Thursday, July 29, 2021

ARC Review: Death in Castle Dark by Veronica Bond

Death in Castle Dark

Veronica Bond
Series: A Dinner and a Murder Mystery
Publication: Berkley (August 3, 2021)

Description: Actor Nora Blake finds her dream job when she is cast in a murder-mystery troupe that performs in an imposing but captivating old castle. When she stumbles upon a real murder, things take a nightmarish turn in this first book in an exciting new series.

Maybe it was too good to be true, but when Nora Blake accepted the job from Derek Corby, proprietor of Castle Dark, she could not see any downsides. She would sink her acting chops into the troupe’s intricately staged murder-mystery shows, earn free room and board in the fairy tale–like castle, and make friends with her new roommates, which include some seriously adorable kittens.

But something sinister lurks behind the walls of Castle Dark. During Nora’s second performance, one of her castmates plays the part of the victim a little too well. So well, in fact, that no one can revive him. He has been murdered. Not ready to give up her dream gig—or to be the next victim—Nora sets out to see which one of her fellow actors has taken the role of a murderous real-life villain.

My Thoughts: Nora Blake is an actress in search of a job when she is offered a dream position: become part of a dinner theater troupe doing mysteries in an old castle outside of Chicago. Things go well, at first, as she makes friends with some of the other live-in cast members and crushes on one of the gardeners. But things go horribly wrong when one of the other cast members is found murdered in the chapel.

As Nora looks into the other cast members to try to figure out who murdered Garrett Perth, she discovers some secrets and puts herself in danger when she gets too close to the murder.

The story is filled with interesting characters and the setting is first-rate. Nora is a nice character and a nice person stuck in a confusing and frightening situation. I liked her budding romance with Detective John Dashiell who has been undercover as a gardener because of a plot not relating to the murder.

This was a great start to a new cozy series. I look forward to more adventures. 

Favorite Quote:
Just for an instant, I once again had the sensation that I was being drawn into some elaborate illusion, that everyone around me was playing a part, that I was somehow being duped, deceived, lured into a web of intrigue in a remote castle where I would not be able to run for help...
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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