicide. The man’s daughter doesn’t buy the suicide angle and hires Ivy’s uncle, a licensed PI, to learn the truth. Ivy takes on the case as her very first assignment and is determined to do a good job. But is there more to the suicide than meets the eye? Can she balance the investigation with her acting schedule?
Now if you didn’t figure it out from the description of the play, this is definitely a humorous cozy. I dare you to read the description of the scenes and the songs without getting a smile on your face. There is plenty of humor from the characters and situations as well.
And yet this book has a depth to it. While we may be laughing at certain things, the death that starts the investigation is treated very seriously. There are also things that Ivy is facing that are serious as well. This is never awkward; the book finds the perfect balance between the funny, the sometimes absurd, and the serious.
This results in some fantastic characters. There is a richness and depth to them and makes them truly shine. While I already knew I loved the series regulars, there were some great new characters in this book, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them pop up again in the future.
There are several sub-plots in this book, and at times they push the murder investigation to the back stage. But you know what? I didn’t mind because I was having a fabulous time hanging out with the characters. As the book progressed, some of those sub-plots actually did begin to tie in to the murder, and the mystery took center stage more and more. The climax brought us a logical and fun solution to the mystery.
I’m thrilled the third Ivy Meadows mystery is already out and you’d better believe I plan to read it soon. If you are looking for a fun mystery set in the world of theater, The Sound of Murder is definitely for you.