Foul Deeds Will Rise
By 1875, Lillian Nolan believes she has successfully shut off any connection to the spirit world. That winter she is thrilled when she wins the role of Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet in her home town of Chicago. Everything changes when the body of the managing director is found sprawled across the steps of the dress circle and all the investors’ money is missing. Lillian fears, once again, her career is over before it begins.
After her dearest friend is arrested for murder, Lillian commits herself to discovering the truth. Her search is complicated by a strange man who is following her, the romantic overtures of her co-star, and a reunion with an old nemesis. But nothing is what it seems. What she does find puts a member of her own family at risk and leads to the unmasking of the killer with lethal consequences for herself.
This book follows on from the outstanding ‘A Walking Shadow’ and shares all the excellent characteristics of that book – an original plot, atmospheric settings, fascinating dramatis personae and superb writing. However, it works well as a standalone, since all we need to know is communicated to us as and when we need such information.
Lillian Nolan is a unifying feature, as is the theatrical background, but this new adventure is fresh and lively, not simply a variation on a theme. We learn more about our heroine and we witness her maturing and developing. She no longer depends on a spirit to help her with her acting, but is very accomplished all on her own. Yet she learns that it’s all right to call on the assistance of others for help, whichever realm they happen to reside in. It’s a sign of strength to know your limitations, not a weakness.
The action runs alongside a production of Hamlet. In the first book the tragedy in question was MacBeth, and I like how this theme continues. Shakespeare’s tragedies often have ghosts and supernatural occurrences in them, which is mirrored in the ‘real’ life of this novel.
The action moves swiftly and throws up some interesting people and events for our consideration. There are convincing friendships and enmities, and definitely some twists and turns in the plot.
Thoroughly enjoyable and very clever.
THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES
Tagline: Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.
Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”
The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.
About the author
Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theatre early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theatre, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations. American Theatre History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.
She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.
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