It’s Book Review Thursday. Come back each week to get a peek inside what authors I love and what storylines inspire me.
Wouldn’t It Be Deadly returns us to the wonderful world of Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins. Eliza is still living with the Professor’s mother, and she has become a phonetics teacher, employed by Maestro Emil Nepommuck. Between the two of them, they have several students, all wanting to sound more upper class for various reasons.
Higgins, however, is not pleased with Eliza’s employer, because Nepommuck’s ads make it sound like he trained Eliza, not Higgins, and he is using her to draw students to his school. Higgins vows to ruin Nepommuck, which could ruin Eliza’s career as well.
The students, as Eliza once did, will try out their newly-acquired upper crust accents at a part being held by Lady Gresham. Things quickly take a downward turn when Lady Gresham and Nepommuck announce their engagement, Mary Finch, one of their students, makes a scene, believing he loves her and not Lady Gresham. She is forcibly removed by the butler, with her embarrassed husband trailing behind her.
True to his word, Higgins gives a local newspaper damaging evidence about Nepommuck that will definitely ruin him. Shortly afterwards, Eliza finds the poor man dead, one of her tuning forks in his mouth, and she’s the prime suspect.
Luckily, her alibi checks out, and she reunites with her cousin, Jack Shaw, who is now a Detective Inspector for Scotland Yard. Unfortunately, because of the article in the newspaper, and the fact that he has no alibi, the prime suspect is now Higgins.
The duo begins to investigate the murder, and discover the victim was blackmailing some, if not all, of his students. And while they hope to find a murderer among the students, everyone seems to have an unshakeable alibi.
Returning to Nepommuck’s apartment to retrieve her things, Eliza, Higgins, Colonel Pickering and his friend, Major Aubrey Redstone, discover Cornelius Finch sitting on the sofa, and his wife dead at his feet. Does this mean Finch could have killed Nepommuck, too?
With pressure mounting from the victim’s fiancée and Scotland Yard, Higgins, Eliza, Jack and the rest of the troupe work frantically to find the real killer before Higgins is clapped in irons and thrown in prison.
D.E. Ireland has done a beautiful job of bringing Eliza and the Professor back to life. Being true to My Fair Lady, they create a wonderful mystery that shows the complex relationship between the two continues. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the authors paint a picture of Wimpole Street and London that makes the reader feel like they are right there, walking alongside the characters. I had absolutely no problem envisioning Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Jeremy Brett, and Wilfred Hyde-White as I read the story. The plot is well-written, with many twists, turns, a few surprises and an ending I didn’t see coming. This is a book I will gladly recommend, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Move Your Blooming Corpse. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s 2:10 a.m., and I feel the need for a rousing rendition of “I Could Have Danced All Night” before I collapse into bed.