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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
China Doll by Joe Cosentino is the fourth book in the Jana Lane series. The former child star has solved murders on a movie set, and in Washington. Now, Jana Lane is back where she began: Broadway. Reuniting with the people she worked with in her first production, she’s excited for her return to the theater. But nightmares foretell a warning. When their producer is murdered, she knows the culprit is one of the cast, but everyone has a motive. No secret stays buried. When she starts to uncover everyone’s past, everything falls into place. With her new male co-star, she sets out to investigate her next mystery. Can she solve the murder, protect her son, and rehearse her lines before she’s the next victim?
Joe Cosentino delivers another charming Jana Lane mystery! The fourth book read like a case of whodunit. You have the director, the producer, the playwright, and the actors. Everyone was on the stage. Everyone had a motive. There was a real Clue vibe. Each person had a really good reason for not liking the producer, but the real reasoning behind the murders is surprising. One of the great qualities of Cosentino’s series is that he always adds a twist before the reveal. It’s usual completely out of left field, but it fits so well in the novel that I wondered why I didn’t put it together myself.
Another great quality is the characters. His characters are so real and sympathetic. They have flaws and make great suspects, but he gives them enough depth that they’re realistic. I love picking up Joe Cosentino and reading what new assortment of characters he’ll introduce. I love the addition of Tate and Gary! China Doll is a fun look at Broadway with quirky characters, emotional depth, the intrigue of murder, and the charm of Jana Lane.