Death at the Dress Rehearsal de Stuart Douglas

de Stuart Douglas - Género: English
libro gratis Death at the Dress Rehearsal


Stuart Douglas Publisher: Titan Books ISBN: 9781803368214,9781803368207

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〝'to a return to a quiet life!' he said as the glasses clinked together.〞


thank you to titan books and netgalley for providing me with this arc.

in 1970, on the set of downmarket sitcom, the leading man stumbles across the body of a woman, apparently the victim of a tragic drowning accident. but there's something about her that rings the faintest of bells in his head and, convinced the woman has been murdered, he enlists the help of his co-star to investigate further. crossing the country and back again during gaps in filming, the two men uncover both a series of murders in the modern day, and links to another unfortunate death during the war. as the body count mounts, the co-stars face a race against time to save the innocent victims of a serial killer.

I think I went into this book with the wrong expectations. the cover reminded me of the thursday murder club books which made me think this was going to be humorous. that combined with the main characters being actors in the 70s made me think this was going to be more camp, glam rocky and drug induced. Sadly, this was more in the realm of two conservative and somewhat sexist middle aged men unhappy with their careers continuously reliving their glory days during the war. the plot in itself was pretty fun and well thought out and I appreciate the layers of twists that kept surprising me but the boring main characters just dragged the whole book down with them.

overall, this is a pretty standard murder mystery with a well thought out plot but it wasn't what I was expecting and if I knew that I probably wouldn't have read it. if, however, you're more into the normal mysteries instead of the humor/ cozy mystery sub genre I would give this a try.

ig: @winterrainreads arcs-or-gifted2 s Nev FountainAuthor 47 books37

Very enjoyable book. I d the use of Arthur Lowe/Captain Mainwaring and the Dad's Army cast as character proxies. I think it worked very well.2 s1 comment Jen Ryland1,694 927 Read

Fun odd couple amateur detective book set in the 1970s. Two actors with a prickly relationship find a body on their set. When the authorities brush off the death as an accident, they decide to investigate on their own. Enjoyed this one and recommend it to fans of cozy British mysteries!

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Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!1 Sarah (Curl up With A Cosy Crime Novel)16 1 follower

The plot
In the 1970’s, whilst filming a TV series, two actors, getting on in years, find themselves trying to stop a serial killer. Edward Lowe stumbles over the body of a young woman whilst out on a walk and enlists his friend , John Le Breton to solve the case. They soon find that the murder eerily links back to events surrounding a local woman in World War Two. I did think from the cover of this that it was going to be a cosy crime where the action was based around a TV show. However, the acting world wasn’t the focus of the investigation. Instead our amateur sleuth’s, Edward and John, travelled up and down the country and put together this jigsaw puzzle of plot with skilful reasoning.
Their attitudes to solving crime, put me in mind of a Sherlock Holmes story. Edward was Sherlock, with the same deductive reasoning and John reminded me of Dr Watson with a more romantic view of life, a traditional English gentleman who not only aides his friend, but is unafraid to get caught up in danger.
I tagged along easily for the ride with our sleuth’s easily imagining myself a fly on the wall during the investigation. Edward and John literally and figuratively went right around the houses trying to solve this one. I must have changed my mind several times about who the killer was, needless to say, I was impressed with the plot twists. It wasn’t until very near the end that it dawned on me who the killer was – the plot really kept me on my toes.
The police as usually in this genre are mostly presented as being incompetent, but in this novel, they were also extremely misogynist. Their keenness to close cases involving women victims without any real investigation was frankly disturbing. Yes, it is fiction and we have to remember this was the 1970’s, though surely you would have thought they’d do the bare minimal of checks. I had high hopes for the local policeman, but even he had to be led by the nose during the investigation.
Overall, whilst the novel did have elements of being a cosy crime, it also had a much darker side with some gritty murder detail that brought it over to traditional detective fiction genre. I did think the novel would have worked equally well without the prologue as we heard no other victims voices during the novel. I’m sure I could read this one again and see more details in it. 4.5 stars.bookssetin1970s cosycrime detective-fiction ...more Alison Hudson25 1 follower

After stumbling upon a dead body near the set where his sitcom is filming, Edward Lowe is unconvinced by the police’s ruling that it is only a tragic accident. Determined to discover if his hunch of foul play is correct, he convinces his co-star, John Le Breton, to join him in an investigation that takes them across the countryside. Uncovering connections to an unfortunate death during World War II, Edward and John must race against time and a mounting body count to stop a serial killer in their tracks.

I really enjoyed Death at the Dress Rehearsal. It is a solid mystery with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the reveal at the end. With the exception of a tantalizing chapter from the victim’s perspective at the start, the story is told between John and Edward’s POVs. This really allows their opposite personalities and odd couple-esque dynamic to truly shine. Edward is serious and gruff, while John is charming and affable. These traits help them as they investigate crime scenes and interview possible suspects. There are a large number of side characters introduced between those working with them on the set of their show, suspects and witnesses, and the locals of the village where they are filming. As such, it does get a bit difficult to keep track of some of those that pop up less often. A standout was the young, bumbling local policeman, Primrose. He is initially the only member of law enforcement willing to entertain the possibility of foul play and assists Edward and John throughout their investigation. The pacing is great, with the twists and reveals spaced out enough to keep you interested and keep any sections from feeling a slog. This is longer than most of the mysteries I typically am drawn to, but it felt just as quick a read and I did not want to put it down!

Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Rachel Neuburger ReynoldsAuthor 3 books44

3.5 stars.

Death at the Dress Rehearsal is a clever light mystery set in the 1970s with a lot going for it. The book's duo of detectives, Edward Lowe and John Le Breton, are two older actors filming their TV show on location, who team up to solve the murder of Alice Burke. Though the victim is first assumed to be a hiker who died of an unfortunate accident, the two amateur sleuths are quick to suspect that Alice's death is anything but a misadventure and are determined to prove this. The setting, both within the TV production and the countryside, serves as a great backdrop. The gentlemen themselves are fun and suitably quirky. The mystery has plenty of twists and turns, and I believe that there is a good audience for this kind of book. It's a quick read and a good story to curl up with on a rainy afternoon.

However, I feel the book was lacking in a few important ways. Most importantly, the original victim seems irrelevant - we know nearly nothing about Alice, and she seems to become an afterthought when further complications and potential victims become part of the story. It also takes quite a long time to get to a point where Edward or John display much urgency to solve the mystery, and, at times, it feels it's just a convenient diversion from the set, with seemingly no stakes for either of the actors until rather deep into the book.

I will be interested in reading the second in the series, Death at the Playhouses when it is released in 2025. Death at the Dress Rehearsal is a solid start for a series and I'll be checking it out for sure.

Thank you, Netgalley, for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.2024 Amy Walker - Trans-Scribe Reviews923 12

Crime fiction has existed for hundreds of years, and ly as long as human history when you count things verbal stories in which tales of murder and mayhem would be passed on in the form of gossip and campfire stories. Humans are drawn to the world of crime because it's something so alien to many of us; especially murder. After all, the kind of people who commit murders are so unusual, so against the norm that it becomes fascinating, and we want to understand why it happens.

But not everyone is drawn to real world stories of murder, and instead choose to indulge this fascination via the medium of fiction because at least then you know no one actually got hurt. Cosy crime fiction is a sub genre that has long been popular, where the sex and violence happen off screen, and with the events happening in the quieter, more rural settings. And more often that not, those solving the crimes aren't police, instead being amateur detectives, or people who happen to get pulled into the mystery. It's the kind of crime story that you expect to find on television on a Sunday evening that all the members of the family can watch together. Death of the Dress Rehearsal not only fits into the genre, but feels both a love letter to it, and a pitch for a TV series.

The story takes place in the 1970's, where the stars of a sitcom television series are on location to film their latest episode. The show, which follows a duo of antique store owners and the various antics they get up to with the local villagers, feels very much something you've seen on TV before, and the older cast and laid back attitude the show seems to have is very reminiscent of Last of the Summer Wine. Things begin with a murder, told through the eyes of a victim, a young woman running through the dark countryside, trying desperately to escape from the person chasing them to their deaths. Sadly, she fails in her escape, and thus begins our mystery, as the next day actor Edward Lowe stumbles upon her body whilst on a location shoot.

Whilst the local police are happy to rule this as a tragic accident, claiming that the woman simply died whilst drunk, there's something about it that doesn't sit right with Lowe, and he can't just let things be. Accompanied by his dashing co-star, John le Breton, he begins looking into the woman. Soon, the two of them become certain that this was not only no accident, but that they have a killer on their hands. As they try to investigate further, more bodies begin to mount. Can the two of them solve the case before the killer claims any more victims, or before they themselves fall victim too?

One of the things that I d the most about the book is that Stuart Douglas has a very easy writing style, and I found myself getting lost in the story very quickly. It's the kind of read that sucks you in, where you've read several chapters when you only mean to read the one, and you realise that finishing the book is going to be more of a fight to pace yourself than a struggle to get to the end. Cosy mystery is often used to describe the setting and the characters, but it can very much be used to describe the writing style too, as it it just a very comfortable read. I read it in a cabin in the woods, with a log fire and a thick blanket, and it was honestly one of the best ways to read this. It's the kind of book that you can curl up with in the winter with a hot drink and lose yourself in, or the kind of novel you can take to the beach or the pool and devour whilst laying back soaking up the sun. It's relaxing, despite the heavy nature of the material; which is no small feat.

The other thing that I really loved about the book were the lead characters. I was told before starting it that they were loosely based upon Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier from Dad's Army, but even without that little tip is became immediately obvious that's who our lead characters were. Yes, the names were definitely a big hint, but the way in which Douglas absolutely captures their essence from that show and puts it into his lead characters is nothing short of frightening. I was imagining the two of them with almost no effort, hearing their voices and their intonation during the dialogue. This is why the book felt in a lot of ways the perfect material to make into a TV series, because it felt it already was one. It had its two lead actors, and they were doing fantastic in every scene. I'd honestly love to see this book adapted for the screen, but if it was it definitely needs the best impersonators for Loew and Le Mesurier because I just would not accept anyone else in these roles.

Douglas paces the story incredibly well, and there are several twists and turns and sudden surprises in the narrative that will keep the end of the book hidden for the longest time; and I genuinely didn't see the ending coming. He's able to create a story that not only fills its pages to the brim, but leaves you wishing there was even more despite the fact that it's already four hundred pages long. I'm really hoping that the book finds its audience, that it gets the praise that it deserves, and becomes popular enough that we end up getting several sequels (or even more if Douglas has the desire to make one of those twenty plus mystery book series).

Before I finish my review of Death at the Dress Rehearsal, the first entry in the Lowe and Le Breton Mysteries series, I do want to make something of an admission. I was sent an advance copy of the book to review a few months ago, which in itself isn't too unusual for reviewers such as myself. However, this wasn't the regular review process, as I was asked if I wanted to blurb for the book. I accepted, excited for my first opportunity to do it, and as the book happened to arrive the day before I went away for a small week break I took it with me, thinking that I would perhaps get started on it. I read the entire thing in two nights as I couldn't put it down.

I genuinely loved reading the book, and have since loaned my copy of the ARC to my mother, insisting that she needs to read it. So, if you happen to pick up a copy of the book and notice my blog's name on the inside, singing its praises please be assured that whilst I was sent a free copy from the publisher it in no way coloured my opinion on the book, and it has earned its spot as my favourite read of the year entirely on its own merits. It's the kind of mystery story that I'll happily read again and again, and I'll be eagerly awaiting the news of the next one in the series. Homerun22,324 13

3.5 stars

English cozy series debut featuring two old actors who are a bit of an odd couple as an investigative team. John is affable, charming and upbeat. Edward is a bit of a misanthrope, cranky and suspicious.

Edward stumbles across the body of a dead young woman while on location for a TV show he is cast in. He is convinced from the first that this is no accidental death, but the local coppers don't agree. He and John start sleuthing. They find plenty of clues, but they can't seem to interest anyone in authority to pursue them except for one very junior and inexperienced young cop.

Their search leads them back in time 25 years to World War II and involves some interesting storylines. The duo grudgingly become a kind of friends as Edward softens occasionally and they get to know one another. There is some wry humor along the way and a bit of poignancy at times. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.first-reads michael-read Siobhain (whatyoutolkienabout)619 31

I will be fully honest I couldn’t help but picture Edward and John being played by Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Partick Stewart but even without that I would have enjoyed this one. It’s Miss Maple mixed with a bit of Sherlock Holmes and a little bit of the TV show Vicious set in the 70s. I’m not sure what more you could want. I also d the slight references to Dad’s Army which is one of my favourites. Basically it was written for me I think!

The mystery and crime side itself is engaging and well passed that keeps you hooked and guessing. This is aided by the writing which is easy to read and follow along. It was peppered with slight humour and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and hooked. I will certainly be following this series and cannot wait for the next instalment.

As always thank you to Titan Books and Netgalley for the copy to review. My review is honest and truthful.
1 Bookcollector11

I've read stuart Douglas before so when I heard about this new series I ordered it immediately. Thirty pages in I preordered the second book. The novel is excellent, with a plot that keeps you guessing. The writing is very good with excellent characters. Now, speaking of the characters... Edward Lowe and John Le Breton are based on the actors Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier and it works very well with genuine biographical details woven into the story. The charactisaton of the two leads is very good and you can really hear the actors voices in the dialogue. During location filming for the BBC Edward Lowe stumbles over the body of a young woman. Unconvinced by the police assertion that it is a tragic accident Lowe enlists the help of fellow thespian Le Breton. As they begin to investigate they realise there is a serial killer at large. This is a great start to this new series filled with great characters, humour and an intriguing plot. I'm so looking forward to book two next year. Rob White11 1 follower

I got a copy of this book from Net Valley in return for a review.

A really good book, with hopefully more to come. Lowe and Le Breton are two actors working on a sitcom for the BBC when Lowe happens upon a dead body, and from there their investigation begins. Not happy with the policies explanation of how the victim died, Lowe and Le Breton start looking into what Lowe suspects is a suspicious death.

Halfway through the book I thought I'd spotted who had done it, but I'm pleased to say I was wrong. It did remind me a little of Agatha Christie and books from the golden age of detective novels, with the focus more on working out who had done what, rather than the violence of the crime.

If you enjoy the more cost style of murder mystery, then this is a book well worth reading. MG120

It seems elderly sleuths are definitely having a cozy mystery moment these days. This book, about two aging actors turned sleuths, fits that bill.

I d the book well enough. It wasn't one of my favorites, mainly because I wish it had been funnier. The cozy vibes weren't quite there either. The concept was fun though and I think there's a lot of potential for future adventures.

I read an ARC of this book from NetGalley. All comments are my own.netgalley Ruth951 15

Read & reviewed for The Bookbag: http://www.thebookbag.co.uk//L... Paula Mz86 Currently reading

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