Eliza Doolittle, the fictional main character featured in George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion and the musical version inspired by that play, My Fair Lady, is back in this quirky historical mystery. The story picks up just two months after the end of My Fair Lady. Eliza is now employed as a phonetics teacher with Hungarian Maestro Emil Nepommuck, a man who just happens to be professor Henry Higgins arch rival. It seems as though Nepommuck has been leading people to believe that Eliza's transformation and linguistic talents should be credited to himself. Professor Higgins, who knows Nepommuck is a phony grows disgusted with the situation, In a move to destroy the man's reputation, he decides to reveal the truth about Nepommuck's past to the local papers.
It is Eliza, who has gone to check on the maestro the next morning, that discovers his body with one of her own tuning forks protruding from his mouth. Luckily her alibi checks out and suspicion soon shifts onto Professor Higgins who seems to have the strongest motive for murder and the flimsiest alibi for the time of the murder. Eliza is sure the professor is innocent and decides to help prove his innocence. However as the sleuths start combing the streets they soon realize the list of suspects is long and everyone seems to have an unshakable alibi. Time is running out for the duo as pressure from both the Maestro's rich fiance and Scotland Yard gives them only one week to find the identity of the true killer. Otherwise it's iron shackles and prison for poor Professor Higgins.
Wouldn't It Be Deadly is a charming and suspenseful tale full of witty banter that finally brings the feisty duo featured in George Bernard Shaw's classic play back for another adventure. The characters remain true to those featured in the original tale however thrusting them in the midst of a murder investigation teeming with suspects is sure to give this delightful new series a following all its own.
For other historical mysteries set in the 1920's be sure to check out Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series and Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple series.