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Ill Met by Murder

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It’s the most important night of the year for the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company--the annual fund raising performance at the country estate of the wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen. And this year promises to be even more special as the company will give a moonlight performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the wedding celebrations for Paula's daughter, Belinda It’s the most important night of the year for the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company--the annual fund raising performance at the country estate of the wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen. And this year promises to be even more special as the company will give a moonlight performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the wedding celebrations for Paula's daughter, Belinda Van Dusen, and her fiance Adrian. But "the course of true love never did run smooth," and in the aftermath of a disastrous after party, the stage is set for murder. Hugh Hedley, son of a prominent upstate New York family and Adrian’s rival in the cut-throat world of high end Manhattan real estate, is found murdered with a stolen prop from the play. Mrs. Van Dusen is desperate to keep her daughter’s name of out of the paper, so Charlotte Fairfax is drawn into yet another murder case amidst her costume design responsibilities and finding a home for the company's new theater school. But Charlotte nevertheless throws herself into an investigation of shady business deals, a missing dog, and long buried family secrets because "though she be but little, she is fierce!"


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It’s the most important night of the year for the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company--the annual fund raising performance at the country estate of the wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen. And this year promises to be even more special as the company will give a moonlight performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the wedding celebrations for Paula's daughter, Belinda It’s the most important night of the year for the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company--the annual fund raising performance at the country estate of the wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen. And this year promises to be even more special as the company will give a moonlight performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the wedding celebrations for Paula's daughter, Belinda Van Dusen, and her fiance Adrian. But "the course of true love never did run smooth," and in the aftermath of a disastrous after party, the stage is set for murder. Hugh Hedley, son of a prominent upstate New York family and Adrian’s rival in the cut-throat world of high end Manhattan real estate, is found murdered with a stolen prop from the play. Mrs. Van Dusen is desperate to keep her daughter’s name of out of the paper, so Charlotte Fairfax is drawn into yet another murder case amidst her costume design responsibilities and finding a home for the company's new theater school. But Charlotte nevertheless throws herself into an investigation of shady business deals, a missing dog, and long buried family secrets because "though she be but little, she is fierce!"

30 review for Ill Met by Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I won this book on Goodreads. he Catskills Shakespeare theater company is holding their annul fund rising performance at the home of a wealthy widow. Her daughters wedding will be part of the service. Her daugher’s fince Adrian’s biggest rivel is found dead with a prop from the show.Charlotte is drawn into another mystery. She finds shy business dels, long buried family secrets and a missing dog all figure into what happened.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Ill Met by Murder (Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery #2) takes us back to Jacobs Grand Hotel in the Catskills, where the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company is presenting the bard's A Midsummer's Night Dream as part of a rehearsal wedding evening. Things go smoothly (except for a missing donkey head....) until one of the guests is found murdered the next morning, and once again Charlotte Fairfax is in the thick of things! A quick pace, and as much as I loved the first book in the series, Un Ill Met by Murder (Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery #2) takes us back to Jacobs Grand Hotel in the Catskills, where the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company is presenting the bard's A Midsummer's Night Dream as part of a rehearsal wedding evening. Things go smoothly (except for a missing donkey head....) until one of the guests is found murdered the next morning, and once again Charlotte Fairfax is in the thick of things! A quick pace, and as much as I loved the first book in the series, Untimely Death, I really, really enjoyed this story. Even though at the end the mystery is solved and the murderer is apprehended, I like the way the Ms. Duncan sets the stage (pun intended!!!) for the next book in the series, Much Ado About Murder, which as I write this review hasn't been released yet. Very nice cozy read, I like the camaraderie among the recurring characters. Highly recommend! :-)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs... For complete review check out my blog at https://booksaplentybookreviews.blogs...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary (Biblophile)

    A very enjoyable cozy that I thoroughly enjoyed. Well written with likable characters who, for a change, aren't flaky or too stupid to live. I liked the setting and plot twists which kept me guessing. This is the second in the series. I will have to investigate other books in the series. A very enjoyable cozy that I thoroughly enjoyed. Well written with likable characters who, for a change, aren't flaky or too stupid to live. I liked the setting and plot twists which kept me guessing. This is the second in the series. I will have to investigate other books in the series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Lite fare, well narrated, fast read, no profanity, gore or sex references. Sunny beach read. Recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Around the Year in 52 Books 2018 Reading Challenge. A book featuring a murder. I liked the tie in with Shakespeare. Midsummer Night's Dream is a wonderful play and perfect for a pre-wedding event. First in the series I have read. I like the characters in this book and I see potential for the series. However, I was disappointed with Belinda's decision at the end of the book. Around the Year in 52 Books 2018 Reading Challenge. A book featuring a murder. I liked the tie in with Shakespeare. Midsummer Night's Dream is a wonderful play and perfect for a pre-wedding event. First in the series I have read. I like the characters in this book and I see potential for the series. However, I was disappointed with Belinda's decision at the end of the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Krall

    An entertaining mystery set in the Catskills, where a Shakespearean play is performed amidst a wedding celebration. In this second Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, a murder is committed during the production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Paula Van Dusen, a wealthy widow, is hosting the play as a fund raiser along with the weekend long wedding festivities for her daughter Belinda and groom to be Adrian. When a body is found after the play, it appears to be Adrian's rival in the real estate An entertaining mystery set in the Catskills, where a Shakespearean play is performed amidst a wedding celebration. In this second Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, a murder is committed during the production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Paula Van Dusen, a wealthy widow, is hosting the play as a fund raiser along with the weekend long wedding festivities for her daughter Belinda and groom to be Adrian. When a body is found after the play, it appears to be Adrian's rival in the real estate world. Charlotte Fairfax, the costume designer for the play, tries to solve the mystery and find the murderer, along with her assistant Aaron. Family secrets are revealed when the murderer is finally found. I enjoyed reading this book with it's eccentric characters and references to Shakespeare along with the descriptions of Shakespearean costume design. A totally fun mystery that is highly recommended. I received this book from Goodteaads in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Fun, easy book. Good mystery. Too much doggie love for me: tears in the eyes, heart filled, etc. Ending didn't finish up very well. Leading lady is super demanding to her younger assistant/coworker: drive me here, now! drive me there, now! Get your own damn car. Fun, easy book. Good mystery. Too much doggie love for me: tears in the eyes, heart filled, etc. Ending didn't finish up very well. Leading lady is super demanding to her younger assistant/coworker: drive me here, now! drive me there, now! Get your own damn car.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Ill Met by Murder is a perplexing addition to Elizabeth J. Duncan's delightfully entertaining Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery series. This latest release in this wonderful cozy mystery starring amateur sleuth Charlotte Fairfax can easily be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the previous novel as well. Charlotte and her assistant Aaron Jacobs once again find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation when real estate mogul Hugh Hedley is killed on the estate of the Catskill Ill Met by Murder is a perplexing addition to Elizabeth J. Duncan's delightfully entertaining Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery series. This latest release in this wonderful cozy mystery starring amateur sleuth Charlotte Fairfax can easily be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the previous novel as well. Charlotte and her assistant Aaron Jacobs once again find themselves in the middle of a murder investigation when real estate mogul Hugh Hedley is killed on the estate of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company's biggest fundraiser, Paula Van Dusen. This year's fundraising production is also part of the celebration for the upcoming wedding of Paula's daughter Belinda and her fiancé Adrian Archer, Hugh's biggest competitor in the real estate world. With her curiosity piqued by tension in the bridal party and snippets of overheard conversations, Charlotte does a little investigating on her own as she tries to piece together who killed Hugh. With the latest production going smoothly, Charlotte has plenty of time to see if she can figure out a motive for Hugh's murder. Paula confides to her that she believes that his death might have been a case of mistaken identity and that her prospective son-in-law Adrian could have been the intended target. Charlotte is unsure whether there is any truth to Paula's claims since she has made no secret of the fact that she disapproves of Belinda's fiancé. A little digging into the men's business dealings reveals they have been involved an extremely contentious real estate transaction but is this a motive for murder? In between looking for clues to the identity of Adrian's killer, Charlotte is doing the preliminary work that needs to be done in order to open a theater school. Securing the funding and locating a property for the school are top priorities and she is finally making a little headway on the project. After looking at a nearby house that would be perfect for the school, Charlotte makes a puzzling discovery that inadvertently puts her in harm's way. After she learns the truth about a long held family secret, will Charlotte finally have the evidence she needs to identify Adrian's killer? With a cast of eccentric characters, an intriguing mystery and a clever storyline, Ill Met for Murder is another marvelous installment in the Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery series. Elizabeth J. Duncan offers several plausible motives for the murder along with a vast pool of suspects which makes it virtually impossible for readers to guess the killer's identity until the novel's rather dramatic conclusion. I highly recommend this spectacular whodunit to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    The Catskills Shakespeare Company does traditional-dress Shakespeare all season, including one outdoor charity event at the home of the wealthy Paula Van Dusen. This year it's 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' and the performance will be part of the wedding celebration of Paula's daughter Belinda. Charlotte is a Brit who does costumes for the company and essentially lives with her boyfriend, the local chief of police. She has a lot going on, like a new intern, Aaron, and looking for a location for her The Catskills Shakespeare Company does traditional-dress Shakespeare all season, including one outdoor charity event at the home of the wealthy Paula Van Dusen. This year it's 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' and the performance will be part of the wedding celebration of Paula's daughter Belinda. Charlotte is a Brit who does costumes for the company and essentially lives with her boyfriend, the local chief of police. She has a lot going on, like a new intern, Aaron, and looking for a location for her theater school. She does not need the donkey's head for Bottom going missing five minutes before they need it for the scene, and even more does she not need it being found on the head of a dead man in the garden. Time for another murder investigation. I liked this okay. I love Shakespeare and theater and summer, so all that worked for me, and I enjoyed all the details of the setting and the costumes and the plays, etc. I liked Charlotte well enough, too, and was glad she was middle-aged and not the usual "I have no idea how hot I am because I wear glasses" young female detective. What didn't work for me was the very visible creaking gears of the plot. Many moments were so obviously clues, because there was no reason to write about such mundane moments unless they were clues (though to be honest, she did add in mundane details that weren't clues, and those didn't need to be there either--who cares which way you lean so the server can pour more wine, if it's not a clue?). So, good setting, but clunky on the plotting.

  11. 5 out of 5

    DelAnne Frazee

    Title: Ill Met by Murder - Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery Book 2 Author: Elizabeth J.Duncan Published: 12-13-2016 Publisher: Crooked Lane Books Pages: 288 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuths ISBN: 13: 9781629537696 ASIN: B01I1ZG6SU Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.50 Stars I received a copy of "Ill Met By Murder" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Descripti Title: Ill Met by Murder - Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery Book 2 Author: Elizabeth J.Duncan Published: 12-13-2016 Publisher: Crooked Lane Books Pages: 288 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuths ISBN: 13: 9781629537696 ASIN: B01I1ZG6SU Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.50 Stars I received a copy of "Ill Met By Murder" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Description from the Publisher: It’s the most important night of the year for costume designer Charlotte Fairfax and the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company--the annual fund raising performance at the country estate of the wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen. This year, the company will give a moonlight performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the wedding celebrations for Paula's daughter, Belinda, and her fiance Adrian. But then Hugh Hedley, family friend of the Van Dusens and Adrian's rival in the cutthroat world of high-end Manhattan real estate, is found murdered with a stolen prop from the play. Paula, desperate to keep her daughter’s name of out of the paper, enlists Charlotte's help, despite the fact that Charlotte's already got her hands full amidst her costume design responsibilities and finding a home for the company's new theater school. But Charlotte nevertheless throws herself into an investigation of shady business deals, a missing dog, and long buried family secrets because "though she be but little, she is fierce!" Ill Met by Murder, the second in Elizabeth J. Duncan's compelling mystery series, will satisfy every Shakespeare and mystery lover alike My review of "Ill Met by Murder": Charlotte Fairfax returns once again to become involved with a murder, but was Hugh Hedley the intended victim? Charlotte and the other characters are strong, bold and well developed. Add to that Elizabeth Duncan's fast paced plot with multiple threads such as Charlotte's plans to open a school and search for a location. The clues are peppered through out the story but Ms. Duncan does not make it easy for the reader to solve the mystery. You will be kept guessing from beginning to the exciting and surprising reveal. If you enjoy a few hours of escapism into the world of lighter mysteries, then "Ill Met by Murder is guaranteed to take you away from the grind into the world of Charlotte Fairfax. Get to know her and her friends. I'll bet you'll want to return often to visit and catch up. My rating is 4.50 out of 5 stars. Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I1ZG6SU/... Barnes and Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ill-m... GoodReads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... The Reading Room link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rima Aiello

    Ill Met by Murder is the second installment in the Shakespeare in the Catskills series. Being a lover of Shakespeare myself, I definitely enjoyed this series. After reading the first installment, I was eager to read the second. This book definitely grabs you and keeps you wanting more. The setting is beautiful, the characters well written and developed, and the whodunnit beautifully executed. I love that the author took the time to " set the stage" so to speak with such attention to detail it fe Ill Met by Murder is the second installment in the Shakespeare in the Catskills series. Being a lover of Shakespeare myself, I definitely enjoyed this series. After reading the first installment, I was eager to read the second. This book definitely grabs you and keeps you wanting more. The setting is beautiful, the characters well written and developed, and the whodunnit beautifully executed. I love that the author took the time to " set the stage" so to speak with such attention to detail it felt you were actually in the book. A most enchanting read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nese

    This is the second book in the Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery series. I liked the first book a lot, but I even enjoyed this one better because the characters keep growing personally and so do their relationships. The new characters introduced to the story line add more dimensions to the murder mystery with so many twists and turns. Even the book has a bright mood, the relationships are described in a realistic way. I can’t wait for the next book to see where the life will take the characte This is the second book in the Shakespeare in the Catskills Mystery series. I liked the first book a lot, but I even enjoyed this one better because the characters keep growing personally and so do their relationships. The new characters introduced to the story line add more dimensions to the murder mystery with so many twists and turns. Even the book has a bright mood, the relationships are described in a realistic way. I can’t wait for the next book to see where the life will take the characters. Four and half stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This is the second in her Shakespeare in the Catskills series. I was not sure I would enjoy this second series, but I did enjoy the first book and here I am back again. As with all her other books in both series, they are entertaining light mystery reads. I particularly enjoy the backstage at the theatre, and theatre wardrobe details that give a taste of theatre. >WPL

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Love the Shakespeare in the Catskills series. I come from a theatre background, working backstage and front-of-house, and love the authenticity in these books. I can almost smell that special backstage odour of sawn wood, paint and greasepaint! The stories are wonderful, and so are the Highly recommend this author.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Terry Southard

    I guess I am going against the tide here, but this one just wasn't very good, in my opinion. The murder was very much in the background and I didn't find the solution either satisfying or plausible. It's like the book wandered around for 175 pages and then wentforthesolutionasfastaspossible. And it just didn't make enough *sense*. Won't read further in the series. I guess I am going against the tide here, but this one just wasn't very good, in my opinion. The murder was very much in the background and I didn't find the solution either satisfying or plausible. It's like the book wandered around for 175 pages and then wentforthesolutionasfastaspossible. And it just didn't make enough *sense*. Won't read further in the series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Is this a mystery or a bad romance book? Very disappointed in this book. I liked the first book in the series, but I feel this book was written in haste. The mystery seemed to take back stage to all this romance. A bit too sappy for me. Penny Brannigan series far superior.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shalini Ayre

    Second outing for this new series and Duncan has done an excellent job of tying in previous characters from the first one and adding more depth to the ones already met. Another well thought out plot with a few twists and turns that kept me engaged.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pat Persson

    Second in a series and I enjoyed it even more than I did the first book. The characters have great personalities, and the murder was clever. Taking place in the Catskills, the stories lend themselves to the Shakespeare theme.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Raven

    I'm enjoying this series. The murder didn't occur until 1/3 into the story, so there's quite a bit of story line being developed prior to that event. It's refreshing from other cozy mysteries where someone usually ends up dead in the first few chapters and the rest is sleuthing. I'm enjoying this series. The murder didn't occur until 1/3 into the story, so there's quite a bit of story line being developed prior to that event. It's refreshing from other cozy mysteries where someone usually ends up dead in the first few chapters and the rest is sleuthing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Closer to 3.5 rating. I liked this book a little better than the first book in the series. It progresses in a low key manner, doesn’t waste time making up theories that don’t stand up. Develops and moves forward relationships of repeating characters.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan Parks

    3.5 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Selah

    Interesting mystery, fun Shakespearean elements, a charming protagonist, and a central romance that actually progresses!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Beach read, when your mind can drift to the sand and waves.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    This was a good story. I liked the first book better, but I'm getting to enjoy the characters. I'm eagerly awaiting #3. This was a good story. I liked the first book better, but I'm getting to enjoy the characters. I'm eagerly awaiting #3.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Reichbach

    I was disappointed that the editing was so poorly done that the typos and grammar mistakes detracted from the story. Does anyone know how to edit anymore????

  27. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Beeman

    I couldn’t connect with the characters. Charlotte is awfully bossy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Adamson

    2nd book in the Catskills Theater mystery series. Wonderful writing, page-turning mystery, fabulous characters!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    A fun easy read that takes place in the Catskills. Enjoyable "cosy" mystery with likeable characters and interesting plot. Will definitely look for other books by Elizabeth J. Duncan. A fun easy read that takes place in the Catskills. Enjoyable "cosy" mystery with likeable characters and interesting plot. Will definitely look for other books by Elizabeth J. Duncan.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nathalie

    This is the kind of book which makes me instantly happy when I unexpectedly find it available! I hope author Elizabeth J Duncan keeps adding to this series.

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