Saturday, November 5, 2016

Offed Stage Left by Joanne Sydney Lessner

This novel was my introduction to Isobel Spice, aspiring actress and accomplished sleuth. I like her character and the unusual setting of a regional theater.

Isobel had obtained a role in an upstate New York theater production of a musical based on the life of Sousa. Before the opening night, strange things happen. Are they pranks or is someone trying to stop the show? And then the action on stage turns deadly.

Lessner has crafted an engaging novel about the workings of theater. Not having read the previous novels in the series and not being familiar with theater, I was at a loss sometimes with the terminology. That did not detract much from my enjoyment of this mystery, however. I did learn quite a bit about the workings behind the scenes, including the personnel, the props and costumes, and the emotional condition of the participants.

Isobel is my kind of sleuth. She's able to keep her focus under pressure. She's the understudy for the leading lady and when that star collapses onstage, Isobel has to step up. She becomes the primary suspect when it is determined the star was murdered. Isobel is a strong character, managing to do a smashing job on stage while concentrating on finding the real killer.

This novel has lots of action with an emphasis on character interaction. I would have liked a little more description of scenes so I could better imagine the action going on. Nonetheless, I found this novel to be an engaging one. The characters are well crafted and the plot satisfying. Readers who enjoy mysteries, theater, musicals, or the opera will enjoy this one.

You can read an excerpt here.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. Click here to view the 'Offed Stage Left by Joanne Sydney Lessner' Tour Participants.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Joanne Sydney Lessner is the author of Pandora's Bottle, a novel inspired by the story of the world's most expensive bottle of wine (Flint Mine Press), and The Temporary Detective, Bad Publicity, and Justice for Some, featuring Isobel Spice. No stranger to the theatrical world, Joanne enjoys an active performing career in both musical theater and opera. With her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, she has coauthored several musicals. Her play, Critical Mass, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010 as the winner of the 2009 Heiress Productions Playwriting Competition. Joanne is a regular contributing writer to Opera News and holds a B.A. in music from Yale University. You can find out more at her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Book Details:
Genre: Mystery, Amateur Sleuth
Published by: Dulcet Press
Publication Date: Late October 2016
Number of Pages: 260
ISBN: 9780998133201
Series: Isobel Spice, 4. Each is a stand alone mystery.
You can get your copy of Offed Stage Left at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and add it to your GoodReads list.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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