Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Dying To Be Famous by Tanya Landman

November 2009, Walker
128 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Children's, 10+

Clouds: 3
Smiles: 5
Tissues: 1
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥

Details from Walker.

Third in the brilliantly addictive new series of murder mysteries by an acclaimed and popular writer.
Poppy Fields and best friend Graham are astonished to be given parts in a musical production of The Wizard of Oz. Even more astonishing is the series of murders that occurs at the theatre, targeting the leading lady. When Poppy and Graham investigate, little do they know that they are next on the murderer’s list…

It may be the third book in the series, but it is the first book I've read by Tanya Landman. It was the title of the fourth book (to be reviewed tomorrow) The Head is Dead that caught my interest - why would anyone want to kill a headteacher? Back to this book - it is a fine blend of mystery and comedy.

A murderer on the loose is no laughing matter, especially when the cast of The Wizard of Oz are being targeted one by one. Yet Poppy's inquisitive mind keeps her attending rehearsals (even if she doesn't care for acting), dragging her friend Graham along with her. If it weren't for Graham, there are a few bits which Poppy wouldn't have figured out, or been able to do. These two best friends work well together, even when it comes to convincing parents that they need to remain working in the play. They deliberately didn't explain their theory on who the murderer's next victim was - them.

I am usually hopeless at guessing who the murderer is, and this novel was no exception. The unveiling took me by surprise, but it made perfect sense. Poppy tells everything from her point of view, which had me smiling so much when I read it on a train. Even at the most serious points of the book humour is never far away. Her friendship with Graham is believable and solid - it shows how much they trust each other. I did fear for the lives when the murderer finally catches up with them.

I'm pretty sure that murders will follow Poppy's life for a while longer. I got to learn a little about how productions are put together - and how some stars have very large heads.

Tanya Landman can be found here - along with the news that two more books about Poppy's life will be published in May 2010! The Scent of Blood and Certain Death. Yes, I will endeavour to get copies.

Liked this? Check out book 4: The Head is Dead by Tanya Landman.


Rose Works Jewelry said...

Sound interesting - they didn't have any of this series available currently at my library - but they had another book by her (I am apache) that I'm ordering - looks interesting!

GMR said...

Now this definitely sounds like a fun series (albeit at this point, this is the only book review of the series I've read), and the plot being all tied up in a production of the Wizard of Oz just adds another aspect of curiousity for me....adding to my wish list as we speak! Thanks for sharing!