Downstage Dead by Bevan Amberhill (cover)

Downstage Dead by Bevan Amberhill
The Pasdeloup Press
Paperback
ISBN: 0920214096
$20

Downstage Dead by Bevan Amberhill is a marvelous book which I highly recommend.

The protagonist Jean-Claude Keyes, amateur sleuth, author and reviewer of books and plays, is thoroughly likable. Several deaths in this Canadian town of Stratford during rehearsal of a modern rewrite by lovely Kaylynn Dionne of Bram Stoker’s Dracula bring in the local police to work the case with able help from Keyes. Deaths include the sister of Kaylynn among the actors and actresses also killed.

Every word in this book is chosen with care; every line is well-written. This is a book where you want to share every line as you read it! The words sparkle with gentle wit, and the plots and sub-plots keep you hooked. All the characters are well-drawn, and the main characters of Keyes, his elderly mentor/friend, famous actor Seamus O’Reilly, the playwright and fledgling director Kaylynn Dionne, and the town’s quirky alcoholic psychologist (once mixologist to rats and chimps!) are all thoroughly believable and engaging. One amusing sub-plot is the renovation of  Keyes’ home, ongoing and…ongoing.

This is a gem of a book, and I can’t  wait for the next one featuring Keyes as sleuth. Great stuff!

[[review by Jill Stockinger for GUD Magazine; see comments under our original post for how you can win our review copy!]]

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