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In Mariah Fredericks's Death of a Showman, the fourth in this absorbing series set in Gilded Age New York, lady’s maid Jane Prescott is thrust into the world of show business, where a killer is stalking Broadway. “A lively upstairs/downstairs mystery.”—New York Times Book Review on A Death of No Importance It is the summer of 1914 and lady’s maid Jane Prescott is back in In Mariah Fredericks's Death of a Showman, the fourth in this absorbing series set in Gilded Age New York, lady’s maid Jane Prescott is thrust into the world of show business, where a killer is stalking Broadway. “A lively upstairs/downstairs mystery.”—New York Times Book Review on A Death of No Importance It is the summer of 1914 and lady’s maid Jane Prescott is back in New York with the Tylers after a glittering society wedding in Europe. On their return, Jane learns another wedding has taken place. Her old dancing partner, Leo Hirschfeld, has married a chorus girl in his new Broadway musical. Jane and Louise Tyler are pulled into the sparkling and scandalous world of Broadway, as a star struck Louise invests in Leo's show, and Jane chaperones her at rehearsals. But behind the glittering facade of the theater, there are rivalries, secret romances, and some very dodgy business practices. When the show's abusive producer, Sidney Warburton, is murdered, the list of suspects is long. Was it the comedic star or her gambler boyfriend? The disgruntled costume designer? The beautiful, blond dancer, her jealous husband? Or was it Leo himself, who had more reason than anyone to hate Sidney Warburton? As the First World war looms in the distance, Jane and tabloid reporter Michael Behan must strip back the masks of these consummate performers before one of them kills again.


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In Mariah Fredericks's Death of a Showman, the fourth in this absorbing series set in Gilded Age New York, lady’s maid Jane Prescott is thrust into the world of show business, where a killer is stalking Broadway. “A lively upstairs/downstairs mystery.”—New York Times Book Review on A Death of No Importance It is the summer of 1914 and lady’s maid Jane Prescott is back in In Mariah Fredericks's Death of a Showman, the fourth in this absorbing series set in Gilded Age New York, lady’s maid Jane Prescott is thrust into the world of show business, where a killer is stalking Broadway. “A lively upstairs/downstairs mystery.”—New York Times Book Review on A Death of No Importance It is the summer of 1914 and lady’s maid Jane Prescott is back in New York with the Tylers after a glittering society wedding in Europe. On their return, Jane learns another wedding has taken place. Her old dancing partner, Leo Hirschfeld, has married a chorus girl in his new Broadway musical. Jane and Louise Tyler are pulled into the sparkling and scandalous world of Broadway, as a star struck Louise invests in Leo's show, and Jane chaperones her at rehearsals. But behind the glittering facade of the theater, there are rivalries, secret romances, and some very dodgy business practices. When the show's abusive producer, Sidney Warburton, is murdered, the list of suspects is long. Was it the comedic star or her gambler boyfriend? The disgruntled costume designer? The beautiful, blond dancer, her jealous husband? Or was it Leo himself, who had more reason than anyone to hate Sidney Warburton? As the First World war looms in the distance, Jane and tabloid reporter Michael Behan must strip back the masks of these consummate performers before one of them kills again.

30 review for Death of a Showman

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    This fun and well-written cozy historical mystery by Mariah Fredericks takes us right to the heart of Broadway. This is the fourth book in the Jane Prescott series. It can be read as a standalone, but events from previous books are discussed in this story, so reading the first three books would be beneficial. In 1914 New York City, Jane Prescott, lady's maid to Louise Tyler, is back in New York after a trip to Europe. Louise has invested in a Broadway Show and Jane begins accompanying her to events This fun and well-written cozy historical mystery by Mariah Fredericks takes us right to the heart of Broadway. This is the fourth book in the Jane Prescott series. It can be read as a standalone, but events from previous books are discussed in this story, so reading the first three books would be beneficial. In 1914 New York City, Jane Prescott, lady's maid to Louise Tyler, is back in New York after a trip to Europe. Louise has invested in a Broadway Show and Jane begins accompanying her to events and rehearsals as a chaperone. Leo Hirschfeld, Jane's romance from the previous summer, has written this Broadway musical. He has also made some choices that are hard for Jane to accept. Then a well-known producer is killed in a bathroom of the famous Rector's. Tabloid reporter Michael Behan is on the case. Will Jane help him find the killer? Mariah Fredericks takes us on a sometimes hilarious journey into the world of Broadway and the elite circles of 1914 New York City. The author's wry humor will keep you chuckling as we uncover more secrets and clues, and we learn that especially in show business, things aren't always as they seem. Jane is an engaging protagonist. Her shrewd mind, adventurous spirit, and clever wit will definitely keep the reader entertained. Jane is perfectly imperfect, and stumbles frequently into mishaps and mayhem, taking us along for the ride. The mystery is multi-faceted and compelling, and the characters all shine. Historical people, places, and events from Gilded Age New York are shown in vivid detail. This was an enjoyable read from start to finish. Highly recommend. I received a free copy of this book from Minotaur Books for review in Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    The blurb gives a good idea of the plot. Give it a look. Some thoughts: I thought this was the author's best book yet. The writing was smooth, the storytelling worked from start to finish. It seemed to me that our main characters (Jane, Louise, Leo) had more emotional complexity. All of these are signs that the author has really settled into her world. I loved the theater setting--we got a good look at what it takes to put on a show. All of the showbiz people were given enough personality to take The blurb gives a good idea of the plot. Give it a look. Some thoughts: I thought this was the author's best book yet. The writing was smooth, the storytelling worked from start to finish. It seemed to me that our main characters (Jane, Louise, Leo) had more emotional complexity. All of these are signs that the author has really settled into her world. I loved the theater setting--we got a good look at what it takes to put on a show. All of the showbiz people were given enough personality to take them beyond being 'types'. Even Sidney Warburton, the murdered producer, had enough complexity to escape being a cardboard figure. I am going to abandon predicting what the next book will reveal as I failed miserably in guessing this book's big revelations after reading Death of an American Beauty. BTW, while this book can be read as a stand-alone, the reader will get just that little bit more from it by having read the previous book. Now starts the wait for the next one. Sigh...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Chiger

    This is the fourth book in the Jane Prescott series, and it's my favorite so far. Not for the mystery—I'm actually not a big mysteries buff—but for the characters, the setting, and the first-person narration. Jane, the astute lady's maid with a knack of being in the wrong place at the right time, tells her story with just the right dash of snark amid her sagacity. She's definitely the person you'd want to sit next to a formal gathering for the simple pleasure of getting her opinion of the goings This is the fourth book in the Jane Prescott series, and it's my favorite so far. Not for the mystery—I'm actually not a big mysteries buff—but for the characters, the setting, and the first-person narration. Jane, the astute lady's maid with a knack of being in the wrong place at the right time, tells her story with just the right dash of snark amid her sagacity. She's definitely the person you'd want to sit next to a formal gathering for the simple pleasure of getting her opinion of the goings-on. She continues to evolve, just as she has during the previous installments. Interestingly, so does her employer, Louise, who grows to become more than a timid, proper society lady. Manhattan in the days just prior to the beginning of World War I really comes alive, as do all the secondary characters. And while I'd suggest starting with the first of the Jane Prescott books, A Death of No Importance, you won't be lost if you begin here instead. I can't wait for book number five! Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I love this vibrant, lively, insanely readable series, a series that takes unexpected turns with its characters but still hews to the traditional norms of historical mystery fiction. The first book in the series, A Death of No Importance, was a fabulous origin story, where ladies’ maid Jane Prescott takes on the nouveau riche Benchley family in the first decade of the twentieth century. The books are set in New York City and the Benchley girls are viewed as rich upstarts, and Jane’s special char I love this vibrant, lively, insanely readable series, a series that takes unexpected turns with its characters but still hews to the traditional norms of historical mystery fiction. The first book in the series, A Death of No Importance, was a fabulous origin story, where ladies’ maid Jane Prescott takes on the nouveau riche Benchley family in the first decade of the twentieth century. The books are set in New York City and the Benchley girls are viewed as rich upstarts, and Jane’s special charge, Louise, is shy and gauche and seems to fit in nowhere. Louise finds her prince, however, an equally shy but old money member of New York society, William Tyler. This is the fourth book in the series, and Louise and William have returned from an extended trip to Europe when they are visited by an old friend of Jane’s – Leo Hirschfield. He’s putting on a Broadway show and wants backers. Louise is drawn like a moth to a flame and William insists that Jane accompany her to the theater, as a chaperone amongst the wild denizens of backstage Broadway. Louise’s infatuation with the theater proves to be a bit of a divide for the devoted couple. Jane is uncomfortable as Leo, whom she had become very fond of in the last book (Death of an American Beauty), turns out to be married to a voluptuous chorus girl, who of course has a part in the show. Jane is quickly put to work backstage (as a bonus avoiding Leo), and she gets to know not only the ins and outs of running a show, but the ins and outs of the various jealousies and tensions that are coursing through the theater. When the producer, an exceedingly unpleasant man named Sidney Warburton, is murdered when the company is out as a sumptuous dinner one evening, the show starts to fall apart as tensions are laid bare. The suspect pool appears to contain many members of the company, including Leo. Jane’s smarts as a detective and as a human being are paired with a gift for observation and an ability to discern motives and connections in the people around her. This book to me was one of the more traditional so far in Frederick’s strong series, but it’s set apart by several things. One is the relationship between Jane and Leo. As readers, we know the relationship continues into old age, but it’s not clear exactly how that happens. It’s a central mystery of the series and Fredericks is very skillfully drawing this thread through the books. One of the other things that sets the books apart is the look it takes at women’s lives. There’s no judgment, no anachronisms, but Fredericks finds as much interest in Jane’s place as a lady’s maid as she does in Mrs. Tyler unexpectedly finding an interest for herself – the theater. She looks backstage at the actors, the costumer, and the quiet woman who functions as the stage manager. There are all kinds of choices in this life, Fredericks seems to be saying, and none of them should be dismissed or disregarded. Ultimately, the solution to the murder lies in character, and the traits Jane uncovers as she questions folks backstage could only have been discovered by her, with her combination of intelligence and access. The solution is satisfying. Then, like any narrative genius, one who leaves her readers wanting more, Fredericks ends the book with the outbreak of WWI and another question in the air about Leo and Jane’s relationship. Greedily, I am already ready for book five.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    Death of a Showman is the fourth glittering book in the Jane Prescott series by Mariah Fredericks. I've read books two and three and loved them both; that being said, this one is by far my favorite! Set in Gilded Age New York in 1914, the world balances on the edge of war, adding depth to a story of an extremely entertaining mystery containing much wit. This mystery stands alone, but you will enjoy it even more if you are a bit familiar with the leading characters. Lady's maid Jane Prescott has j Death of a Showman is the fourth glittering book in the Jane Prescott series by Mariah Fredericks. I've read books two and three and loved them both; that being said, this one is by far my favorite! Set in Gilded Age New York in 1914, the world balances on the edge of war, adding depth to a story of an extremely entertaining mystery containing much wit. This mystery stands alone, but you will enjoy it even more if you are a bit familiar with the leading characters. Lady's maid Jane Prescott has just returned with Louise and William Tyler from a nine-month visit to Europe where they attended a society wedding. She finds out that her dear friend and dancing partner Leo Hirschfeld is getting ready for his first Broadway musical...oh, and he got married to a chorus girl while Jane was gone. Considering there were some feelings between Jane and Leo, she's not exactly thrilled. Louise decides to invest in Leo's show, and William insists that Jane chaperone her. Broadway is a whole new world to them, filled with affairs, bitter rivalries and secrets. When Sidney Warburton, the show's hateful producer, ends up being murdered, there is no shortage of suspects, chief among them Leo. Can Jane and tabloid reporter Michael Behan figure out who the killer is, before they strike once again? This was such a fun mystery! The performers and the people who worked at the theater were such an entertaining bunch, especially the lead dancers who were married, the comedy star and Leo's new wife Violet, whose claim to fame is slowly walking down stairs while dressed provacatively. Sidney was a terrible and unlikable man, and you can totally understand the entire cast wanting to kill him. It was good to see Jane and Leo reunited, despite the chasm that has deepened since Leo swore he'd never married. (When Jane reminded Leo of that, his response was, "I forgot"!) I also loved Jane's relationship with reporter Michael Behan. I can't quite figure out how they really feel about each other, especially since he is married and his wife is expecting. He refers to his unborn child as Tib, short for The Infant Behan. I loved the letters they wrote back and forth while Jane was in Europe; they are incredibly witty and were a favorite part of the story. I enjoyed seeing Louise mature as a wife and backer of the show and her relationship with William. All of these characters are memorable, but of course Jane stands above them all. I have a feeling there's more in store for Jane besides being a lady's maid. I can't wait to see where life takes her! Special shout out to the cover artist for the beautiful artwork. I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    I don’t know if Mariah Fredericks’ Death of a Showman is that much better than the other three Jane Prescott mysteries or if it’s my passion for Broadway that makes this one shine. She excels at the behind-the-scenes machinations of a Broadway musical. And, Fredericks’ amateur sleuth, a lady’s maid, is the perfect investigator in Gilded Age New York, an astute observer of human nature. Jane spent a summer dancing and romancing with Leo Herschfeld, an aspiring Broadway songwriter who swore he’d ne I don’t know if Mariah Fredericks’ Death of a Showman is that much better than the other three Jane Prescott mysteries or if it’s my passion for Broadway that makes this one shine. She excels at the behind-the-scenes machinations of a Broadway musical. And, Fredericks’ amateur sleuth, a lady’s maid, is the perfect investigator in Gilded Age New York, an astute observer of human nature. Jane spent a summer dancing and romancing with Leo Herschfeld, an aspiring Broadway songwriter who swore he’d never marry. When she returns from lengthy travels throughout Europe with her employers, William and Louise Tyler, they reluctantly show her the headlines about Leo’s first Broadway show, and his marriage to a chorus girl. Those headlines provide no indication that Jane and Louise will spent the next months involved in the musical’s production, and in a murder investigation. When Leo shows up at the Tylers’, he’s looking for Louise, not Jane. He wants an investor in the show, a patron. And, Louise, who is still searching for a purpose in life other than society and business dinners, latches on to the show as a life raft. William is reluctant, but it’s Louise’s money. He insists, though, that Jane accompany Louise to every rehearsal at the new Sidney Theater. While Jane finds jobs to do behind the scenes, she’s aware of the tension as the cast prepares for “Two Loves Have I.” There’s romantic tension, business tension. The producer, Sidney Warburton, can be hateful and rude to everyone. He’s murdered at a restaurant, with the entire cast, along with Louise Tyler and Jane, in attendance. It turns out there’s a long list of possible suspects. If one of them is arrested, will the show actually go on? While anyone who loves Broadway will appreciate all the backstage details in Death of a Showman, you should really read earlier books in the series. There are glimpses of Jane’s longtime best friend, Anna, an anarchist. Readers should know how Jane became friends with reporter Michael Behan. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to know about the relationship between Leo and Jane. Fredericks excels at the atmosphere of the period. While the Broadway details are sometimes glamorous, sometimes tawdry, that setting is set against the backdrop of 1914 as the world heads into war. Each headline prepares the reader for what’s coming, although the people in the book are so preoccupied that they don’t pay enough attention. Jane does feel a little uneasy, but the truth takes a while to reveal itself, both in the murder investigation, and in the world’s arena. Readers of the series will remember that Fredericks gives us short glimpses of Jane’s future in the opening of the books, and a brief epilogue. This time, the epilogue shows I had it wrong all the time. I never saw that coming. Bravo!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Mariah Fredericks has such a wonderful way of phrasing things, very clever and witty. She effortlessly pulls in historical details and breathes a lot of life into her characters...they really shine. Not that I like all of them...we're not supposed to...but they shine nonetheless. Death of a Showman is the fourth in the Jane Prescott series and is absolutely delightful! You know what it's like to be bedazzled by something which you cannot do yourself yet that person makes it appear effortless? Th Mariah Fredericks has such a wonderful way of phrasing things, very clever and witty. She effortlessly pulls in historical details and breathes a lot of life into her characters...they really shine. Not that I like all of them...we're not supposed to...but they shine nonetheless. Death of a Showman is the fourth in the Jane Prescott series and is absolutely delightful! You know what it's like to be bedazzled by something which you cannot do yourself yet that person makes it appear effortless? That's what this felt like to me. In 1914 New York, Jane is Lady's Maid to Louise. Jane's wry sense of humour is fabulous as she finds herself backed up against the wall and in pickles and muddles of all sorts. Louise is one of my favourite characters. Leo has made some rather interesting choices which consequentially affect several other people and the storylines. When dastardly Sidney is killed, not many sympathize. No one is how they appear and there are lots of fun bits to work out. Seeking murder AND mayhem? This is your next read. Much of the setting is a Broadway Theater which is intriguing. The characters are associated with the theater in one way or the other from patrons to actors to those behind the scenes, even a dog! The mysteries are delicious and riveting but to me the characters equally steal the show, even those who were a bit repugnant. Historical Fiction readers, do pick this one up! The epilogue and acknowledgements were wonderful, too. What a treat. My sincere thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this irresistible book in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carin

    The lady Jane Prescott is maid to, Louise Tyler, is interested in the theater, and as her new husband isn't paying much attention to her, when Jane learns her old friend Leo Hirschfeld has co-written a musical that is actually being produced on Broadway, the two of them start attending rehearsals, and Louise is soon pressured into financially backing the production. Jane isn't thrilled about seeing Leo every day as there had been sparks between them, but Leo has recently and suddenly married a c The lady Jane Prescott is maid to, Louise Tyler, is interested in the theater, and as her new husband isn't paying much attention to her, when Jane learns her old friend Leo Hirschfeld has co-written a musical that is actually being produced on Broadway, the two of them start attending rehearsals, and Louise is soon pressured into financially backing the production. Jane isn't thrilled about seeing Leo every day as there had been sparks between them, but Leo has recently and suddenly married a chorus girl in his new musical, whose claim to fame is slowly--and bouncily--walking down stairs. That's it. Jane understandably feels slighted that Leo would go from her to... this. But Jane is also a sensible woman and an excellent maid so she overlooks that for now, and even tries to get to know the woman. If Leo married her she can't be as stupid as she seems, can she? One night the whole cast and crew go out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and Leo's partner is murdered in the bathroom! Who could have done it? His wife? The woman he was stepping out with? Leo? The lead actress's disgruntled boyfriend? Whoever it is, the scandal could close the show, losing all of Louise's money, so Jane must go to work as the police are all too eager to lay the blame at the feet of someone who obviously had an alibi. Luckily for Louise, Jane is an excellent detective. Luckily for us readers, Jane is also a delightful sleuth to tag along with, during the beginning days of Broadway's height, as the musical was finding its feet in the transition from Vaudeville. Join her and Louise as they have a fun time dabbling their toes into the exciting life of the theater!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Jane Prescott is one of those characters whose literary presence always makes me want to scream “We would be best friends in real life!” every time I read about her exploits. I adore this series, and think it’s actually improving as it progresses, which is saying a lot when you consider that it has been quite good from the onset. The murder and ensuing mystery in this one was a bit lighter than in some of the prior installments, something that I think fits the series better than the heavier subje Jane Prescott is one of those characters whose literary presence always makes me want to scream “We would be best friends in real life!” every time I read about her exploits. I adore this series, and think it’s actually improving as it progresses, which is saying a lot when you consider that it has been quite good from the onset. The murder and ensuing mystery in this one was a bit lighter than in some of the prior installments, something that I think fits the series better than the heavier subject matter that has made the books tougher reads than I felt they should be at times. Fredericks has created a fantastic cast of characters, likable to be sure, and more complex than we often see in similar books. Jane is of course the best of the lot, but it’s the whole group’s terrific development and evolution that really makes this series stand out. And speaking of evolution, I love where this book ultimately led Jane. While her role as (more than just the) maid was a great setup, readers like me who have become frustrated by the fact that she seems meant for so much more will get a pleasant surprise in the closing chapters of Death of a Showman. The excellent character development, compelling plot lines, and historical research that Fredericks gives us just keep getting better and better, and I don’t think there’s another author writing in the genre who excels at tone as much as she does. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series. *I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    The excitement and drama of the theater thrummed through the pages of Fredericks latest book featuring Jane Prescott, a bright, hard-working and inquisitive woman with a sense of justice. It was fascinating to see into the world of Broadway in 1914 and it provided so many great characters/suspects. Jane and Louise have changed and grown through the books. Louise, in particular, was almost unrecognizable from the character introduced in the first book (fear not, you need not have read the others The excitement and drama of the theater thrummed through the pages of Fredericks latest book featuring Jane Prescott, a bright, hard-working and inquisitive woman with a sense of justice. It was fascinating to see into the world of Broadway in 1914 and it provided so many great characters/suspects. Jane and Louise have changed and grown through the books. Louise, in particular, was almost unrecognizable from the character introduced in the first book (fear not, you need not have read the others to understand this book but it is interesting to see the changes). Fredericks has used historical detail and issues of the time to develop a compelling story and nuanced mystery but also fit well with the characters she has created. I have really enjoyed her writing. There were funny moments and poignant ones as well. It was very appropriate that at the end of the novel as Jane and companions leave the enthralling world of the theater they come out into the real world and suffer a shock to the system as they discover the announcement of war had broken out in Europe. The good books do that to the reader. At the end it is a jolt when you leave the world of fiction created by the author and return to the real world. This one achieves it. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    My favorite mystery genre is historical and the Gilded Age best of all. Mariah Fredericks has earned a permanent spot on my must be read list. Her series character, Jane Prescott is wonderful and after reading the previous mysteries I'm going to say this is my favorite. Given how much I enjoy this series I may change that opinion when the next book is published. Jane is Lady's Maid to Louise and both have developed over the four books. Now, on their return from Europe, Louise is drawn into the th My favorite mystery genre is historical and the Gilded Age best of all. Mariah Fredericks has earned a permanent spot on my must be read list. Her series character, Jane Prescott is wonderful and after reading the previous mysteries I'm going to say this is my favorite. Given how much I enjoy this series I may change that opinion when the next book is published. Jane is Lady's Maid to Louise and both have developed over the four books. Now, on their return from Europe, Louise is drawn into the theater world and invests in Leo's production. As Jane and Leo have history, Jane isn't so sure about this turn of events. But it's the theater and a whole new world for them. One thing that is familiar - investigating a murder. The list of suspects is huge as it is obvious that few, if any, people liked Sidney Warburton, the producer. The reader is immersed in the life backstage and I was hooked from the very start. With a solid mystery, a wonderful setting and great recurring characters, I read into the wee hours and hated to read the last page. If you are new to this series, it works fine as a stand alone. Fans of historical mysteries set in the Gilded Age are in for a treat with this entire series. My thanks to the publisher Minotaur and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristy Weldon

    Thank you to @minotaur_books for a gifted copy of Death of a Showman by Mariah Frederick's. All opinions are my own. I really enjoyed this book. It checks a number of boxes for favorites: Historical ✔ Mystery ✔ Cozy feel ✔ Likable characters ✔ By the time I had reached the halfway point I had already ordered the first three books from the series. In the summer of 1914, Louise Tyler has decided to invest in a Broadway show. Jane Prescott, Louise's lady's maid, is asked to chaperone Mrs. Tyler on her d Thank you to @minotaur_books for a gifted copy of Death of a Showman by Mariah Frederick's. All opinions are my own. I really enjoyed this book. It checks a number of boxes for favorites: Historical ✔ Mystery ✔ Cozy feel ✔ Likable characters ✔ By the time I had reached the halfway point I had already ordered the first three books from the series. In the summer of 1914, Louise Tyler has decided to invest in a Broadway show. Jane Prescott, Louise's lady's maid, is asked to chaperone Mrs. Tyler on her daily visits to the theater. Soon disaster strikes as the director is murdered before the show opens. The killer has to be found but the show must go on. There is a web of characters and each has their own secrets. Who is being honest? Who is lying? Who is hiding something? At times I was surprised at how Jane's character seemed to be very modern when she would speak her mind. She is independent and intelligent. This is book 4 in the Jane Prescott Novel series. It would work as a standalone but immediately I wanted to read the earlier books to understand how Jane had gotten to this point in the story. I am a huge fan of author's notes in Historical Fiction and there are some author's notes in the Acknowledgements. Historical Fiction Release Date: April 13, 2021

  13. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Rodríguez

    A very entertaining book. The story takes place during the summer of 1914. Jane Prescott is back in New York with Tyler after an elegant wedding in Europe. Some days after her return, Jane learns that her partner Leo Hirschfeld has married a special girl. This girl is part of the cast of her new Broadway musical. Jane is introduced to the scandalous world of Broadway as she accompanies Louise Tyler to her rehearsals. However, Jane realizes that the world for Broadway is full of rivalries, secret A very entertaining book. The story takes place during the summer of 1914. Jane Prescott is back in New York with Tyler after an elegant wedding in Europe. Some days after her return, Jane learns that her partner Leo Hirschfeld has married a special girl. This girl is part of the cast of her new Broadway musical. Jane is introduced to the scandalous world of Broadway as she accompanies Louise Tyler to her rehearsals. However, Jane realizes that the world for Broadway is full of rivalries, secret romances, and shady business practices. One day, Sidney Warburton, an abusive producer, appears murdered, and the list of suspects is very long. Jane wants to investigate and find out who is behind this terrible crime. It is a book that captured my attention from the first page. I liked that the author described New York City at that time. It is undoubtedly a time when people struggled to get ahead. I liked Jane because she was a girl committed to solving crime and, above all doing the right thing. I thank NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Siemann

    The latest instalment in the Jane Prescott series is the best yet. When my copy turned up, I actually set aside the book I was reading (and enjoying). I'd read the preview and knew that Jane's erstwhile beau, composer Leo Hirschfeld, married an actress while Jane was in Europe with her employer. Having been left hanging on that note, I needed to know more! The theatrical world of Broadway, 1914, is portrayed in vivid detail. It's nice to see Jane's employer Louise coming into her own, as a buddin The latest instalment in the Jane Prescott series is the best yet. When my copy turned up, I actually set aside the book I was reading (and enjoying). I'd read the preview and knew that Jane's erstwhile beau, composer Leo Hirschfeld, married an actress while Jane was in Europe with her employer. Having been left hanging on that note, I needed to know more! The theatrical world of Broadway, 1914, is portrayed in vivid detail. It's nice to see Jane's employer Louise coming into her own, as a budding theatrical investor, instead of a shy young wife who's afraid of her own shadow. Jane dusts herself off, and serves as Louise's companion and assistant costume mistress. When the impresario is murdered, nearly everyone is a suspect, and Jane becomes amateur investigator as well. The cast is well-drawn, and has its secrets, each interesting in its own right, but only one leading to the killer . . . . Meanwhile, reporter Michael Behan and Jane's dear friend Anna, a budding anarchist, remind us of the issues of the wider world at the beginning of the First World War. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Having read and quite enjoyed the 3 other Jane Prescott mysteries, I was quite excited to receive a DRC from Netgalley and Minotaur books. Needless to say this book was an entertaining read with a good mystery, interesting characters, and an inside view of the theater world of the 1910s. . In The Death of A Showman, Jane becomes enmeshed in the real workings of a Broadway play produced by her former beau, Leo Hirshfield. Murder and mayhem follow with an undertone of the impending war (as this is s Having read and quite enjoyed the 3 other Jane Prescott mysteries, I was quite excited to receive a DRC from Netgalley and Minotaur books. Needless to say this book was an entertaining read with a good mystery, interesting characters, and an inside view of the theater world of the 1910s. . In The Death of A Showman, Jane becomes enmeshed in the real workings of a Broadway play produced by her former beau, Leo Hirshfield. Murder and mayhem follow with an undertone of the impending war (as this is set in 1914). I enjoyed that, at times, this was a bit more lighthearted then others in the series and yet it featured a strong storyline that dealt with issues of the day. And it kept me reading when I really should have been doing other things. . What I absolutely loved was continuing to see Jane grow. She has become one of my favorite historical fiction characters and I cannot wait to see what she does next. As you maybe able to tell I'm already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Rickman

    The best Jane Prescott murder mystery in the series yet! I really enjoyed this book and appreciate how much improved the books in the series have become over time. While it was still a bit long and slow moving as the others we get more Louise, more Jane, and more drama in this one. Louise is helping with a Broadway performance in Gilded Age NYC with the supervision of her lady's maid Jane. When there is a murder needing to be solved- Jane always steps in to solve the crime. As a lady's maid you c The best Jane Prescott murder mystery in the series yet! I really enjoyed this book and appreciate how much improved the books in the series have become over time. While it was still a bit long and slow moving as the others we get more Louise, more Jane, and more drama in this one. Louise is helping with a Broadway performance in Gilded Age NYC with the supervision of her lady's maid Jane. When there is a murder needing to be solved- Jane always steps in to solve the crime. As a lady's maid you can see and hear things others do not. I loved the imagery of Broadway during this time period, the cast drama, and the romances. Will Jane ever get her happy ending! I enjoy that the newer books in this series have a prologue and epilogue so we can see Jane outside of being a lady's maid. I also enjoyed seeing where the characters end up. Overall, another fun-light historical murder mystery (if that's a thing) from Mariah Fredericks! Thank you NetGalley, Mariah Fredericks, and Minotaur Books for this ARC in exchange for my honest review. Publication date is April 13th, 2021.

  17. 5 out of 5

    S. Smith

    Clever lady's maid Jane Prescott gets out of the house - and how! - in the summer of 1914 when Louise Tyler, her young socialite employer, takes a stake in a new Broadway musical, causing both women to spend time at rehearsals. Assigned to assist with seamstress duties, Jane is soon all too familiar with backstage jealousies, feuds, and gossip, not least because composer and musician Leo, Jane's former boyfriend, is not only steering the show's development but has married a glamorous cast member Clever lady's maid Jane Prescott gets out of the house - and how! - in the summer of 1914 when Louise Tyler, her young socialite employer, takes a stake in a new Broadway musical, causing both women to spend time at rehearsals. Assigned to assist with seamstress duties, Jane is soon all too familiar with backstage jealousies, feuds, and gossip, not least because composer and musician Leo, Jane's former boyfriend, is not only steering the show's development but has married a glamorous cast member. When the show's powerful (and obnoxious) producer turns up murdered, possible culprits abound, and circumstances soon make Jane and aggressive journalist Michael Behan the leading team in the hunt for the killer. The book's detailed, wholly believable glimpses into early 20th century theater culture make this an especially welcome addition to an entertaining character-driven series, and fans will be intrigued by a hint of new things to come for Jane. Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance reading copy via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is the 4th in a series by Mariah Frederick's. I had not read the other books so it took some time to get to know all the characters. I like historical mysteries and I liked this. This story takes place at the turn of the century New York. Just back from a European trip, ladies maid Jane Prescott is drawn into the investigation of the murder of Sidney Warburton. Sidney is a very disagreeable producer of a Broadway show. He often argued with and was abusive to the cast and director. Jane’s em This is the 4th in a series by Mariah Frederick's. I had not read the other books so it took some time to get to know all the characters. I like historical mysteries and I liked this. This story takes place at the turn of the century New York. Just back from a European trip, ladies maid Jane Prescott is drawn into the investigation of the murder of Sidney Warburton. Sidney is a very disagreeable producer of a Broadway show. He often argued with and was abusive to the cast and director. Jane’s employer is an investor in the production so Jane decides to work with Michael Behan, a reporter to help solve the crime and to keep her employers name out of the papers. Although the characters were well developed, they were a bit shallow and were not very likable. The author has a verbose writing style that made this a little cumbersome. I liked it but will probably not read the previous books. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Jane Prescott is back for the fourth book in this wonderful series and this time we get to see the sometime shocking world of Gilded Age Broadway. As some background, Jane is Louise’s lady’s maid and they’ve had a few ‘adventures’ in solving mysteries already. Jane’s ex-beau Leo is producing a Broadway show and Louise is one of the investors. When another producer is murdered, we get to see the drama, backstabbing, and crazy romances that occur behind the scenes. Also an interesting part of the Jane Prescott is back for the fourth book in this wonderful series and this time we get to see the sometime shocking world of Gilded Age Broadway. As some background, Jane is Louise’s lady’s maid and they’ve had a few ‘adventures’ in solving mysteries already. Jane’s ex-beau Leo is producing a Broadway show and Louise is one of the investors. When another producer is murdered, we get to see the drama, backstabbing, and crazy romances that occur behind the scenes. Also an interesting part of the story is the increasing concern in the background as WWI looms. I really enjoyed the mystery aspect which was, as usual, well written with some plot twists that kept me engrossed in the story. I also really like that both Jane and Louise are both likable and continue to develop as characters and as the reader, I could connect with them. I’m looking forward to more in the series! Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wade

    Many thanks to Minotaur and Netgalley for sending me this book early. This book will be published on 4/13. The introduction to this book immediately filled my eyes with tears. To have an author acknowledge what the theater community is going through right now in her book dedication was really special. This is the 4th in a series and I haven’t read the previous three but I think I should go back and start at the very beginning. There are a lot of characters in this book. Like a lot a lot. I needed Many thanks to Minotaur and Netgalley for sending me this book early. This book will be published on 4/13. The introduction to this book immediately filled my eyes with tears. To have an author acknowledge what the theater community is going through right now in her book dedication was really special. This is the 4th in a series and I haven’t read the previous three but I think I should go back and start at the very beginning. There are a lot of characters in this book. Like a lot a lot. I needed a map to keep it all straight but I think had I not been new to this series that may have been easier to navigate. The characters that seemed new to the series were very well developed but there are just so many! Jane is thrown into the world of wardrobe and it filled my heart completely to read about her experiences. This feels like a classic whodunit mystery and Jane is so likable and wow is she observant!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Who murdered the loathsome Sidney Warburton? It's 1914 and Jane Prescott, lady's maid to Louise Tyler, once again finds herself investigating a murder. Her old partner Leo married one of the women in play Warburton was producing and which Louise invested in so she's got more than the usual interest in solving the crime. Her friend Michael, a reporter, is a big help in interviewing the various players backstage, among other things. Cozy readers (and this is sort of a historical cozy) know that mu Who murdered the loathsome Sidney Warburton? It's 1914 and Jane Prescott, lady's maid to Louise Tyler, once again finds herself investigating a murder. Her old partner Leo married one of the women in play Warburton was producing and which Louise invested in so she's got more than the usual interest in solving the crime. Her friend Michael, a reporter, is a big help in interviewing the various players backstage, among other things. Cozy readers (and this is sort of a historical cozy) know that multiple people hated the victim and that there will be red herrings. I'm not usually a fan of theater based mysteries but Fredericks does an especially nice job with the details of the Broadway in 1914. I'm a fan of Jane, who has matured over the books, but know that this one will be fine as a standalone. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. A good read and I'm looking forward to the next installment!

  22. 4 out of 5

    A.L. Goulden

    I'm so excited about discovering Jane Prescott!! I can't believe I haven't read her novels but her clever descriptions and charming characters have me scrambling to go back to the beginning of this series. I loved Jane and her chemistry with Leo was great although you sense her distrust of him. There's of course a winding mystery going on too but I really enjoyed the downstairs aspect of a lady's maid tangled in the murder. It was a little slow getting a the actual murder but since this world of I'm so excited about discovering Jane Prescott!! I can't believe I haven't read her novels but her clever descriptions and charming characters have me scrambling to go back to the beginning of this series. I loved Jane and her chemistry with Leo was great although you sense her distrust of him. There's of course a winding mystery going on too but I really enjoyed the downstairs aspect of a lady's maid tangled in the murder. It was a little slow getting a the actual murder but since this world of characters was new to me, I felt like I was getting caught up. I never felt lost but have so many curiosities about Louise and her role in the previous books. I also loved a behind the scenes look at Broadway productions in the pre WWI era. It's a fascinating time with a generation that never knew of war so as that danger looms I always sense the tension in the characters. Loved this one!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Brewer

    Thank you to Net Galley and Minotaur Books for the chance to read and review this book. The opinions expressed are my own. After finding out this was the fourth installment in a series, I was hesitant to read it because I had not read the previous stories. The cover just kept calling my name so I gave it a try. I really enjoyed it, and I could read it as a stand along. I do intend to read the other books in this series. This is a lively, fun mystery set in Gilded Age New York. Lady's maid, Jane Pr Thank you to Net Galley and Minotaur Books for the chance to read and review this book. The opinions expressed are my own. After finding out this was the fourth installment in a series, I was hesitant to read it because I had not read the previous stories. The cover just kept calling my name so I gave it a try. I really enjoyed it, and I could read it as a stand along. I do intend to read the other books in this series. This is a lively, fun mystery set in Gilded Age New York. Lady's maid, Jane Prescott, becomes involved with a Broadway show. The abusive producer, Sidney Warburton, is murdered in the bathroom at a fancy dinner. This is the story of how Jane figures out who killed him and why. There is a lot of things going on behind the scenes-romance, trickery and some things are just not what they seem. Highly recommend if you like mysteries set in the Gilded Age.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    I have loved the Jane Prescott Mysteries by Mariah Fredericks since the first book and Death of a Showman is one of my favorites! An excellent story that furthers Jane's relationship with several characters we have met in previous books and a fascinating murder taking place in the New York theater world just prior to WWI. Leo is a constantly evolving character and so interesting as is Jane's attraction to him while at the same time not trusting him. The flashbacks from modern times to 1914 adds I have loved the Jane Prescott Mysteries by Mariah Fredericks since the first book and Death of a Showman is one of my favorites! An excellent story that furthers Jane's relationship with several characters we have met in previous books and a fascinating murder taking place in the New York theater world just prior to WWI. Leo is a constantly evolving character and so interesting as is Jane's attraction to him while at the same time not trusting him. The flashbacks from modern times to 1914 adds to the story but also makes me question assumptions I had made based on the previous book. Needless to say, I am very anxious for the next book to see what happens next! Thank you to #NetGalley for letting me read an advance copy of #DeathofaShowman!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    A great entry to a great series. Jane's beau gets married while she's away in Europe. Instead of being able to avoid him, she and her employer, Louise Tyler, end up helping his first play. There are tensions everywhere, so it's not a surprise when the producer ends up dead. To make sure that Louise doesn't lose the money she invests in the play, Jane investigates. Poor Jane. She has horrible luck in men. First, she finds out Michael Behan is married, and her second love interest gets married after A great entry to a great series. Jane's beau gets married while she's away in Europe. Instead of being able to avoid him, she and her employer, Louise Tyler, end up helping his first play. There are tensions everywhere, so it's not a surprise when the producer ends up dead. To make sure that Louise doesn't lose the money she invests in the play, Jane investigates. Poor Jane. She has horrible luck in men. First, she finds out Michael Behan is married, and her second love interest gets married after telling her that he never would get married. Considering that she ends up a widow in the future, I hope that she finds happiness at one point. My favorite thing about this book is that the secrets Jane finds out are fascinating and fleshes out the characters.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    This installment of the Jane Prescott mystery series takes readers to the creation of a Broadway musical in 1914. Jane is such a conflicted heroine, and I feel her frustration. When all is said and done, Jane wants to do what’s right, often times at her own expense. There was a nice plot point that I genuinely did not see coming, and I really appreciated that. The author uses the prologue and epilogue of each book to show Jane in her later years, and this is usually the most difficult mystery to This installment of the Jane Prescott mystery series takes readers to the creation of a Broadway musical in 1914. Jane is such a conflicted heroine, and I feel her frustration. When all is said and done, Jane wants to do what’s right, often times at her own expense. There was a nice plot point that I genuinely did not see coming, and I really appreciated that. The author uses the prologue and epilogue of each book to show Jane in her later years, and this is usually the most difficult mystery to unravel. I look forward to delving more into Jane’s history (and Michael’s and Louise’s and Leo’s...). I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julie Rhinehart

    Book 4 in series, but able to be read as a stand alone as I have not read any of the others. Jane Prescott is a ladies maid and as such she escorts her employer to the theater as chaperone. When the producer of the play is found murdered Jane finds herself looking for his killer. The theater aspect of this book was fascinating, but for me the book moved too slow and I was tempted to put it down. I’m glad I didn’t as the twist to discovering who the killer was was enjoyable. Thank you NetGalley, Book 4 in series, but able to be read as a stand alone as I have not read any of the others. Jane Prescott is a ladies maid and as such she escorts her employer to the theater as chaperone. When the producer of the play is found murdered Jane finds herself looking for his killer. The theater aspect of this book was fascinating, but for me the book moved too slow and I was tempted to put it down. I’m glad I didn’t as the twist to discovering who the killer was was enjoyable. Thank you NetGalley, Mariah Fredericks and Minotaur Books for this edition and hearing my honest review. Looking forward to reading more with you #partner

  28. 4 out of 5

    Trude

    This is the 4th in a series by Mariah Frederick's. I love historical mysteries and this series is one of the best. Ms. Fredericks takes us to turn of the century New York. Just back from a trip to the continent Jane Prescott is drawn into the investigation of the death of SidneyWarburton the unlikable producer of a Broadway show. Warburton was abusive and the list of suspects is long. Jane and reporter Michael Behan hurry to solve the crime. Well developed and multifaceted characters add to the This is the 4th in a series by Mariah Frederick's. I love historical mysteries and this series is one of the best. Ms. Fredericks takes us to turn of the century New York. Just back from a trip to the continent Jane Prescott is drawn into the investigation of the death of SidneyWarburton the unlikable producer of a Broadway show. Warburton was abusive and the list of suspects is long. Jane and reporter Michael Behan hurry to solve the crime. Well developed and multifaceted characters add to the enjoyment of this book. It is a totally enjoyable read. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Lady's maid Jane Prescott's friendship with newly-married songwriter Leo leads her mistress, Louise Tyler, to invest in his new show. Louise attends rehearsals because she's fascinated; Jane to chaperone her and to help out with the costumes. When the arrogant producer of the show is murdered during a cast dinner at Rector's restaurant, Leo is one of the leading suspects. He's also the only hope the show has of opening successfully. As World War I looms in Europe (the characters may not realize Lady's maid Jane Prescott's friendship with newly-married songwriter Leo leads her mistress, Louise Tyler, to invest in his new show. Louise attends rehearsals because she's fascinated; Jane to chaperone her and to help out with the costumes. When the arrogant producer of the show is murdered during a cast dinner at Rector's restaurant, Leo is one of the leading suspects. He's also the only hope the show has of opening successfully. As World War I looms in Europe (the characters may not realize it, but the readers do), Jane finds herself preoccupied by the doings of the cast of the new musical, and her own feelings about Leo.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Baker

    Lady's maid Jane Prescott has to chaperone her mistress to observe the preparations and rehearsals of a Broadway show. Not only does she need to deal with observing her former beau with his new questionable wife she also discovers scandal around every corner. I enjoyed the early 20th century setting and interesting bits of history that were included in the story. Well written characters will have you loving some and disliking others. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC. The opin Lady's maid Jane Prescott has to chaperone her mistress to observe the preparations and rehearsals of a Broadway show. Not only does she need to deal with observing her former beau with his new questionable wife she also discovers scandal around every corner. I enjoyed the early 20th century setting and interesting bits of history that were included in the story. Well written characters will have you loving some and disliking others. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC. The opinions expressed are my own.

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