Historical fiction, Mystery

A Fatal First Night (An Ella Shane Mystery #2) by Kathleen Marple Kalb

I have read and reviewed the first book in the series : here


I would not recommend starting this series with this book. I think it is the most important part of my review. I went in with the complete background of our key players and my prior fondness for them all, and that helped me enjoy this one. Without that background, I am not sure how much of an emotional impact any of the interactions would have.
It has not been long since we saw Ella Shane and her team on stage last; this time around, they are in full throttle to put forward their latest show.
We start off quite quickly with the finding of a body and an arrest, and then it simmers at the back of people’s minds as they go ahead and work their way through their daily routine. The love story here is handled very delicately and has the subtlety required for the complicated issues that would follow the union of the lead couple. Daily life is a focus, as are the prejudices and lack thereof in New York of 1899. If you go in for the mystery alone, it is hard to be completely invested in the outcome, but there are multiple issues at hand to be handled, so as a complete tale, it works well. It lays solid groundwork for the next instalment.
I would recommend it to fans of the historical mystery subgenre of the cozy mysteries. There is a parrot who lives with Ella and is an entertaining bonus to the real storyline.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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