Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Phantom of Oz by Cindy Brown - #review #giveaway

Creepy munchkins. A mysterious phantom. And a real Wicked Witch. Are you ready for it?

Actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows has been hired to uncover the cause of the creepy accidents that plague the roadshow The Wizard: A Space OZpera and find out who dropped a chandelier on the Wicked Witch of the East.

Was it the ghost who haunts the Grand Phoenician Theatre? A “wicked witch” in the cast? Or is it someone—or something—more sinister?

It’s Ivy’s most personal case so far.

Her best friend Candy, who’s touring with the show, is caught in a downward spiral of self-destruction, and is in more danger than she knows.

To save her friend and the show, Ivy must answer even tougher questions: Do spirits really exist? What is real beauty? What does friendship mean?

Ivy needs to learn the answers, and fast—before Candy reaches the point of no return.

Books in the Ivy Meadows Humorous Mystery Series:

The Phantom of Oz (#5)



Who knew the theatre could be so dangerous?  The worst that's ever happened to me in one is a brand-new computerized light board was possessed and turned lights on and off at random.  It was during the final dress or opening night. ARGH.  But enough about me.

Ivy is in a production of her own when a touring show of "The Wizard: A Space OZpera"  Only in live theatre, am I right? *LOL*  Ivy's 'best' friend, Candy, is Glinda the Good Witch in the production.  But Candy the future/star is not the Candy Ivy remembers.  If I were feeling overly kind, I would say Candy was trying out the 'heroin chic' look that was so popular some years ago.  But...being overly kind is not what Candy needs.  Her agent is also not what she needs.  Because her agent is more wicked than both of the Wicked Witches (west and east) together ever thought of being.

Anyone with an ounce of weight over the lower end of the target area received repeated fat shaming.  She ridicules the technical and artistic/administrative staff at the theatre.  So Candy, wanting the esposure this agent can get her, loses more weight than she should, then has to take something to rev up her system because she has no energy.  And so the vicious cycle continues.

I absolutely love that social issues are finding their way into popular fiction.  It is so easy to go heavy-handed with that, though, and turn off readers.  NOT SO HERE!  Ms. Brown incorporates the body positivity issue into The Phantom of OZ not too strong, not to weak, this one is 'just right'.  I was entertained and fired up all at the same time!

Such an engaging read!  But then I'm a fan of cozy mysteries, live theatre and the whole "Ivy Meadows Mystery Series'.  It even almost makes me want to explore a haunted theatre myself! *lol*

And the punny titles?  Bring 'em!



Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)


  1. Sounds great...I love mysteries set around the theater and this sounds like another winner for Cindy. Thank you for offering ebooks too as well as physical...and I like the review...

  2. "Entertained and fired up all at the same time"- that's what I'd hoped for. Thank you!