Tag Archives: Ivy Meadows Mystery

A Review of Oliver Twisted by Cindy Brown

Oliver Twisted (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)

by Cindy Brown

Ivy Meadows is such a fun character. I love the person that she is. She is an actress and hopes to make it big some day, but she really likes helping out her Uncle Bob solve mysteries. In this book she and her Uncle are hired to find the thieves that are working the cruise line. They go undercover. Since Ivy is an actress, she uses her acting ability to sell the undercover role, of an actress. Her Uncle doesn’t do quite as well. He has difficulty staying in character, and out of trouble. They aren’t the only people on board that aren’t really who they say they are. And the bodies start to pile up.

Ms. Brown does a good job of portraying life on a cruise ship from the perspective of a member of the crew. She gives you a glimpse of the crew living quarters and their dining. Ivy is a working actress, so she has to be in character and mingling with the passengers. She gets to eat in the themed restaurants. She eats a lot of Dickens inspired food, including black pudding and other English delights. Since this is a Dickens cruise, the passengers also dress in costumes for some of the fancy balls. Ms. Brown makes sure that you will see many of your beloved characters. She also sprinkles in many fun little Dickens references.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

oliver twistedWhen Ivy Meadows lands a gig with the book-themed cruise line Get Lit!, she thinks she’s died and gone to Broadway. Not only has she snagged a starring role in a musical production of Oliver Twist, she’s making bank helping her PI uncle investigate a string of onboard thefts, all while sailing to Hawaii on the S.S. David Copperfield. But Ivy is cruising for disaster. Her acting contract somehow skipped the part about aerial dancing forty feet above the stage, her uncle Bob is seriously sidetracked by a suspicious blonde, and—oh yeah—there’s a corpse in her closet. Forget catching crooks. Ivy’s going to have a Dickens of a time just surviving.

Book Details

Series: An Ivy Meadows Mystery
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (June 21, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635110416
ISBN-13: 978-1635110418
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces

About the Author

Cindy-BrownCindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop.

Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.

oliver-twisted-large-banner640

Click this link to enter to Win a physical copy of Oliver Twisted!

Advertisements

A Review of MACDEATH: An Ivy Meadows Mystery by Cindy Brown

MACDEATH: An Ivy Meadows Mystery

by Cindy Brown

This fun, fast paced, theatre based book is a good start to a new year and a new series. I enjoyed the antics and the lively characters in Cindy Brown’s new book. She uses great dialog to create her story. The characters are quirky but believable at the same time. The humor is part of the story and doesn’t feel forced or artificial. Sometimes it heads toward slapstick, but that’s ok, because who doesn’t like to laugh.

Cindy Brown’s main character, Ivy Meadows, has to try to figure out why the male lead in Macbeth was found dead of suspected alcohol poisoning. The police are calling it an accidental death, but Ivy is sure that it was murder. Simon had quit drinking and had asked Ivy to help him out, to keep an eye on him. She feels like she let him down, and can’t let everyone think that he drank himself to death. But then other suspicious things happen. Is it the Macbeth curse, or something much worse.

This book would be classified as a cozy mystery, I guess. I only found out that cozy was a real genre last year, and I’m still not sure exactly what constitutes a cozy, but the publisher has Cozy showing up on the MACDEATH page.

This is what Wikipedia has to say, “Cozy mysteries, also referred to simply as “cozies”, are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The term was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

Well, that certainly seems to fit MACDEATH. I like to read well-written cozies once in a while, and so I have to say that MACDEATH really fit the bill. I give it a solid 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! I look forward to reading the next book in the series (THE SOUND OF MURDER (#2) September 2015).

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES

MACDEATHLike every actor, Ivy Meadows knows that Macbeth is cursed. But she’s finally scored her big break, cast as an acrobatic witch in a circus-themed production of Macbeth in Phoenix, Arizona. And though it may not be Broadway, nothing can dampen her enthusiasm—not her flying caldron, too-tight leotard, or carrot-wielding dictator of a director.

But when one of the cast dies on opening night, Ivy is sure the seeming accident is “murder most foul” and that she’s the perfect person to solve the crime (after all, she does work part-time in her uncle’s detective agency). Undeterred by a poisoned Big Gulp, the threat of being blackballed, and the suddenly too-real curse, Ivy pursues the truth at the risk of her hard-won career—and her life.

Books in the Ivy Meadows Mystery Series:

MACDEATH (#1)
THE SOUND OF MURDER (#2) September 2015

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you’ll probably like them all…

Book Details

Series: An Ivy Meadows Mystery
Paperback: 275 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (January 20, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940976693
ISBN-13: 978-1940976693
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces

About the Author

Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.