Saturday, December 24, 2011
Murder on Theatre Row: Review
Murder of all sorts is going on in this mystery by Michael Jahn. From murderous ghosts with crossbows to the murderous assault on Casablanca (how could anyone even think of turning that classic into a musical?), newly-minted Captain Bill Donovan has his hands full on the Great White Way. It all starts with the death of an Asian man in the basement of the old Knickerbocker Theater. While Donovan is still trying to decide if the strange bruising on the man's body is relevant to his death, more deaths follow. One of the musicals stars is shot with a crossbow in the middle of a preview performance. One of the construction workers is also killed. Has the ghost of Milo the Magnificent, long dead and buried in the basement, come back to take revenge on those who have disturbed his rest? Donovan believes there is a much more mortal hand behind the current Broadway killing spree. He will have to give a brilliant performance of his own on New Year's Eve to catch his killer.
Murder on Theatre Row is a very decent mystery. It's the first novel that I've read by Jahn and I really like his main character, Bill Donovan. Donovan is a specialist on bizarre crimes--particularly those with odd weapons--so the killer with the crossbow is right up his alley. He is also a very straight-talking, widely read man who makes the reader believe that he really might know something about everything. Good supporting characters in his sergeant and his long-time girlfriend. I also like how he pays good deeds forward. After being helped out of alcoholism himself, he in turn helps one of the suspects conquer his own personal demons. Good solid outing. Three stars.