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Posted September 24, 2013
Nancy Mean Wright is a writer with impressive credentials. Broken Strings is worthy of her reputation. We have here a murder mystery that engages the reader from the beginning. Fay Hubbard, failed actress and goat farmer extraordinaire, is a very busy woman. She also serves as a foster mother to three children: Chance, Apple and Beet. Perhaps Fay does this to compensate for a failed marriage which produced one estranged daughter and a distrustful grandson. Regardless, Fay is a sympathetic character who assumes the role of amateur sleuth when her friend Marion Valentini, a beautiful African-American puppeteer, collapses into a coma during a performance of Sleeping Beauty. An autopsy reveals that she has ingested deadly crushed yew. Apparently the yew tree provides an exotic poison. But this is only the first murder of women in the Valentini family. There are a number of colorful, interesting suspects. The characters in this novel are well developed. The Vermont setting is also well-presented. This is a strong mystery that readers will find enthralling.
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Posted June 24, 2013
This was the best read I've had in a long time. Nancy Means Wright writes another page turner, a winner indeed. Just as the reader thinks she knows “whodunnit” another clue, distraction, or more grimly, another body pops up leaving sleuth Fay Hubbard all the more puzzled and determined to find her friend Marion’s killer.
Fay Hubbard is also a character in Wright’s Ruth Willmarth mystery series. In this book, Ruth is away on an extended honeymoon, so Fay not only takes on Ruth’s goats, but also her three foster children. As if that isn’t handful enough, Fay is also a puppeteer for Valentini Marionettes owned by her friend Marion Valentini who collapses at the end of a show, poisoned. Fay takes over the running of the show and, although a suspect herself, sets out to find Marion’s killer. She begins to find that all the circumstances and relationships around her are increasingly complex, a maze she has to ramble through as fast as she can in order to solve the murders.
Owing to Wright’s compelling prose and excellent plotting, the reader instantly becomes a part of Fay’s sleuthing and serious duties, sprinkled with great dollops of humor. This book, set in Vermont is as good as, if not better, than an English cozy.
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Posted February 18, 2014
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a mishmash of characters all woven together in a uniquely written story. The author has an amazing talent for writing to the interest of the reader. She leaves you sometimes questioning things but then plays it out in a fashion that you can't imagine it any other way. I am hoping for sequels to this novel...and many other books by the author!
Posted July 22, 2013
I would have rated this book at 2 1/2 stars, if I could have, for me, that rating would be more accurate. I am leaning a bit more to the dislike side then the like. It is about a group of adult puppeteers. The men and women perform fairy tales for children, at different venues and sometimes for older audiences and adults, but not as often. One of the cast members rewrites the happy endings into unhappy, scary or disturbing conclusions. For example, Sleeping Beauty, having been kissed by her prince, after the 100 year sleep, ages into an old hag and dies. Needless to say this causes problems with the audience. The book has a lot of strangness in it. It is written in the British style and whodunit was pretty easy to figure out. I did not like many of the characters. They had abrasive personalities. It is also a book with so many characters, a list is a good idea to keep them straight. The book is about 510 pages long. It has some violence. It is a murder mystery. When I finished it, i thought huh, thats it? I was ambivulent about this book. It is more for female readers, ages 16 and up. Good Luck, I hope you enjoy it. I look forward to reading your reviews.
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Posted November 14, 2013
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