Cursed in the Act

Overview

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

Bram Stoker, business manager for London’s Lyceum Theatre, always expects the supernatural to be lurking around the corner. But investigating the murder of a cast member might be enough to make even him lose his head…

1881. When the star and owner of the Lyceum, Mr. Henry Irving, is poisoned on Hamlet’s opening night, it’s up to stage manager Harry Rivers to make sure the show goes on. Fortunately for Harry, Mr. Irving is...

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Cursed in the Act

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Overview

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

Bram Stoker, business manager for London’s Lyceum Theatre, always expects the supernatural to be lurking around the corner. But investigating the murder of a cast member might be enough to make even him lose his head…

1881. When the star and owner of the Lyceum, Mr. Henry Irving, is poisoned on Hamlet’s opening night, it’s up to stage manager Harry Rivers to make sure the show goes on. Fortunately for Harry, Mr. Irving is able to pull through and walk the boards as planned. But when his understudy is killed the very next day, Harry’s boss, Bram Stoker, becomes convinced that foul play is afoot.

Mr. Irving has a list of enemies longer than a Shakespearean soliloquy, any of whom would have been happy for the curtain never to rise. It soon becomes clear that nefarious, possibly magical, methods are being employed to shut the play down. With more cast and crew members falling victim to the increasingly dangerous accidents on set, it’s up to Harry and Stoker to figure out which of Irving’s critics has a voodoo vendetta…

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/18/2013
Dracula creator Bram Stoker plays crime solver in this strong series debut set in 1881 London from YA author Buckland (Atomic Sunrise). Stoker is the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre, the home stage of the two most prominent actors of the day: Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. Irving falls sick just before a performance, and though the thespian goes on with the show, Stoker assigns his stage manager, 22-year-old Harry Rivers, to investigate. Suspicion that the star was intentionally poisoned is bolstered by word that some in the theater world knew about it in advance—and by a series of gruesome incidents targeting the Lyceum. Irving’s understudy is trampled to death in the street, his head crushed to a pulp, after being pushed into a horse’s path. And in the midst of a performance, a backdrop unfolds to reveal a severed head. Well-defined, if eccentric, characters and a suspenseful plot make this one a winner. Agent: Grace Morgan, Grace Morgan Literary Agency. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-15
Competition between two London theaters takes a deadly turn in a series debut. Pre-eminent Shakespearean actor Henry Irving is such a trooper that even while recovering from a dose of poison, he insists on keeping his engagement at the Lyceum, to the disappointment of his understudy, Peter Richland. The Lyceum theater manager, Bram Stoker, and his personal assistant, Harry Rivers, know they are likely to get a better house with their veteran actor--and the managers of rival theater Sadler's Wells know it, too. After Richland is struck and killed by a carriage, Stoker and Harry discover an empty coffin where Richland's corpse ought to be. A severed head, falling stage equipment, a mysterious man from Haiti, symbols and artifacts beneath the Lyceum's stage that suggest voudon rituals, and the possibility of a zombie in their midst add to the confusion. Harry, a young man from a humble background, is so dedicated to his work and so loyal to Stoker that he'll follow him through hell or high water to solve the mystery and save the Lyceum. And he makes an appealing narrator of a tale that includes historical figures like Bram Stoker, Henry Irving, and Edwin Booth and brings to life the world of the Victorian theater. With Bram Stoker as a character and the author's proven interest in the otherworldly (Golden Illuminati, 2010, etc.), Buckland would hardly have omitted hints of the supernatural. However, the mystery could have stood on its own and might well have been stronger without the distraction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425268018
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Series: Bram Stoker Mystery Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 460,457
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Buckland is a prolific author with books translated into seventeen foreign languages. Born and raised in England, he is fascinated with the Victorian age and loves to set his mysteries in that era. Today he lives with his wife and two Chihuahuas on a small farm in Ohio.

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