The Phantom of Oz
by Cindy Brown
Despite its title, I don’t think The Phantom of Oz really started out to be a ghost story. Because the Ivy Meadows Mystery Series focuses on the theater and actors, there are a lot of stage tricks that imitate the paranormal. In the end, however, this cozy mystery does address the question “Do you believe in ghosts?” Bigger and more important themes are tackled as well in author Cindy Brown’s latest mystery: fake news, paparazzi, body image, jealousy, priorities, friendship, social media, scams and control.
As a theatre buff I enjoyed reading about the trials of Ivy Meadows who attempts to eek out a living by combining the life of an actress with learning detecting skills from her P.I. uncle and mentor Bobby. We watch as Ivy juggles trying to find her missing friend Candy while working as an actress. She also finds time to maintain relationships with boyfriend Matt and mentally challenged brother Cody.
The Phantom of Oz has a good mystery, interesting setting (the Grand Phoenician Theatre), and some wacky theatre types. My only criticism is that the thread of Cody’s desire to become an actor and his sudden willingness to drop the pursuit could have been developed more thoroughly. In general, however, this is a fun book that addresses some serious issues.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery
Notes: The end of the book includes:
1. Reader’s Discussion Guide
2. Topics and Questions for Discussion
3. Enhance Your Book Club or Class
This book is #5 in the Ivy Meadows Mystery Series. It could be read as a standalone.
Publication: January 30, 2018—Henery Press
Looking at petit-fours: I could almost hear their come-hither voices: “I’m the most delicious cake ever. I’m moist and sweet. And I’m free.” It was the last line that did it. We actors are suckers for free food.
I stood for a moment backstage, where the murky blue lighting matched my mood. I watched the revelers around me, feeling like an outsider who’d crashed the party.
This confronting-the-suspects thing was never as easy as it looked in Agatha Christie’s books.