I just found a great way to relieve stress. I pre-ordered Cindy Brown’s “The Sound of Murder.” Now it will automatically show up on my Kindle thingie when it’s released on Oct. 6. Phew! One less thing to worry about. This should also be a great stress reliever if you’re trying to come up with holiday gift ideas for the actors, musical theater lovers, and cozy mystery fans in your life. There’s a paperback version, too!
“The setting is irresistible, the mystery is twisty, and Ivy is as beguiling as ever, but what I really loved was the depth and complexity of painful human relationships right there in the middle of a sparkly caper. Roll on Ivy #3!” – Catriona McPherson, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity Award-Winning Author of The Day She Died
"Ivy is a delight! She's sweet, smart, and a little zany. You'll find yourself laughing out loud as you race through the pages."– April Henry, New York Times Bestselling Author
"It is not easy to combine humor and murder, but Cindy Brown does it effortlessly. Who else would think of combining The Sound of Music with Cabaret with a serial killer? The result is such fun." – Rhys Bowen, New York Times Bestselling Author
All Ivy Meadows wants is to be an actor. And a private investigator. Plus she’d really like a pair of clean underwear, a place to stay since her apartment caught fire, and to overcome her fear of singing in public. Minor inconveniences aside, Ivy might be on a roll. She’s just landed her first real PI case, a seeming suicide in a retirement community. Not only that, but a big New York producer is coming to Arizona to see Ivy in the world premiere of The Sound of Cabaret (singing nuns AND Berlin burlesque).
But all is not raindrops on roses. A creep in a convertible is tailing Ivy, a local posse member is way too interested in her investigation, and something is seriously wrong with one of her castmates. And that suicide—could it be murder? As the curtain rises, Ivy finds herself smack in the sights of a serial killer.
If you haven’t read “Macdeath” yet, you don’t even have to wait until Oct. 6 to find out why I love Ivy Meadows. Just click this link, start reading, and see how long it takes for you to start grinning.
“This gut-splitting mystery is a hilarious riff on an avante-garde production of ‘the Scottish play’...Combining humor and pathos can be risky in a whodunit, but gifted author Brown makes it work.” – Mystery Scene Magazine
Excerpt from Last Heartthrob Episode Six: He Still Had an Out
“Okay, I went to catch Double Indemnity tonight, and when it was over, I remembered getting coffee with you. I wondered where you were.”
“Some of us have to work Saturday nights.”
“And some of us have to pick up groceries.”
She smiled. “But if you hadn’t, you would have made some other excuse, right?”
He took a swig of beer. “Probably.”
Laurel leaned in close enough for Sternwood to feel her breath in his ear: “Why?”
This troubled Forbes.
Phil trod carefully. “I don’t know. Maybe I was up for more movie talk.”
“You wanted to discuss Double Indemnity? I’m sure Bob knows more about it than I do. Wasn’t he there?” Laurel asked.
“I’m surprised he didn’t tell you to see it.”
“Oh, I’ve seen it. That’s the one where the insurance man and the wife plot to rub out the husband and collect on his life insurance. What did you want to ask me about it?”
She reached out toward his hand and twisted his 24k gold wedding band around his finger.
It bothered Forbes that Phil didn’t pull his hand away.
For episode three, I chose The Big Lebowski over The Big Sleep because satirizing a Raymond Chandler plot can be more fun than a Raymond Chandler plot. For episode four, I chose Mulholland Dr. over Sunset Blvd. because I wanted to share a film that inspired the Coen Brothers, David Lynch, and me.
So what does Cindy Brown’s The Sound of Murder have to do with this week’s episode of Last Heartthrob or Double Indemnity?
Musical theater breaks into song when mere words are no longer sufficient to contain the emotion. Billy Wilder was no slouch as a screenwriter, but while Raymond Chandler wasn’t the greatest with plots, his were no mere words. He could make dialogue sing like no one else.
Read Last Heartthrob Episode Six:He Still Had an Out with all its Double Indemnity extras.
It's best to read any mystery from the beginning.
Special thanks this week to Cameron, whose fresh take on Double Indemnity in her blog The Blonde at the Film a fresh look at old films, inspired me to watch it again. (Fun fact: Did you know that working with the alcoholic Chandler inspired Billy Wilder to make The Lost Weekend?)