cover image Audition for Murder

Audition for Murder

Susan Sussman. Minotaur Books, $23.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-312-19968-5

From novelist Sussman (The Dieter) and actress Avidon comes a sparkling first mystery, told in the present tense, that displays no opening night jitters as Chicago actress Morgan Taylor makes her memorable sleuthing debut. Vying for the lead in the revival of a seldom performed play, Morgan is drawn into the manic anxiety and excitement of theater auditions and rehearsals. Not even the sudden death of aged actress Lily London can cast too great a pall over her new opportunity. When a second death erases any doubts about the first being an accident, Morgan finds suspicions turning to her closest friends and decides to do a little detective work of her own. Her supporting cast is an able one: Martin Wexler, a once-great director who is trying to reclaim some glory; actress Beth, Lily's close friend who is attempting to hide the symptoms of her multiple sclerosis; and police detective Roblings, a lumbering, bright and endearing fellow who catches Morgan's eye. Even the bit players make notable contributions in Sussman's entertaining and witty romp, which will have readers applauding for an encore. (Feb.)