Author: Geoffrey Knight
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Short Story
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Something sinister is occurring at the Maharaja Majestic Theater on Broadville Boulevard. The domineering actress, Dominique Darlington, has vanished without a trace, the opening night of the theater’s new production of The Snake Charmer’s Slave is now in jeopardy, and six suspects are about to have the pleasure of meeting Buck Baxter, Private Detective, as he investigates whether there’s a killer on the loose… or a phantom at the opera?
Could it be the handsome leading man, Errol Hemingway, who’s responsible for the disappearance of his leading lady… or perhaps it’s that sweet, doe-eyed understudy Olivia Overton? Is it the theater owner himself, the tall and mysterious Raja Khan who has committed the crime… or the show’s investor, the autocratic aristocrat Serafina Somerset? Or is it possible that the meek and mild stage manager Stanley Small, or the flamboyant and frustrated director Barnabas Blake, is guilty?
And what of Buck’s romance with playboy millionaire Holden Hart? Will Buck get a backstage pass to access all areas of his one true love… or will this be the final curtain for Buck and Holden?
Follow the clues, and you might just solve… the mystery of the disappearing divas!
Review: I remember liking the first one but not really loving it. After reading this installment I have to say that if book 3 was available to me I’d read it right away. Book 1 seemed to set up the story, this one exposes some intriguing layers to Buck Baxter and the world he’s living in. The romance between Harry and Buck is in trouble because of Harry’s dad. Parts of Buck’s life he never really cared to know about have become entwined. He’s struggling with being in love with a guy who for some reason is suddenly pushing him away. So many more interesting plot points in this one which makes me happy.
Buck is still a detective who needs to work, so when his extremely mouthy and former prostitute assistant knocks on his door at an ungodly hour to tell him about a new job, he really can’t say no. An actress who has the lead role in a local theater production has gone missing. The owners want to keep this out of the press as much as possible so they hire Buck to solve the mystery before opening night.
This book was pretty damn funny. The characters are fun with some bordering on outrageous but that just makes for a fun read if you ask me. It’s not too much. Just enough to set the tone and liven up the story. The assistant Candy kills me. She’s totally obnoxious but hilarious. I really didn’t know who the baddie was throughout the story. There were so many plausible possibilities presented I was wondering until the end. Harry kind of pissed me off in this one. Poor Buck is totally in love with him but Harry doesn’t seem to be as willing to jump all in. I’m sure the reasoning will be further explored in future books because the one reason he gave just intrigued me more. I want answers damn it! It can’t just be about money and social standing. Harry doesn’t seem that shallow. The vague blind pot dealing future reading woman is back and she’s as confusing as ever. I kept trying to decipher her prophecy but couldn’t come up with much. I’ll have to go back after the next book and reread it to see how it fits.
Basically this one was a much meatier read IMO. There’s another mystery to solve, a continuing but troubled love story and plenty of humor. But there’s also more to the characters stories than I originally thought. Something shady is going down in Wilde City and Buck and Harry are right in the middle of it. I’m looking forward to reading about how they work it out. Hopefully together.