Cover image for The Old Deep and Dark
Title:
The Old Deep and Dark
Author:
Hart, Ellen, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Minotaur Books, 2014.
Physical Description:
296 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
"Renowned theater director Cordelia Thorn is working to restore a historic theater in downtown Minneapolis that she and her actress sister, Octavia, recently bought. Cordelia has a vision for the playhouse's future, but the more she learns about the building, the more fascinated she becomes by its past. Nicknamed "The Old Deep and Dark" because of the Prohibition-era double murder that occurred in the basement--then a speakeasy--there are a wealth of secrets hidden inside its walls. And, to her shock and horror, Cordelia discovers that there is also one present-day body literally buried in a basement wall. Cordelia immediately calls on her best friend, P.I. Jane Lawless. Although Jane is already in the thick of another investigation--she's embroiled in a well-known country-western singer's family scandal--she agrees to help Cordelia out on the side. But show-biz is a small world, and as Jane starts tracing the trails of two separate investigations, she's surprised to find they might not be as unconnected as she thought. With The Old Deep and Dark, the latest installment in the award-winning Jane Lawless series, Ellen Hart has crafted another impeccably plotted, seamlessly written mystery"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250047694
Format :
Book

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Central Library FICTION Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
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Audubon Library FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

Ellen Hart was named the 2017 MWA Grand Master, the most distinguished lifetime achievement award offered in the mystery community.

Renowned theater director Cordelia Thorn is working to restore a historic theater in downtown Minneapolis that she and her actress sister, Octavia, recently bought. Cordelia has a vision for the playhouse's future, but the more she learns about the building, the more fascinated she becomes by its past. Nicknamed "The Old Deep and Dark" because of the Prohibition-era double murder that occurred in the basement-then a speakeasy-there are a wealth of secrets hidden inside its walls. And, to hershock and horror, Cordelia discovers that there is also one present-day body literally buried in a basement wall. Cordelia immediately calls on her best friend, P.I. Jane Lawless.

Although Jane is already in the thick of another investigation-she's embroiled in a well-known country-western singer's family scandal-she agrees to help Cordelia out on the side. But show-biz is a small world, and as Jane starts tracing the trails of two separate investigations, she's surprised to find they might not be as unconnected as she thought.

With The Old Deep and Dark , the latest installment in the award-winning Jane Lawless series, Ellen Hart has crafted another impeccably plotted, seamlessly written mystery.

The Old Deep and Dark is the Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery.


Author Notes

Mystery author Ellen Hart was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in August 1949. She received a B. A. in Theology from the Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. She writes the Jane Lawless and the Sophie Greenway series. Five of the Jane Lawless books have won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery. She has also won the Minnesota Book Award for Best Crime Fiction twice. She currently lives in Minneapolis with her life partner.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Hidden subterranean rooms, ghosts from a speakeasy, long-buried skeletons in basement walls all found in an historic theater under restoration. Although this sounds like a Nancy Drew mystery, it is the basis for the latest in Hart's (Taken by the Wind, 2013) Jane Lawless series. This time around, the restaurateur-PI's investigation of Minneapolis-based country music star Jordan Deere's death intersects with those discoveries in the theater owned by her best friend, actress-director Cordelia Thorn, who dreams of someday working with her old friend, famous actress Kit, whose marriage to the murdered singer is about to be exposed as nothing more than secrets and lies in his forthcoming book. Add to these complications Jane's dad, attorney Raymond Lawless' apparent crush on gorgeous client and prime suspect Kit, and Jane's girlfriend, Avi, sleeping with OMG Jane's ex! Cordelia, who usually provides delightfully over-the-top comic relief in Jane's investigations, instead helps connect the many characters and developments, perhaps due to her new businesswoman persona. Fans may yearn for Cordelia's comedy but will still applaud Hart's latest.--Scott, Whitney Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Harts engrossing 22nd Jane Lawless mystery (after 2013s Taken by the Wind) finds the Minneapolis PI and restaurateur working with her attorney father to determine who shot country singer Jordan Deere. Jordan had just written an autobiographical novel that threatened to end his career, destroy his family, and ruin his close friends, so suspects abound. Meanwhile, Janes best friend, Cordelia Thorn, is horrified to discover three skeletons in the bricked-up walls and hidden rooms of the Old Deep and Dark, the theater and former speakeasy shes renovating. Forensic examination shows the three were killed by the same weapon as Jordan. As the savvy Jane investigates both cases, she also confronts uncomfortable questions about her girlfriend, Avi Greenberg, whose behavior is becoming increasingly erratic. Hart develops characters and backstory enough to orient readers new to the series without miring them in previous complications. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Excerpts

Excerpts

1 SPRING 1978 He wasn't a boy. He hated it when people called him that, used the word as a way to define him, to minimize him. Okay, so technically, if that's what these judgmental jerks were aiming at, he wasn't a man yet either, but he was way beyond the boy stage. Kids didn't understand love, the romantic kind. The forever kind. He did. He hadn't told anyone close to him that he'd found the woman he was going to marry, mainly because they'd all laugh and tell him he was crazy. He didn't need small-minded, negative thinkers in his life. Okay, so maybe there were a few hurdles. The age difference, for one. Not that it mattered. Love, as the poets said, would find a way. Kit was the most exquisite woman he'd ever seen. She was Catherine Deneuve, Candice Bergen, and Marilyn Monroe all rolled up into one perfect package, and someday, down on his knee, diamond ring tucked into a small black velvet box, he'd ask her to marry him. It made his stomach clutch and his heart race every time he thought about that moment, when he would make her his own. Katherine--Kit--Haralson had been crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way at the state fair two years ago. Eighteen years old, right out of high school. He'd seen her sitting there at the butter-carving booth, posing for her sculpture. She'd been told to keep still, but it was hard with people calling out questions, shouting her name. When the fair was over, she was given the butter statue of herself to take home. He wasn't sure what a dairy farm, where she'd grown up, would do with all that excess butter, although the neighbors would probably ask to see it, so maybe it would be fun for a while--until it melted. After she'd been officially crowned, she'd traveled the state representing the dairy industry. She was a natural beauty, with golden hair and a perfect milk-white smile. And tonight, he was going to meet her for the first time. Since his palms were sweaty, he was definitely not going to shake her hand. It would work like this: During intermission, he would sneak backstage. He assumed that when Kit started acting around town, it would only be a matter of time until she was cast in a play at this theater, a place he knew well. The dressing rooms were behind the stage. Getting to them would be a piece of cake. The hard part, as always, was the waiting. Tonight, finally, that wait was over. Kit was luminous, acting her heart out. He followed her with eager eyes and when she left the stage, even if it was only for a moment, he felt an emptiness creep inside him. He sat in the dark, mesmerized, gazing up anxiously as the curtain came down and people around him thundered their applause. He thundered right along with them. Intermission would last fifteen minutes. Edging his way toward the front of the house as everyone else headed for the lobby, he slipped through a dark velvet curtain held together at the top by a series of safety pins and stood for a moment, watching the crew hustle furniture off the stage. The lead actors were given individual dressing rooms along a back wall. The building was ancient. While the lobby was nothing to brag about, the backstage area, smelling like an old moldy sponge, was a mass of peeling paint, dirty, scuffed floors, battered walls, and a general dankness that totally fascinated him. Thankfully, nobody gave him a second look as he walked briskly into the rear hallway. He bent down and peeked through the first keyhole. Nope. Wrong room. The skinny man inside had stripped to his undershirt and boxer shorts and was searching through a bunch of clothes draped over a chair. Gross. Moving to the next door, he leaned in and squinted. "Score," he whispered. Kit, her golden hair swept back into a ponytail, was seated at the dressing table, the lightbulbs that surrounded an oversized mirror casting a hard light on her flawless features. Her red lips and white skin reminded him of his sister's porcelain doll. A bouquet of red roses tied with a ribbon spread across the table and claimed all her attention. She removed a tiny pink card, read the message, then smiled a moony smile. "Hey, what are you doing there?" came a man's voice. "Me?" He turned around. Another man came along and grabbed the first man's arm. "We got a problem with the horse prop. Ten freakin' minutes before curtain and this thing goes and busts on me." As quick as that, they were gone. After rubbing his palms along his jeans to wipe off the sweat, he gave a soft rap on the door with one knuckle. When he received no response, he tried again. Thinking that his beautiful Kit was lost in reverie, he turned the doorknob and pushed the door slowly inward, all the while rehearsing his words with his eyes shut tight. "Kit," he began, too frightened to even look at her. "You don't know me. My name is--" When he finally gathered enough nerve to force a smile and open his eyes, he gave an involuntary jerk. "Kit?" he said. This time he spoke her name as a question. He inched forward. Turning full circle in the center of the room, he found no windows or doors. No closet. No trapdoor in the floor. There was nowhere to hide and no way in or out except for the door he'd just come through. And yet? He searched the air around him for the magician's puff of smoke. There could be no other explanation for why the flowers, the ribbon, the card, and his beloved Kit, had vanished. Copyright © 2014 by Ellen Hart Excerpted from The Old Deep and Dark by Ellen Hart All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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