A Dying Fall by John Paulits

FALL
A Dying Fall by John Paulits
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (130 Pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Mark Louis must solve a murder which took place on the tropical island of Illyria, but he must do it from his home on the not-so-tropical island of Manhattan.

When the AWB Theatre troupe accepts an invitation to perform on the tropical island of Illyria, they get more than they bargained for. Sudden death. Mark Louis, company member and amateur detective, suspects murder. The actors, however, must return home to New York, forcing Mark to conduct his investigation a thousand miles from the crime.

Mark Louis just feels as if there is something missing in his life. He lacks direction. He’s an actor, and an author, and he helped solve a murder several months ago, but still, he doesn’t feel focused. He confides this malaise to his girl friend, Kristy, as the small AWB Theatre Company heads to the tropical island of Illyria at the request of Mr. Barset, who is trying to turn the island into a paradise resort. The AWB company is to perform some Shakespeare to help woo investors. But as soon as they arrive on the island they are caught up in several murders. Mark is no longer lacking direction. When Kristy comments on this he says, “I should depend on different friends being murdered to keep me from getting depressed?”

This is an exciting mystery which Mark has to solve long-distance as the theatre company only stays on Illyria for a few days. Mark comes up with various explanations which his friends find very far-fetched, something that a writer might think up. But Mark never gives up, and eventually, with some help from Kristy, he solves the case.

This is the second novel in this series and I feel it is even stronger than the first. The characters are fairly well developed and the plot has a number of twists and turns. I did figure things out, at least in a general way, before Mark did, but not by much. The island of Illyria seemed very real, and a trifle sad, as it was supposed to do. I loved all the Shakespeare quotes and I agree with Mark that the Bard has a quote for any situation. The clever ways Twelfth Night contributed to the plot just increased my enjoyment of the novel.

Mystery lovers, especially those who are also fans of Shakespeare, will certain enjoy A Dying Fall.

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