Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Review: Cursed in the Act by Raymond Buckland

London in 1881, Bram Stoker, business manager, of the Lyceum Theater is busy getting ready for the opening night of Hamlet when his star, Henry Irving, who also happens to own the theater is poisoned. While Mr. Irving is able to pull through, is understudy is less lucky. He is found murdered the next day and Bram Stoker thinks that this may not be the end of the misadventures for the Lyceum. 

Raymond Buckland manages to paint a vivid picture of late 19th century London and its lively theater scene. Bram Stoker as the main character adds an interesting twist to the story because the author of Dracula firmly believes that dark forces are at play when more actors crew members fall victim to accidents, all seemingly intent to delay the opening of Hamlet. 

Could the solution be as simple as envy by the competition, the Sadler's Wells Theatre? But then who at the other theater is devilish enough to even threaten children for the sake of acting fame? Bram Stoker, as he gets deeper involved in the search for the culprit, clearly enjoys the discovery of darker elements connected to the mystery. Be is secret hiding places or strange rituals, what frightens and causes discomfort for others, makes Bram Stoker feel right at home. 

This book is a really nice historical mystery, fast paced, by an author that manages to recreate the scenery of late 19th century on paper. A good read for lovers of historical novels!

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