Recommended Reads: Opera star works solo to solve a murder in ‘A Fatal First Night’

A Fatal First Night, by Kathleen Marple Kalb

It’s opening night at the New York City Opera in 1899, and breathless anticipation overflows into the aisles among the chattering audience waiting for the curtain to go up. Backstage, all are taking their positions, readying themselves for a memorable performance. When the final curtain falls, so does one of their own as the actors find a murder victim in his dressing room. It looks like the killer has been caught in the act, but opera star Ella Shane is not so certain. She will search for the real killer, determined to solve this mystery despite the danger. Will she go too far and take her final bow?

Ella Shane is herself an intriguing character with a rocky and difficult past. No opera diva, Ella is in the business for the music, the stories, the work and the theater. Loving a challenge, she plays all parts of interest regardless of society’s expectations. Fencing is one of her many talents and skills. She’s also en garde as she romantically parries with a certain English aristocratic man. Their interests grow, but there is a concerning question of trust that has them alternating their lunges, and putting them occasionally en garde. Can they work out their differences? In the meatime, Ella pursues her own investigation of the stage mystery. More lives are at stake, possibly her own.

The clues revealed are an exciting trail to an ominous group of suspects. As Ella delves into the mystery, she has a delightful array of friends who support and aid her. In her final acts, she must stop the guilty killer. Despite her drive to solve the murder and work out her romantic entanglements, still the show must go on for this dynamic protagonist.

Historic New York of 1899 teems with life, the sights and scenes and society of a rollicking city on the verge of a new century. The author’s talented writing puts you at this time and place, in the midst of an exciting plot. Her skill at creating characters that are engaging, who you’d like to know and be friends with, creates a captivating story, and series.

Author Katherine Marple Kalb has created a fun, historical mystery series. This book is the first, and the newest in the series is A Fatal Overture. Find out more on the website, and hear more from the author herself on YouTube’s A Novel Talk with Katherine Marple Kalb.

— By Wendy Kendall

Wendy Kendall is an author with The Wild Rose Press. Her mysteries include Kat Out of the Bag and the prequel Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash. Her newest ebook is Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For.



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