Murder at the Playhouse Review

  • Author: Helena Dixon
  • Series: Miss Underhay Mystery #3
  • Dates read: 06.06.20 – 11.06.20
  • Star Rating: 4
  • This was given to me as an ARC from Netgalley and Bookouture

Plot: Late Summer, 1933. After a quarrel with too-plucky-for-her-own-good amateur sleuth Kitty Underhay, dashing ex-army captain Matthew Bryant is nursing his wounds, and a tumbler of brandy, when there’s a heavy knock at the door and he finds himself arrested for murder. The body of aspiring actress Pearl Bright has been found, strangled with one of Matt’s own bootlaces, and the evidence seems to be stacked against him. The local constabulary might have locked Matt up, but before they can throw away the key, Kitty hears the news and hies to his aid, determined to prove his innocence. And when her investigations lead her to the home of retired theatre impresario Stanley Davenport, and the local amateur dramatics society, Kitty uncovers a web of deceit that stretches far beyond the stage make-up.

I am so happy to be reading another book from Helena Dixon. So thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for another opportunity!

One of my main criticisms of the last 2 books has been that our main protagonist Kitty didn’t really do much of the detective work and it was actually her male deuteragonist Captain Matt Bryant that did most of the work. I understand this is due to the time it’s set in but if Miss Marple can do it so can Miss Underhay. When I read that Matt was going to be the main suspect in this story I knew I was going to enjoy the book! It was so good to see Kitty lead the investigation and really show off her detective skills!!!

I also really enjoyed the continuation of the romance between Matt and Kitty. I find this to be a really realistic development and I enjoy the scenes together as I anxiously anticipate what is going to happen between the two of them. I am also glad that there was a moment of discussion between the two of them in which Kitty stands her ground and defends herself against comments he made at the end of book 2.

One of the best aspects of this series is the interweaving story of Kitty’s missing mother. Each book gives you more and more insight into what happened 16 years ago and its something that keeps me wanting more!

I feel that one of Dixon’s strongest points is how she weaves overarching series plot elements into the story. We have one major story (the murder) but we also have 2 other elements that continue through each book. The budding romance between Matt and Kitty as well as the mystery of Kitty’s mother’s disappearance. I had recently read a book where the series was clearly not planned before hand and it really showed as each book felt disjointed together but with this series each book feels like a puzzle piece in a grander puzzle! It’s done so well and is such a major factor in why I love this series!

When it comes to the story itself I really struggled to figure out who the murderer was, normally I can figure out close to the end but I figured it out the exact same time Kitty did and I was satisfied with the ending. I was also happy to see the reappearance of Alice, she is such a ray of sunshine in these novels.

The next book I will be reviewing is The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi.

2 thoughts on “Murder at the Playhouse Review

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