Join Cassie Gwynne—bookworm, cat lover and super sleuth—as she gets herself entangled in a brand-new murder mystery!
America 1883: Cassie Gwynne feels like she’s finally found where she belongs, settling into her new life in Florida with her aunt and her mischievous kitten Esy. When a traveling theater group arrives in town Cassie can’t resist signing up for the chorus. But the production goes awry from the start and soon death takes center stage...
With costumes going missing and strange voices heard coming from the dressing room, the cast are convinced they are cursed. And when the lead actor, William Gage, has a fatal accident, Cassie is certain someone is deliberately targeting the play. Off-stage Mr. Gage was known as a notorious flirt, so could a jilted lover be out for revenge?
Determined that the show must go on, Cassie launches her own investigation into the peculiar events. She quickly discovers an expensive, embroidered handkerchief stashed away on the lighting platform. This part of the theater is supposed to be out of bounds, so could the cagey chorus girl or the uppity understudy have something to hide?
When she returns at night to look around, Cassie is almost flattened as the wooden scenery crashes to the stage. Is this just the latest in a long line of catastrophes or is somebody out to stop Cassie learning the truth?
Can Cassie solve the mystery and make it to opening night or will it be curtains for her too?
Perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn, C.J. Archer and Verity Bright! This is a totally charming cozy mystery full of murder, intrigue, and a cast of characters you’ll adore.
If you think about it, it makes perfect sense I’d eventually try to be a writer. One need only examine my childhood, as any therapist will tell you, and look for the signs: On family vacations my poor mother, already on her last nerve as my father, the Botany Professor, drove us around winding mountain roads with one eye on the ground vegetation, constantly screamed at me to “stop reading and look at the scenery.” I assigned my books call numbers and insisted my friends “check them out” from my “library” (the fines for late returns were steep but, as it turned out, largely unenforceable). I wrote plays about forest fairies and figures from classical mythology and petitioned for special dispensation so I could stage them on the playground during lunch. My favorite school task was diagramming sentences.
So, when, many years later, I scaled back my other work to spend more time writing, no one really should have been surprised. Concerned for my sanity and financial well-being, maybe, but not surprised. And am I ever glad I did. I am truly blessed, and I make an effort every day to remember that.
What else... I'm half-Chinese and Florida-raised, Yale- and UVA- educated, and Chicago...buffed and polished? In any case, I now proudly call New Orleans home, and when I'm not writing or getting lost down research rabbit holes, I spend my time practicing law, shooting pool, performing operas and musicals, ogling old buildings, acting for film and television, futzing with inventions that address highly specific and possibly only-annoying-to-me problems, traveling, ranting at bartenders about the evils of straws, riding horses, and petting strange cats (though, since we've recently welcomed home a new kitten friend, Musette (pictured below), I might need to cut back on that last).
Yeah, I know.
If you have suggestions for additional hobbies or want to talk about my books, please message me using the chat function below, email me, or connect with me on social media (@essigauthor). You can also sign up for my email newsletter HERE.
One other thing about me: If you try to tell me the Oxford comma is wrong, I will fight you—before hugging you because I’m just so thrilled you care.
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