Welcome to another edition of Introducing. Some of you are already familiar with today’s guest, but for those of you who haven’t yet “met” her, let me introduce Bev Robitai.
Robitai was born in the UK, but lives and works on Auckland’s North Shore. Besides being a crime fiction author, she’s also a highly skilled professional photographer as well as an editor and writing coach.
Robitai also spent several years in the theatre, which is the source of her inspiration for her Theatre Mysteries. In Murder in the Second Row, the Regent Theatre, under the management of Jessica Jones, is planning a production of Agatha Christie’s Appointment With Death. There are several challenges to the production, including the self-important pampered star Simone Duchaine, who has the role of Mrs. Boynton. Another problem is Tamara Fitzpatrick, who’s playing Mrs. Boynton’s daughter-in-law Nadine. Tamara manages to upset everyone and she has a bad habit of not leaving the men in the production alone. So when she’s found dead on the floor in the back row of the stalls, Detective Senior Sergeant Jack Matherson’s got plenty of suspects.
Jack Matherson, Jessica Jones and some of the other characters from this novel appear again in Body on the Stage. In that novel, Dennis Dempster’s sister persuades him to audition for the Regent’s production of Ladies Night. Dempster has no theatre experience but he knows his sister won’t leave him alone until he fills the social void left by his divorce. So he reluctantly goes to the Regent and gets a place on the crew. That’s how he meets Cathy, who owns the local gym Intensity. She’s agreed to get the production’s actor/dancers in shape and prepare routines for them in return for publicity as well as payment. When her computer refuses to print, Dempster helps her fix it and Cathy persuades him to tag along with the actor/dancers and come to the gym for their training sessions. Dempster knows he ought to get in shape so he reluctantly agrees. Disaster strikes when Cathy’s assistant Vincenzo Barino is found murdered just weeks before the production is to premiere. Jack Matherson investigates officially, and Cathy and Dennis Dempster investigate unofficially as everyone tries to solve the murder as soon as possible so the show can be staged.
A talented writer with a humourous style who also helps new writers and takes amazing photographs? And she lives in New Zealand? Of course I wanted you to “meet” Bev Robitai!
Want to know more about Bev? Here’s how:
Want to know more about the Theatre Mysteries? Here’s how: