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by Jill Churchill
Avon, October 2005
272 pages
ISBN: 0060501006

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Old friends and suburban housewives Jane and Shelley share many interests. This time they are learning needlepoint at a local store and Shelley is checking out local caterers by supplying the dinner for evening rehearsals needed by a new theater production at the local college.

Thrilled to be getting to know about the theater biz, Jane and Shelley make friends with the grand dame actress Mrs Buntings who is there to star in the small production. Though not thrilled with Mr Buntings, the director or the attitude of a few of the actors, the girls and the actress get on famously, even taking a needlepoint class together.

When one of the actors is found dead in the theater and Jane's boyfriend, Detective Mel VanDyne is placed on the case and actually asks for her opinion on the production, Jane and Shelley do their best to nose around to find the killer.

Mel can't find out much about the dead actor and Jane and Shelley also can't get much information on him. Things take on an even darker tone when the maintenance man is found bludgeoned at the theater. Shelley and Jane try even harder to talk to as many people as possible, trying to figure out who might be the killer.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SCREAM is a likable cozy, not terribly exciting and with little tension. More is made of the two lead character's home lives than the mystery. We get more details about the menus of the women's two households than we get about the two murders. With a solution that is easy for readers to solve, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SCREAM is good for an afternoon's read. This is the 15th in the Jane Jeffry series and the first I've read. It stands well on its own and will pass a rainy day nicely.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, April 2006

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