On the cusp of the twentieth century, Manhattan is a lively metropolis buzzing with talent. But after a young soprano meets an untimely end on stage, can one go-getting leading lady hit the right notes in a case of murder? New York City, 1899. When it comes to show business, Gilded Age opera singer Ella Shane wears the pants. The unconventional diva breaks the mold by assuming “trouser roles”—male characters played by women—and captivating audiences far and wide with her travelling theatre company. But Ella’s flair for the dramatic takes a terrifying turn when an overacting Juliet to her Romeo drinks real poison during the final act of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi.
Weeks after the woman’s death is ruled a tragic accident, a mysterious English duke arrives in Greenwich Village on a mission. He’s certain someone is getting away with murder, and the refined aristocrat won’t travel back across the Atlantic until Ella helps him expose the truth.
As Ella finds herself caught between her craft and a growing infatuation with her dashing new acquaintance, she’s determined to decode the dark secrets surrounding her co-star’s fatale finale—before the lights go dark and the culprit appears for an encore . . .
About the Author
Kathleen Marple Kalb is the author of the historical Ella Shane Mystery series set in Gilded Age New York, which includes A Fatal Finale and A Fatal First Night. She’s also a weekend morning anchor at New York’s 1010 WINS Radio, capping a career she began as a teenage DJ in rural Western Pennsylvania. Kalb is a member of the Sisters in Crime New York Chapter and the Author's Guild and is active in media organizations as well. She lives in Cheshire, Connecticut with her family and is at work on her next book.
Advance praise for A FATAL FINALE
“In A Fatal Finale, Kathleen Marple Kalb raises the curtain on the tarnished glamour of the New York City theater scene in the Gilded Age, with a cast of characters so genuine and loveable you won’t want to leave them when the book is over. Bravo to this engaging debut! I look forward to encore after encore!” —Alyssa Maxwell, author of Murder at Kingscote “Delightfully intriguing, A Fatal Finale is a Gilded Age gem of a mystery. Kathleen Marple Kalb has gifted us with a glimpse of behind-the-scenes opera at the turn of the 20th century and introduced us to Ella Shane, an unconventional diva and the perfect plucky heroine. Readers will adore this immersive tale!” —Lydia Kang, author of Opium and Absinthe