“Ill Met by Murder” is the second book in the Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery series. During the production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, a murder is committed and Charlotte Fairfax once again finds herself entangled in a murder case.
I didn’t read the first book in the series, but I liked the synopsis of this one so much and it sounded really fun that I decided to just start with this one. After reading, I felt like the synopsis was more fun than the actual book.
Firstly, the story starts off really slow. I kept reading and reading and found myself about a fourth into the novel, and still no murder yet. That’s a very slow beginning for a murder mystery. I found myself just skipping over paragraphs because it was filled with boring unnecessary things that didn’t pertain to the plot. It was just filler stuff. There was too much description on the wrong things.
I almost did a DNF (Did not Finish) with this book. But I kept on because I did enjoy the characters. Charlotte, the main character, and her assistant were fun and I enjoyed their interactions. Some of the other characters were charming and quirky, but others felt bland and not fully-developed.
Overall, this was an okay read for me. I love cozy mysteries and I loved the theatre angle. I grew up in the Catskills area so I wanted to love this book, but it just didn’t do it for me.
It’s the most important night of the year for costume designer Charlotte Fairfax and the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company--the annual fund raising performance at the country estate of the wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen. This year, the company will give a moonlight performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the wedding celebrations for Paula's daughter, Belinda, and her fiance Adrian. But then Hugh Hedley, family friend of the Van Dusens and Adrian's rival in the cutthroat world of high-end Manhattan real estate, is found murdered with a stolen prop from the play.
Paula, desperate to keep her daughter’s name of out of the paper, enlists Charlotte's help, despite the fact that Charlotte's already got her hands full amidst her costume design responsibilities and finding a home for the company's new theater school. But Charlotte nevertheless throws herself into an investigation of shady business deals, a missing dog, and long buried family secrets because "though she be but little, she is fierce!" Ill Met by Murder, the second in Elizabeth J. Duncan's compelling mystery series, will satisfy every Shakespeare and mystery lover alike.