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I've been a fan of J.S. Borthwick's writing for years, but I was very disappointed in this book. The plot is looser and less believable than in her other books. I enjoy gentle mysteries, so I might have been willing to go along with this less inspired and rivetting plot, had it not been for all of the typos. Occasional errors can be overlooked, but there were so many in this edition that it was truly distracting. Does no one edit before publication? Perhaps someone will proofread before the paperback edition comes out. It wouldn't make up for a less tightly written narrative, but at least it might let the reader move more smoothly through the book and, perhaps, be more likely to overlook the deeper flaws.
At Maine's Bowmouth College, the Drama School Chair Vera Pruczak is producing a gender bending version of Romeo and Juliet, Romiette and Julio. Vera enjoys sticking it to the prim and proper English Department Chair Danton McGraw, which this production does as he holds Shakespeare sacred. However, this time Vera also annoys the local residents who feel she is going too far with poetic license.
As Vera and Danton argue, English Professor Sarah Deane tries to bring a truce between her friend and her boss. During rehearsal talented Todd Mancuso is beaten up and his replacement as Mercutio Draco Malfoy, is almost killed. However, the show proves a success in Sarah's mind because no one else was hurt though anger simmered near the surface. Sarah soon knows her assessment was wrong when the curtain closes because Grover Blaine is dead backstage. Ignoring Maine State Police Sergeant George Fitts plea to stay out of the investigation, as she has done with other homicides, Sarah investigates the murder investigation
Once again, Sarah proves the world's a stage where a murder investigation becomes the prime show. The story line provides readers with a glimpse at the rivalries often acrimonious amidst the "gentle" academia. As the Bowmouth drama school prepares for its next production, perhaps of Hamletta, Princess of Denmark, FOILED AGAIN is as the opening quote from Shakespeare says "a hit, a very palpable hit"
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2007
Bowmouth College's new play is a unique twist on Romeo and Juliet. They're staging a production of "Romiette and Julio," and things are not going well. The off-stage drama mounts until two female drama students attack Todd Mancuso, the actor who plays Mercutio in the production.
Sarah Deane is an English professor at Bowmouth where department tension (between English Department head, Danton McGraw and the Drama School head, Vera Pruczak) escalates with far-reaching consequences. The play proceeds, but following the performance Sarah discovers an injured faculty member, and then a student is found dead.
As usual, Sarah ignores all warning about not getting involved and is determined to find out 'who done it.'
Foiled Again is J.S. Borthwick's thirteenth Sarah Deane mystery and my first reading of her books. I've become a fan and will search out her previous novels.
The characters are quirky and interesting, the academic politics are delicious and the plot takes you for a ride and you don't want it to end. This is a wonderful book for those lazy afternoons where you just want a good read.
Armchair Interviews says: Check out Foiled Again, you'll become a fan.
1.0 out of 5 starsFluff, Poorly Researched, Edited & Plotted
Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2009
It seems that Borthwick's work is getting more and more careless as the series progresses. This one isn't particularly well plotted and had me skipping whole pages on which nothing happened. The ending feels as though Borthwick just stopped writing and typed "The End." Though many of the characters are well drawn, the reader is left not knowing why any of them acted as they did.
As with the previous books, this one is so poorly edited as to give the impression that St Martin's is staffed by eighth-grade dropouts; the typos, punctuation errors and misspellings are distracting enough to tempt one to act like Professor Lenox Cobb in "Dolly is Dead" and send one's copy back to the publisher suitably annotated in red ink. Borthwick also has not done her research and makes several quite obvious errors of fact that two minutes with a medical dictionary would have prevented.
Though I enjoyed the previous Sarah Deane books, I finished this one more out of a sense of duty than any real enjoyment. I doubt that I will read any more.
yes it was a "cozy" mystery with a slow pace and great character development, but i kept waiting for some startling conclusion, some insight, and was disappointed. maybe i missed something but there were 'way too many unanswered questions by the end of the book. if you're not a regular mystery reader you may enjoy this book--the characters are appealing and believeable--but the mystery part is weak.