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Murder at the Piccadilly Playhouse

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She was admired by women and desired by men, until jealousy and past secrets took center stage. Help Cleo and her friends solve the murder of one of London’s leading actresses. When a hotel guest’s mistress is found dead in the stalls of the Piccadilly Playhouse, a verdict of suicide is given. Convinced his lover didn’t kill herself, Lord Rumford wants the truth uncovered. She was admired by women and desired by men, until jealousy and past secrets took center stage. Help Cleo and her friends solve the murder of one of London’s leading actresses. When a hotel guest’s mistress is found dead in the stalls of the Piccadilly Playhouse, a verdict of suicide is given. Convinced his lover didn’t kill herself, Lord Rumford wants the truth uncovered. Against his better judgement, he hires Cleo Fox to find the murderer. Cleo needs to solve this case if she wants to make a living from being a private detective. But she quickly learns that the truth is buried beneath years of secrets; secrets that powerful people want desperately to keep. With the help of her friends from the Mayfair Hotel, Cleo exposes the bitter rivalry and jealousy of London’s West End. But can she find the killer before the final curtain closes on the Playhouse?


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She was admired by women and desired by men, until jealousy and past secrets took center stage. Help Cleo and her friends solve the murder of one of London’s leading actresses. When a hotel guest’s mistress is found dead in the stalls of the Piccadilly Playhouse, a verdict of suicide is given. Convinced his lover didn’t kill herself, Lord Rumford wants the truth uncovered. She was admired by women and desired by men, until jealousy and past secrets took center stage. Help Cleo and her friends solve the murder of one of London’s leading actresses. When a hotel guest’s mistress is found dead in the stalls of the Piccadilly Playhouse, a verdict of suicide is given. Convinced his lover didn’t kill herself, Lord Rumford wants the truth uncovered. Against his better judgement, he hires Cleo Fox to find the murderer. Cleo needs to solve this case if she wants to make a living from being a private detective. But she quickly learns that the truth is buried beneath years of secrets; secrets that powerful people want desperately to keep. With the help of her friends from the Mayfair Hotel, Cleo exposes the bitter rivalry and jealousy of London’s West End. But can she find the killer before the final curtain closes on the Playhouse?

30 review for Murder at the Piccadilly Playhouse

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sussan

    Just finished reading this, basically in one sitting. I was totally absorbed in the who done it and simply couldn't put it down. I'm positive that if you enjoyed the first book in this series you will enjoy this one too. I did have a few idea, and got a few things right however the culprit did come for a little left of centre. Great ending though, quite satisfying Just finished reading this, basically in one sitting. I was totally absorbed in the who done it and simply couldn't put it down. I'm positive that if you enjoyed the first book in this series you will enjoy this one too. I did have a few idea, and got a few things right however the culprit did come for a little left of centre. Great ending though, quite satisfying

  2. 5 out of 5

    Niki (nikilovestoread)

    I really enjoyed the first book in the Cleopatra Fox series so I was excited to read this one. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy Murder at the Piccadilly Playhouse quite as much. Cleo is our amateur detective. After successfully helping solve a murder mystery (in the first book), she decides she's good at solving mysteries and she should go into the detective business as a career. The problem is she really isn't very good at it. She stumbles around, randomly accusing people based upon her gut feelin I really enjoyed the first book in the Cleopatra Fox series so I was excited to read this one. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy Murder at the Piccadilly Playhouse quite as much. Cleo is our amateur detective. After successfully helping solve a murder mystery (in the first book), she decides she's good at solving mysteries and she should go into the detective business as a career. The problem is she really isn't very good at it. She stumbles around, randomly accusing people based upon her gut feeling without any evidence to back it up. Honestly, it was getting a little old. She tries to get Harry Armitage, the man she got fired in the previous book, to go into business with her and keeps hounding him even when he claims to have no interest. I missed the spark there was between the two in the first book. I didn't feel it here. He seemed to really not like her and she seemed to really not get that. Overall, it was an okay book, but I was disappointed after loving the first one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lindap

    4 Stars Cleo Fox gets involved in another murder mystery, this time it's an actress at the Piccadilly Playhouse. Cleo gets wrapped up in it because Lord Rumsford was staying at her uncle's hotel and the Lord was the the actresses benefactor. Mr. Armitage has a role in this book; he helps Cleo in a few situations. Cleo is trying really hard to convince Mr. Armtage that she needs to be part of his investigative business. So far he's resisting! The story was fun. Cleo still jumps to conclusions prett 4 Stars Cleo Fox gets involved in another murder mystery, this time it's an actress at the Piccadilly Playhouse. Cleo gets wrapped up in it because Lord Rumsford was staying at her uncle's hotel and the Lord was the the actresses benefactor. Mr. Armitage has a role in this book; he helps Cleo in a few situations. Cleo is trying really hard to convince Mr. Armtage that she needs to be part of his investigative business. So far he's resisting! The story was fun. Cleo still jumps to conclusions pretty quickly...but in the end she prevails.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    Another cosy historical murder mystery set at the Mayfair Hotel in 1900. Cleo Fox and her merry band of hotel staff take up the case of an actress who falls from a balcony at the Piccadilly Playhouse. Neatly tied up with a bow, my favourite part is the burgeoning begrudging friendship of Cleo and Harry Armitage

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    3.5 stars This one picks up shortly after the previous book left off so this is probably a series you should read in order. (this is #2) Lots of characters, slow beginning but enjoyable nonetheless. Interesting mystery. An actress dies from a fall but was it an accident or murder? Cleo tries to investigate as well as she can, but there are obstacles & she needs help. I like Cleo. As a reader, you root for her to continue her "unconventional career as a PI". And come on Harry, you know you LIKE LIKE h 3.5 stars This one picks up shortly after the previous book left off so this is probably a series you should read in order. (this is #2) Lots of characters, slow beginning but enjoyable nonetheless. Interesting mystery. An actress dies from a fall but was it an accident or murder? Cleo tries to investigate as well as she can, but there are obstacles & she needs help. I like Cleo. As a reader, you root for her to continue her "unconventional career as a PI". And come on Harry, you know you LIKE LIKE her!

  6. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Cleo Fox is enjoying life at the exclusive Mayfair Hotel owned by her uncle but she wants something more. When Cleo learns the leading actress at the Piccadilly Playhouse, Miss Pearl Westwood has died and the police declare the death a suicide, Cleo isn't so sure. Pearl's lover Lord Rumford insists Pearl would never do such a thing and he wants answers. Cleo offers her expertise in investigating the death, hoping Harry Armitage will be her partner. When he rejects offers of a partnership, Cleo g Cleo Fox is enjoying life at the exclusive Mayfair Hotel owned by her uncle but she wants something more. When Cleo learns the leading actress at the Piccadilly Playhouse, Miss Pearl Westwood has died and the police declare the death a suicide, Cleo isn't so sure. Pearl's lover Lord Rumford insists Pearl would never do such a thing and he wants answers. Cleo offers her expertise in investigating the death, hoping Harry Armitage will be her partner. When he rejects offers of a partnership, Cleo goes it alone. There's also the matter of the suspicious supposed guest at the hotel who may not be all he seems. Can Cleo solve both mysteries? Are they connected? I didn't like this story as much as the first one. Cleo's investigation brings up too many red herrings and she stumbles around making conclusions that don't necessarily fit. While I was thinking along the same lines, it took Cleo forever to get there. Some of the secrets were way too obvious. Of course a gently bred girl like Cleo wouldn't know about such things. I was surprised she even understood Cleo and Lord Rumford's arrangement. I didn't guess whodunit but that person WAS on my radar. Cleo doesn't really guess either, it's a last best guess. I spotted at least one anachronism. Cleo states "Loose lips sink ships," an American idiom dating to World War II! I didn't like how naïve Cleo acts in this book for someone supposedly so smart. Mr. Armitage brings out the worst in her and she in him. He's very proud and has a major chip on his shoulder. Cleo wants forgiveness but I don't think he's ready yet, nor should he be. However, I do understand and empathize with Cleo's desire for independence and her outrage at some of the more antiquated notions her elders cling to. She's intelligent and was raised differently from her cousins. I think Flossy has hidden depths. She, too, desires independence. I think she shops all the time because she's bored and has nothing else to do. Floyd is spoiled and selfish. I do sort of feel bad for him because of the pressure his father places on him but Floyd is immature and doesn't speak to his father man to man about his desires. What ARE his desires? Just to be an idle gentleman? I feel bad Aunt Lillian. She has been diagnosed with "melancholy" which is Victorian for depression. Mental health struggles aren't easy today and back in the early 29th-century the medicines available give her high highs but also headaches. It's very sad. Uncle Ronald is tough and unreasonable at times but he's kind enough to Cleo. He just doesn't bother to understand her or anyone else not conforming to his high expectations. The hotel crew are an interesting bunch. Mr. Hobart, the manager, is kind and efficient. He's also very naïve and trusting. After this book I wonder if he'll get to keep his job for much longer! His new assistant manager, Mr. Hirst, is definitely a shady character. I'm certain he's lying. Why not introduce a hotel guest to the owner and his family? Who is Mr. Clitheroe and why doesn't he seem like he is who Mr. Hirst claims he is? Harmony is lively and fun but sometimes she's a bit too much. She's too forward and pushes Cleo into situations Cleo shouldn't be in. Her relationship with Victor drives me crazy. He's deliberately provoking her to make her mad and I hate that. Sure he's a bit of a bad boy and has a sketchy past, but he seems devoted to the hotel (for now) and always willing to help Cleo. Peter is sweeter and kinder and I liked the introduction of his little brother, a wily street urchin who knows what's what. Goliath isn't the sharpest of the bunch but he's useful and a good person to have around. Frank and Goliath are a funny team. I like their banter. Shy Danny is a sweetheart. I like him best even if he's not a regular part of the sleuthing team. The new housekeeper is awful! She's a bully and she won't get any loyalty from the maids treating them like she does. I hope she gets the sack soon. Pearl Westwood may have been an amazing actress and a tolerant mistress but she wasn't the greatest human being on the planet. She was very selfish and somewhat egotistical. She denied where she came from and barely ever saw her family. Pearl loved what Lord Rumford could give her and any other man who showered her with attention, money and material goods. On one hand I don't blame her for wanting a better life but on the other, I don't like how she went about it. Using Lord Rumford with his agreement and knowledge is one thing but having other lovers at the same time AND a couple of big secrets makes Pearl rather unappealing. Still, she didn't deserve to be murdered and I feel sad for Lord Rumford and her family. Lord Rumford is a nice man even if he ignores his wife. We don't know what goes on behind their closed doors and what their arrangement is. Most Society marriages aren't based on love and if everyone else knows about Pearl, I have no doubt Lady Rumford knows about Pearl too. I put Lady Rumford on my suspect list. She's rumored to be in town but is nowhere to be found. How long as she been in town? Could she have murdered her husband's lover out of jealously? Actually I put Lord Rumford on my suspect list too because he loved Pearl so much and she didn't feel the same way. Could he have found out she was seeing other men at the same time and jealously killed Pearl? Pearl's sister, Mrs. Larsen, has had a tough life. While Pearl has risen to fame and fortune, Mrs. Larsen lives a meager existence in a tenement with her husband and child. While she didn't see her sister all the time and they didn't see eye-to-all a lot, I still feel sad for her. Mr. Larsen turned out to be a surprise and little Milly is very sweet. I don't think she's "simple," she just needs an education and a better life. The theater crew are a suspicious bunch. Mr. Culpepper, the theater manager, knows more than he's telling but I don't think he's kill his star. That's just ridiculous! Miss Dorothea Clare, Pearl's understudy is a very strong candidate for murderer. She's insanely jealous of all Pearl had, jealous of her own understudy enough to belittle the poor woman and wants to be Pearl. Dorothea doesn't have a kind word for anyone and her attitude isn't going to do her any favors. Mr. Perry Alcott is an unlikely murderer but Pearl may have been blackmailing him about something. His personal life is private but I don't think he's hiding anything. He tries to shock Cleo by saying he has expensive taste in lovers and then says Danny is his very good friend. Cleo knows what Danny is but she doesn't seem to make the connection. Mr. Alcott is roguish and fun. He claims to have been Pearl's best friend yet he doesn't know her biggest secrets. The most likely candidates for murderer, besides Miss Clare, are Lord an Lady Wrexham. It's obvious what's wrong with them. I came to a certain conclusion pretty early on and it takes Cleo a long time to get there. I do believe Lord and Lady Wrexham have a good reason to hate Pearl. Although Lord Wrexham claims he and Pearl broke up a long time ago, she needed money. What if he only offered to give it to her if she did him a "favor" or if they resume their relationship and he'd give it to her later? Lady Wrexham's motive is jealously, of course. She's not a nice person but I feel oh so terribly sorry for her. We don't know if she was always nasty or if she's nasty now because of what her husband did to her. The next book comes out in December and I will likely read that one if I have time.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Fritz PA

    This was so entertaining and kept me upon my toes! Cleo is amusing and bright. I must admit to forming an opinion fairly early on as to who committed this murder and I'm happy to have been correct. This is well thought out storytelling that doesn't disappoint. We see Cleo navigate difficult situations with grace and a very sharp wit. She's not afraid to be guided by her friend's insight and that's one of her best qualities. I admit to missing more of Harry in this edition. While he lent his assi This was so entertaining and kept me upon my toes! Cleo is amusing and bright. I must admit to forming an opinion fairly early on as to who committed this murder and I'm happy to have been correct. This is well thought out storytelling that doesn't disappoint. We see Cleo navigate difficult situations with grace and a very sharp wit. She's not afraid to be guided by her friend's insight and that's one of her best qualities. I admit to missing more of Harry in this edition. While he lent his assistance he wasn't a huge supporting character. But the ending gives me hope that soon we'll get much more time with him. I loved that while we were solving this whodunit, there were other happenings in the plot that shall carry over into more of this series. We got murder and mayhem and messy hotel business all working together to keep this intriguing and unputdownable.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    This was such a fun one to listen to! C.J Archer does it again with bringing back all our favorite characters from the first book and their just as funny and endearing as ever. A lot of times like movies that turn into a series, the second, third and fourth ones aren't as good or tend to fall flat-not the case with this one! I enjoyed this one just as much as I did the first one and the mystery was fresh and exciting. Cleo and all her sleuthing, Harry and his "charm", Harmony and her snarkiness This was such a fun one to listen to! C.J Archer does it again with bringing back all our favorite characters from the first book and their just as funny and endearing as ever. A lot of times like movies that turn into a series, the second, third and fourth ones aren't as good or tend to fall flat-not the case with this one! I enjoyed this one just as much as I did the first one and the mystery was fresh and exciting. Cleo and all her sleuthing, Harry and his "charm", Harmony and her snarkiness and sweetness were all so great to be apart of and I love these characters so much. I can't wait to listen to the next one when it comes out in December!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mac Daly

    The lead actress at the famed Piccadilly Playhouse has just fallen to her death. Was it an accident or suicide or something more sinister. Hired by the victim's lover to find the truth, Cleo Fox enlists the aid the the Mayfair Hotel's staff, which her uncle owns, and a fledgling detective whom she unintentionally got fired from his previous job at the hotel. While the actress seemingly had no enemies, Cleo soon unearths plenty of suspects. The lead actress at the famed Piccadilly Playhouse has just fallen to her death. Was it an accident or suicide or something more sinister. Hired by the victim's lover to find the truth, Cleo Fox enlists the aid the the Mayfair Hotel's staff, which her uncle owns, and a fledgling detective whom she unintentionally got fired from his previous job at the hotel. While the actress seemingly had no enemies, Cleo soon unearths plenty of suspects.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Kosla

    1.5 stars. Nothing offensive or egregious, but I was bored throughout most of this book. I really like the premise and setting of the series so I’ll likely read the next installment when it’s released. Maybe by then I’ll finally be able to keep the numerous (and imo indistinguishable) side characters straight so I can care about them.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    The characters are growing on me Although I've read many books based in this time period, this author is one of the best to capture it. Cleo's family is very realistic with both positive and negative qualities. Cleo herself is a well drawn character making mistaken assumptions about other characters, but finding the answers to the murder nonetheless. The characters are growing on me Although I've read many books based in this time period, this author is one of the best to capture it. Cleo's family is very realistic with both positive and negative qualities. Cleo herself is a well drawn character making mistaken assumptions about other characters, but finding the answers to the murder nonetheless.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I've read all the Glass and Steele novels; this has a similar feel without the magic element- similar time frame, similar class disparities, the characters have similar personalities. As an audiobook I listen to while doing things like dishes, I enjoy it and will continue reading future books. Would I recommend it to a friend, no. I've read all the Glass and Steele novels; this has a similar feel without the magic element- similar time frame, similar class disparities, the characters have similar personalities. As an audiobook I listen to while doing things like dishes, I enjoy it and will continue reading future books. Would I recommend it to a friend, no.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ceindy

    * Sigh * This is exactly what Cleo does a million times in this book. And so did I. I'm hoping her dumb mistakes and bad questionings are because she's an amateur detective. I will continue to give this series another chance, but I was really annoyed by her actions. I wish Mr. Armitage would help more than being her bodyguard or escort because I definitely think he's a much better investigator. * Sigh * This is exactly what Cleo does a million times in this book. And so did I. I'm hoping her dumb mistakes and bad questionings are because she's an amateur detective. I will continue to give this series another chance, but I was really annoyed by her actions. I wish Mr. Armitage would help more than being her bodyguard or escort because I definitely think he's a much better investigator.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karen Fan

    If you like protagonists who are selfish in the sense that they want to do what they want to do, without thinking of how it’ll affect others, this is for you. I know she wasn’t purposely being obtuse about what might happen, but all the same. If not for that, this would be quite fun. Unfortunately, I can’t stand Cleo and, imo, she’s just gotten worse in this second book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    I enjoyed the 2 book of Cleopatra Fox Mysteries, just being able to read about women private detective is interesting to me. This story show how upper class should not talk to people beneath them and how family members can be jealous of siblings. Interesting story line, took a little while for me to figure out who done it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gary and Sandra Sims

    Really like this book Cleopatra Fox has got spunk, that in its self makes for a delightful story, add in murder, scandals and maybe a budding romance and you are in for an enjoyable reading experience. Ms. Archer keeps the story moving while the characters become more engaging, here's hoping this series last a long time. Really like this book Cleopatra Fox has got spunk, that in its self makes for a delightful story, add in murder, scandals and maybe a budding romance and you are in for an enjoyable reading experience. Ms. Archer keeps the story moving while the characters become more engaging, here's hoping this series last a long time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    James Ferguson

    Another enjoyable murder mystery jaunt with a fun cast of lords, ladies, servants, and chauvinism. Ms. Fox is an bored young lady with a taste for amateur sleuthing. It’s fun to walk along side her while she tests theories out loud instead of the more traditional mysteries that hold all the cards close until a big reveal.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Great Read I thoroughly enjoyed reading this second book in the Cleopatra Fox Mysteries, it kept me guessing till the end as to who done it. Can't wait to read the next book in the series. I already preordered it! Thank you C.J. Archer for another great series! Great Read I thoroughly enjoyed reading this second book in the Cleopatra Fox Mysteries, it kept me guessing till the end as to who done it. Can't wait to read the next book in the series. I already preordered it! Thank you C.J. Archer for another great series!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Library

    Enjoying this series very much. Wish the author would give physical descriptions of her characters at the beginning of each book to help me remember though! Especially like the hotel staff sleuthing group. This series is a quick fun read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    I’m really enjoying these cozy British mysteries set in the early 1900s, and the audiobooks are great. This is the second Cleo Fox book and it’s even more fun than the first because more of the hotel staff gets involved in solving the mystery. Very light and fun!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Roth

    Addiction warning! This author's books are quite habit forming! The characters are all interesting and well developed, the plots aren't predictable, and the details of life in the late Victorian period add another layer of intrigue. Can't wait to read the next book! Addiction warning! This author's books are quite habit forming! The characters are all interesting and well developed, the plots aren't predictable, and the details of life in the late Victorian period add another layer of intrigue. Can't wait to read the next book!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I really enjoyed this book. The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I came across several typos. I really enjoyed this book. The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I came across several typos.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary DuFault

    Great read I love her books. Quick read and pure entertainment. I love these characters and can’t wait fir the next book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sheelagh Regan

    Enjoyable murder mystery well written I see a romance in the brewing preordered book 3 when I finished reading the book

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I enjoyed this read. The premise of the series is a lot of fun!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sheryl

    Second book in the Series, entertaining story. Learned a little more about Cleo.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katie Kelley

    I continue to love Cleo Fox and her friends from the Mayfair Hotel. Fun and quick cozy from the turn of the century - more, please!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Not really sure this needed the level of slut shaming it had, but other than that I liked it a lot.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    7/10. Cosy mysteries deliver exactly what you expect and that's a comfort. 7/10. Cosy mysteries deliver exactly what you expect and that's a comfort.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Veray

    A great mystery! I love the characters in this series and enjoy watching the story play out. I never have figured out the murderer until they are revealed.

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