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Theater Nights Are Murder–elder sleuths

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Theater Nights Are Murder

by Libby Klein

Theater Nights Are MurderPoppy, a plus size single in her forties, and her Aunt Ginny, a red-headed octogenarian with all kinds of spunk, are the main characters in Theater Nights Are Murder. There is a huge cast of supporting characters sporting lots of quirks. Topping the list are Gia, an Italian barista, and Tim, a chef with romantic ties to Poppy’s youth; both men are vying for Poppy’s heart, and six months after her move back to her hometown, she remains indecisive. Also, front and center, are the “biddies,” friends of Aunt Ginny who manage to get into all kinds of trouble. Figaro, her cat, has a mind of his own and has free run of the Victorian house the two ladies are trying to convert into a Bed and Breakfast. As a pastry chef, Poppy divides her time between Gia’s coffee shop, Tim’s restaurant, and her own B&B.

As if friends, family, and business are not enough to keep Poppy busy, author Libby Klein immerses her and the biddies in the senior center’s production of Momma Mia, starring Royce, an aging, homegrown,  Shakespearean star. The plot of this cozy is complicated by old rivalries, reignited loves, and mysterious men who appear in the audience during practices. All is fun until one of the cast members falls to his death from a catwalk. Is it a suicide, an accident, or murder?

The biddies are so funny as they investigate, bringing in Sponge Bob walkie talkies and applying tips they have picked up from Murder She Wrote and other television shows. Meanwhile, trolls are scattering bad reviews under various names across social media. They focus on criticizing Poppy’s pastries at all three establishments while actual demand for the goodies and praise at the restaurants remain consistently high. A frustrated Poppy has no idea how to stop the false reviews, uncover a murderer, or solve her love dilemma.

Theater Nights Are Murder is packed with fun situations and dialogue. The plot and quirky characters will keep you turning the pages to help out the likable, down to earth, pastry chef who ironically is confined to gluten free treats. Throughout this cozy mystery, Aunt Ginny and her pals prove that octogenarians can enjoy fun, romance, and some senior humor at their own expense.

I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5 

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. #4 in the Poppy McAllister Mystery Series, but OK as a standalone as the author fills you in as you read.

  2. Recipes are included at the end of the book.

Publication:   December 3, 2019—Kensington Books

Memorable Lines:

I was a little stunned, the way Miss Piggy was a little self-involved.

I can barely control myself, let alone a group of stubborn biddies who have their minds made up. In their heads, those ladies were conducting an FBI sting rivaling that of capturing Osama Bin Laden, and they were going to get their man.

The peachy-pink glow is a bouquet of empty promises of warmth and comfort mocked by the frigid wind blowing off the Atlantic Ocean. Even the seagulls sit with their wings wrapped around themselves, too disgruntled by the cold to dive-bomb passersby for potential smackerals.


  1. Oh this sounds like a lot of fun Linda!! Adding to my list, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy says:

    Sounds like this could be a fun one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love when cozies throw a theatre-themed book in the mix. So much potential for drama, and it seems like Libby Klein has mined all that she can. I keep meaning to get around to this series, and I think you’ve finally finally convinced me to give it a chance. Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. carhicks says:

    I read the first book in the series and loved it, but have not gotten back to it. You have reminded me of what I enjoyed about this series and I will have to sort through what I have. I love the sounds of the characters. Quirky and various ages adds to the story. Wonderful review Linda, I love those quotes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cozynookbks says:

    I remember reading, and absolutely loving, Midnight Snacks are Murder by Libby Klein. I cracked up through that one. 😂
    I’ll have to get back on my cozy mystery kick. I think I was getting a little burnt out on them and needed to take a break for a little while. It’s been a while now and I’m starting to long for them again. I’ll have to see what I’m going to begin with. I need to finish Jay’s (James Cudney’s) cozy that I started. Then I’ll see what’s next.
    Great review, Linda.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lghiggins says:

      Thanks, Laurie. I know what you mean about getting on a kick and then having burn out. Although I read a lot of cozy mysteries, I do try to throw in something else–heartwarming romance, historical fiction, etc.–to break up the rhythm. I think you would really like this one.

      Liked by 2 people

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