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!