Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Review - Death of a Diva


Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway

By: Brigitte Goldstein
Publisher: Pierredor Books
Publication Date: September 2014
ISBN: 978-0-692-24666-5
Reviewed by: Charline Ratcliff
Date: March 26, 2015

When I was asked to review Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway by Brigitte Goldstein, I was only too happy to accept. I love thrillers and mysteries (I was an avid Nancy Drew lover as a child) as well as Historical Fiction, and here was a book that looked like it combined both genres.

Finding some time (and the nearest quiet corner), I sat down to read. And let me tell you – Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway starts out with one heck of a bang. The much loved, admired, and idolized star of both stage and screen, actress Stella Berger, has been discovered brutally murdered.

Stella Berger, the heart stoppingly beautiful not to mention amazingly talented German-Jewish immigrant, the actress who, at the end of every performance would publicly pray that her homeland and the rest of the world be delivered from the “Nazi Scourge” now lies dead – strangled to death with a violin string. The entire world is shocked by this news and the list of suspects seeking Miss Berger’s demise is growing longer by the moment.

But let me shift your attention to Misia Safran – another German-Jewish immigrant, and one who worked at the theater where Stella Berger’s lifeless body was discovered. She is the prime suspect for this grisly murder – and if she isn’t the actual perpetrator then the police are certain that she's at least an accomplice who knows much, but is telling little.

Who was the homeless derelict that she allowed into the theater without making him buy a ticket? How does Misia really expect the police to believe that her grave ‘mistake,’ the one that claimed the life of an internationally adored public figure, had been done out of kindness only; with no ulterior motive?

Not getting what they want from Misia, she is 'released' – although she has now acquired two tails. And, she has also just espied the derelict that the police are still seeking...

I don’t want to provide any further details about Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway, but I certainly appreciated the European history tour that author Brigitte Goldstein took me on. This tale was a unique blend of geography, cultures and nationalities – spun back and forth inside a time when being a Jew, or being sympathetic to their plight, carried heavy penalties; including death.
While I know that Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway is not Goldstein's debut novel – it is only the second of her books that I've read. I'm certainly looking forward to reading her others because she's a great writer. Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway features appropriately descriptive scenes and the character dialogue/interactions make sense. In whole, the story flowed well with only a couple places where the 'telling' of the tale felt sluggish – but not enough to dampen my enjoyment.

Quill says: Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway was an interesting and intriguing read. Difficult to put down once started; and featuring a nice merry-go-round of 'who done it' character possibilities.

For more information on Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway, please visit the publisher's website at: www.pierredorbooks.com