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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Set in 1941 New York, Death of a Diva: From Berlin to Broadway by Brigitte Goldstein is a noir mystery novel about the death of Stella Berger. A famous screen and stage star, the veteran actress was brutally murdered at a Broadway theater. A swift police investigation frames an emigrant street musician as the killer, who is tried and put on death row. However, a young Jewish refugee from Germany and part-time employee at the theater, Misia Safran, believes that there’s more to the case.
I instantly noticed Goldstein’s eloquent writing. Her experience in historical writing shows and her deftness boosts the readability as well as the excitement of Death of a Diva. The story takes readers to pre and post World War I in Germany, Austria, Britain and New York. It’s not just an excellent and thrilling whodunit novel, but historically educational as well. Unraveling the truth through the perspective of Misia, the young Jewish refugee who involuntarily got herself involved in the investigation, we also unravel Stella Berger’s past. It not only provides the vital clue to the murder, but also a secret that may break the actress’s public image.
My noir readings usually consist of a story lead by a male protagonist. With young Misia leading the pace of the unpredictable and multi-layered plot, this, for me, is what ultimately makes the book worth reading. Simply put, fans of the historical and mystery genres should not overlook Death of a Diva. I absolutely look forward to Goldstein’s next work.