Sketch a Falling Star by Sharon Pape is the third book in the “Portrait of Crime” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, March 2012
When the “Way Off Broadway Players” get swept up in a flash flood while sightseeing in Arizona, Rory McCain’s aunt Helene and her fellow amateur thespians survive—with the exception of Preston Wright. The victim was actually a womanizing scam-artist who duped nearly everyone in the troupe, as well as an ex-con who operated under various aliases. While Preston’s death was deemed to be an “act of nature,” Rory can’t discount the possibility that human nature may have contributed to his drowning. But even as she investigates the cast of characters to find out which one played the villain, Rory is finally on the verge of solving a cold case — the murder of her ghost partner, Zeke.
I love Eloise who finds herself entrenched in Rory’s case without even knowing it. The interplay between Eloise, Rory and Zeke is delightful to watch. In this case, a member of Rory’s Aunt Helene’s acting troupe is accidently killed in a flash flood, or was he? That’s what Rory is seeking the answers and the closer she gets to the finale, danger lurks in the wings. This lighthearted mystery quickly became a page-turner, as I had to know what happens next. What follows are amusing antics as Rory, Zeke and even Hobo learn to live with one another while partnering in their private investigation company. This was a very good read and the best one yet in the fabulously attractive series and I look forward to more adventures with Rory and the gang.