Above is yours truly enjoying the latest installment in Jacqueline T. Lynch's Double V mystery series, Murder at the Summer Theater. The cozy mystery is often dismissed by those who don't know any better for herein we find fascinating characters overcoming or creating trouble. In the case of the Double V series, we are also taken to another era by an author with an observant eye for history.
We first meet museum curator Juliet Van Allen and recently released convict Elmer Vartanian in Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red. The setting is New England and the time is the late 1940s. Great atmosphere and history surround these intriguing characters and the murder and heartbreak which brings them together.
Speak Out Before You Die brings us to New Year's Eve 1949. Juliet's wealthy father's wedding is a part of the celebrations and the guests on this snowy night have more than romance on their minds. Someone is thinking of murder. Juliet's troubled relationship with her father is at the fore, as well as her confusing relationship with Elmer, whose servant guise is intended to prevent tragedy.
Dismount and Murder takes us into a world in the early 1950s that is facing rapid change. The class divisions that Juliet and Elmer deal with in this case among the horsey set is a fascinating setting. Juliet and Elmer not only learn much about those involved in the murder which occupies them but about themselves as well.
Whitewash in the Berkshires is a genuine page-turner where our Juliet is caught up in the 1950s blacklist. She must deal with many untrustworthy people, in and out of the government. The shocking situation places Juliet in peril. She and Elmer must learn the identity of a corpse and keep one step ahead out of the crooks seeking to cover their tracks.
Murder at the Summer Theater is the most recent novel in the series. Isn't it a delicious title? Doesn't it make you want to dive right in? A missing, possibly murdered actress leads Juliet to playing detective as an actress herself. What secrets must be unearthed among the varied members of the company? What will this case mean to the relationship between Juliet and Elmer?
The Double V Mysteries, with their fascinating characters and equally fascinating history, is a favourite of mine, and if you are new to the series, I wholeheartedly recommend you give it a try.
Author Jacqueline T. Lynch has other fiction to offer you, essay collections, plays, plus the definitive look at the career of Ann Blyth. You will also enjoy the thought-provoking movie blog where I first encountered her magic, Another Old Movie Blog. Jacqueline also writes extensively on the history and places of note in New England. I often wonder how she does it all and I am certainly glad she does!
I cannot thank you enough -- for the kind review and for just plowing through them. I admire your fortitude -- and I treasure your friendship.ReplyDelete
I'll grant I have a fair bit of fortitude but that may be because I am fortunate in my friends. Plus, that great taste I have in books!Delete
Having read JTL’s work myself, I too can attest to its quality, but what impresses me most is how she’s been able to publish all her work herself.ReplyDelete
Indeed. She is an impressive and talented lady. Her work should be more widely read. And if we have anything to say about it...Delete
I read Murder at the Summer Theater earlier this year and loved it. Ms. Lynch creates a wonderful sense of place and time as well as a good mystery.ReplyDelete
You read it here, folks! What are you waiting for?Delete
After I read this I decided to do a list of some female authors. After thinking about it for a few minutes here are 12 I came up with.(I thought a dozen would be a good place to stop.) MARY HIGGINS CLARK, DANIELLE STEEL, JUDITH KRANTZ, BARBARA TAYLOR BRADFORD, BARBARA CARTLAND, JACKIE COLLINS, CAROL HIGGINS CLARK, JANET DAILEY, SUE GRAFTON, TAMI HOAG, NORA ROBERTS and JACQUELINE SUSANN.ReplyDelete
I decided to do some more including some that only wrote one book. MARGARET MITCHELL, HARPER LEE, LOUISA MAY ALCOTT, LAURA INGALLS WILDER, JEANETTE OAK and KATHERINE SPENCER.Delete
Many favourites among your lists.Delete
I remember when I was young my dad enjoyed reading Taylor Caldwell. At one point, he was surprised to learn that the author was female. He was no less a fan after that, but chuckled at the surprise.
I also meant to say SANDRA BROWN. There was also MAYA ANGELOU. Then there was actress FANNIE FLAGG who became a writer. You may remember Fannie from THE NEW DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. Did you watch very many game shows? Fannie was on MATCH GAME a lot that also had RICHARD DAWSON as a regular. Richard was on THE NEW DICK VAN SHOW the third (and final) season with CHITA RIVERA.ReplyDelete
Lots of unique storytellers.Delete
I remember Fannie Flagg on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, and enjoy her writing. My favourite classic game shows are Password and What's My Line?. Tattle Tales was fun, and Pyrmid. I never miss Jeopardy!, and go back to its first run.
These sound marvellous, and I know they'll be well written because Jacqueline is such a skilled writer. Thanks for recommending.ReplyDelete
P.S. How DOES she do all that she does?
You will truly enjoy them.Delete
P.S. It's a mystery to the rest of us mere mortals!
There is ANNE RICE and ANN RULE. Going way back there was MARY SHELLEY who wrote FRANKENSTEIN. Also earlier I meant to say BETTY SMITH who wrote A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN.ReplyDelete
Wonderful movies have been made from the works of female authors. I've always had a fondness for Edna Ferber. Consider So Big, Stage Door, Dinner at Eight, Cimarron, Come and Get It, Show Boat, and Giant. Yet no one ever "gets" her when she is part of a Jeopardy! question.Delete
I just thought of EDNA FERBER last night. I haven't mentioned one of the most successful female writers of all time-AGATHA CHRISTIE! Some of the movies Ive seen are DEATH ON THE NILE with ANGELA LANSBURY & BETTE DAVIS. PETER USTINOV starred as HERCULE POIROT. I read that he was once married to Angela Lansburys sister.(Angela had a half-sister that was older plus she had(or has) two brothers that are twins.) I also saw THE MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT with STEPHANIE ZIMBALIST( a fine actress). I saw HELEN HAYES in MURDER IN THE CARIBBEAN with a TV cast including JAMESON PARKER(SIMON & SIMON), SWOOSIE KURTZ(LOVE, SIDNEY and later SISTERS), BETH HOWLAND(who played the delightfully ditzy VERA on ALICE) and SEASON HUBLEY who guest starred on FAMILY and played PRISCILLA PRESLEY in ELVIS opposite KURT RUSSELL. SEASON & KURT later married and divorced. They have a son Boston.ReplyDelete
Now back to Miss Christie. Helen Hayes was also in MURDER WITH MIRRORS with BETTE DAVIS. She played MISS MARPLE twice-in CARIBBEAN and also the one I just mentioned. She also had a small part in MURDER IS EASY with BILL BIXBY( a good and natural actor).Delete
Christie's continued popularity is no surprise. She writes very true characters in her intricate plots. I enjoyed Helen Hayes as Miss Marple, and also in her series The Snoop Sisters with Mildred Natwick.Delete
Stephanie Zimbalist is another actress I have been lucky to enjoy on stage. It was as leading lady opposite Tommy Tune in a tour of My One and Only.
I hope when you are looking for a new mystery series, you will check out the Double V series. I think they would be wonderful on screen.