In the gray light before dawn, Rupert stood by the bed, watching and waiting. His patience was rewarded when Ray slid his legs over the side of the bed. A moment later when the bathroom door clicked shut, signaling Ray was getting ready to report for the early shift, Rupert launched himself on the bed and hunkered down beside Charlotte. She put an arm around him, pulled him close to her, and the two drifted lazily in and out of sleep for another hour. When they awoke, the morning light was beckoning through the curtains, spilling warm little puddles of sunshine on the floor. Rupert stirred beside her, and together they welcomed a new day.
That’s me! I’m Rupert, a tri-color Pembroke corgi, and that’s how I like to start my day. I am the much-loved companion of costume designer Charlotte Fairfax, and we live in a bungalow in the grounds of Jacobs Grand Hotel, in upstate New York. I can’t remember a time when Charlotte and I weren’t together.
Mornings are my favorite time of day. We start with a stroll in the grounds of the hotel so I can do a sniff-check of all my favorite places, and then I have my breakfast. Sometimes Charlotte leaves me at home while she goes to work at the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, and sometimes she takes me with her. I have a bed of my own in her workroom where I am always ready for a good scritch under the chin or a belly rub from my friends in the company. From my bed I can watch the comings and goings as actors arrive for fittings, or sometimes they just need someone to confide in. Charlotte’s a good listener and she knows what anxious actors need to hear. And sometimes she hears things that help her solve a murder.
Charlotte’s an amateur sleuth and I’m happy to help out. So far, I’ve found a murder weapon and rescued a stolen dog. But mostly I just leave all that to her while I do corgi things and look really cute while I’m doing them. How cute? Just check out the cover of the latest Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery!
My main job is to keep Charlotte happy and judging by all the pats and treats I get, I’m champion at that.
If you come to Jacobs Grand Hotel to see a play, which I hope you will, look for me in the hotel grounds. You might catch a glimpse of me rustling in a pile of red and gold autumn leaves, resting in the shade of a friendly tree on a summer’s day, or frolicking in the first snowfall of the season. I’ll be here, with Charlotte, waiting for you.
You can read more about Rupert and his companion, amateur sleuth and costume designer Charlotte Fairfax, in Much Ado About Murder, number three in the “Shakespeare in the Catskills” mystery series.
Here’s what it’s all about:
Costume designer Charlotte Fairfax has another murder on her hands as she prepares for the latest production of the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company, “Much Ado About Nothing.” The company’s steady growth enables them to cast star British actress Audrey Ashley, who arrives on scene to play the lead role of Beatrice. But things immediately get more complicated when Audrey insists the company replace the current director with new, up and coming British director Edmund Albright.
Edmund plans to change the popular romantic comedy, which alienates several people associated with the production. And the list of people he upsets only grows: the laid off former director, the hotel owner’s secretary, and even Audrey herself. Just as Edmund’s plans are about to come to fruition, his body is discovered on his sofa, holding a gun in his hand. His death is quickly ruled a suicide but Charlotte thinks otherwise. Why would Edmund, on the brink of greatness, kill himself? And in such an American way?
With a whole cast of characters to investigate, Charlotte is determined to unmask each one before it’s final curtain call on the whole production in award-winning author Elizabeth J. Duncan’s third Shakespeare in the Catskills mystery, Much Ado About Murder.
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Much Ado About Murder. U.S.A. residents only, please. The giveaway ends November 20, 2017. Good luck everyone!
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About the author
Elizabeth J. Duncan is a two-time winner of the Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (Canada) and a finalist for Agatha and Arthur Ellis awards. She is the author of the long-running Penny Brannigan series set in North Wales (St. Martins Press), and the Shakespeare in the Catskills series (Crooked Lane Books). She lives in Toronto.