Author: Mariah Fredericks
Series: Jane Prescott #4
Published by: Minotaur Books on Apr. 13, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Source: Minotaur Books
Book Rating: 8.5/10
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.
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.
Whimsical, suspenseful, and compelling!
Death of a Showman is an amusing, nuanced, surprising tale that takes you back to Manhattan during 1914 and into the life of lady’s maid Jane Prescott who, after spending a year in Europe, returns to find her former dance partner and potential paramour, Leo Hirschfield married and rehearsing a new Broadway musical, a show that ends up with more problems than just money woes when the producer suddenly turns up dead, and everyone behind the curtain seems to have a motive for murder.
The prose is vivid and authentic. The characters are astute, multi-layered, and likeable. And the plot develops nicely and has just the right mix of misdirection, deduction, clues, suspects, mishaps, drama, and murder.
Overall, Death of a Showman is a light, quick, enjoyable tale by Fredericks that I thoroughly enjoyed, and that is without a doubt another satisfying addition to the Jane Prescott series.
This novel is available now.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.