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Ding Dong the Diva's Dead (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Cat Melodia

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

Deborah de Lille is an opera singer—in the least grand sense. Debbie doesn’t foresee a future beyond Handel Messiahs and low-budget tours ... until her agent finagles her a minor role with a small-town company. The artists assembled for this production of Offenbach’s spooky opera, Tales of Hoffmann, have more than opera on their minds. Their games of love are not for the faint of heart, and the cutthroat atmosphere may have become literal. How far are they willing to go to advance their careers and even the score? The singer Debbie replaced died under suspicious circumstances, and after another minor player bows out suddenly, she is also given her role. Now she has two small roles that no one in their right mind would kill for. So, either someone isn’t in their right mind, or the close calls threatening Debbie’s safety are all unlucky coincidences. Add to the mix three preening tenors, a sexy lesbian director, a vengeful conductor, an obscenely rich and Hollywood-handsome general director, a fading Italian pop star, a trio of bitchy leading sopranos, an ambitious understudy, countless attention-starved underlings, an anti-opera terrorist group, a resident ghost, and Debbie’s kooky and dysfunctional friends and family, and you have an opening night that promises to genuinely thrill and chill.

Biographie de l'auteur

Cat Melodia is the pen name of a Seattle-based mezzo soprano and voice teacher. Like her heroine, she often wears the pants on stage. She has a Bachelor’s Degree cum laude in Literature and a Master’s in Music.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 634 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 242 pages
  • Editeur : Camel Press (24 janvier 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004KSQ1OM
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.1 étoiles sur 5  31 commentaires
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 4.5 stars from Red Adept Reviews 14 décembre 2011
Par MamaSylvia - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Plot/Storyline: I will forgive a lot for a story that grabs me and doesn't let go, so I'm willing to forgive author Cat Melodia for the slow start. Melodia (clever pseudonym for writing an opera-based mystery) made an all-too-common error, beginning a plot-driven story with tedious info on all the characters, none of which the reader has a reason to care about (yet). But once the story started, it barreled right along, leaving me wondering what would happen next every time I put the book down. I guessed the wrong killer although I was briefly suspicious of the right one - should have followed up that clue that turned out to not be a red herring, dadgumit. Melodia also felt obliged to briefly detail the opera's plot, although it was irrelevant to the mystery. (This is a common failing in opera-related mysteries, for some reason; see "Death on the High C's" by Robert Barnard - sadly not available in ebook format - for another example.) But the behind-the-scenes staging tidbits more than made up for the opera lesson. The ending was just a hair too pat, but combined with the gripping storyline it left this reader satisfied.

Caution: although the obsessive sexual activity mostly occurs offstage, where it belongs, there is one very brief orgy scene involving both heterosexual and homosexual activity.

Characters: The characters are largely stock: the overbearing mother acting psychic, the evil prima donna (actually, THREE evil prima donnas), the hunky male star bent on new sexual conquests, the gay conductor, the innocent understudy with the amazing voice, the spooky janitor, the sexual obsessions. This was most likely a deliberate choice on Melodia's part; she satirizes the characters as simply too too much to be believable. They were still fun to watch (except for the mother, who was just irritating). It is also barely possible that Melodia wrote these stock characters seriously, but I don't think so as she shows too much writing skill in other areas, such as a brilliant short scene in which Debbie learns the source of Reade's fortune. (The subtle character development throughout the story made the tedious initial introductions even more annoying. It was SO unnecessary.) The sheer quantity of developed characters makes it hard for the reader to keep them straight, and eliminating a few would have strengthened the storyline and let the important characters stand out.

Narrator Debbie is that rarity, a performer who accepts her limitations. Naturally, she finds the fabulous performances by the bitchy leads discouraging even as she acknowledges their excellence. Any character that distinguishes between Daisy Miller and Daisy Mae is worth enjoying, although she spoils the effect by explanation. She is the only truly believable character. Opera sponsor Reade is borderline; he is not developed very much, but he seems genuinely nice, so I wanted to find him believable.

Writing style: Melodia kept the plot moving right along, provided red herrings as well as clues, and continued showing the reader more about the characters right up to the end. The large number of characters confused this reader, and several could have been removed without harming the story. The dialogue was brisk and effective, although the voices weren't always distinct enough to make it clear who was speaking.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Who is Cat Melodia? 10 mars 2011
Par Elton Welke - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Let me admit my only experience behind the scenes of opera was as a spear carrier in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Princes Ida" 50 years ago, performed by a light opera company in San Francisco. My favorite memory of "Princess Ida" was the cast party following opening night. Since then I've never again been back stage at an opera production, not because of restraining orders (it really was a wild cast party), but because I've never been invited. "Ding Dong the Diva's Dead," by Cat Melodia, makes up for that lack by richly revealing the world of second-tier professional opera, as seen through the eyes of a 30-something, pretty, talented, single, insecure, accident prone, and relatively unknown opera singer who at the 11th hour is cast in the role of Nicklausse in Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffmann" after the original player died in a car accident. The opera company is the newly formed Ville d'Aurore in Idaho. Not the Met, exactly, but it is a genuine career opportunity for mezzo soprano Debbie de Lille, our protagonist. The novel is a delightful journey through the production of an opera and also a very funny and sometimes suspenseful mystery with a large cast of characters. They range from truly amusing to mean-spirited; from sad to exuberant; from aggressively gay to heroically heterosexual; from journeyman talents to truly gifted performers and technicians. The backstage insights and anecdotes are informed and engaging. Collectively, they underscore it's a tough profession, filled with jealousies, insecurities, sometimes heartbreaking events and challenges, and above all a love of the theater and music that comprise the operatic art form. It is that love of the trade that sustains the novel and makes it cohesive. The "inside-baseball" of opera is revealed and well described.

The Ville d' Aurore performing company has been assembled by a wealthy software mogul who has a passion for opera and, in addition to being as rich as Steve Jobs, is good looking, charming, trustworthy, loyal, brave, clean, honest -- but not at all thrifty. He wields a flamboyantly generous check book. Debbie arrives just before rehearsals begin and perseveres through a series of mishaps, from a bicycle accident to a life-threatening encounter with a psychopath. In addition, of course, she must prove herself in a role that requires her to appear on stage in every scene but in only a supporting capacity. Still, she attracts both jealousies and romantic advances from members of the cast. Almost all the book's characters are entwined in some kind of sexual tension, and all in varying degrees are incorrigible gossips. In fact, the novel's pace and humor revolve around who said what to whom and when they said it. It becomes increasingly raucous toward the story's end, and eventually all the wheels come off -- performing art imitates chaos theory. People die in this scenario, but somehow that's so common in an environment of operatic plots as to render death less than horrific. One gains the impression that performing in operatic tragedies hardens folks to the real thing.

What's most absorbing about "Ding Dong the Diva's Dead" is how its mystery unfolds. It begins as hardly a mystery at all and slowly escalates until it becomes a genuine threat to all the book's characters and to the opera production. Its resolution is episodic, and somehow reminds me of the chaos at the end of "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov. The farces and twists come together like the tumultuous ending of, well, perhaps an opera! Debbie de Ville narrates her tale with a keen instinct for irony and a near fathomless reservoir of similes and analogies:

"Juergen whipped his baton through the air with such force that it hissed like a whip."

"The orchestra was silenced with such speed that it left musical skid marks..."

I'll hazard Cat Melodia might be a pen name. To be sure, whoever Cat may be, he or she is an opera insider, a genuine writing talent, and a very sharp wit.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Light, fun, perky mystery 2 novembre 2011
Par Carol - Publié sur
I love candy corn, the traditional kind with the yellow bottom, orange middle, and white tip. I could eat it by the handfuls, even though it really isn't good for me, there's no complexity to the flavor. But it's such a treat and makes me happy.

That's kind of how I felt about Ding Dong the Diva's Dead by Cat Melodia. It's a light, fun, perky mystery that kept me reading, even when I should have been working. It takes place behind the scenes at a small opera company. One of the singers has died in an "accident," and Debbie de Lille is called in to take her place as Nicklauss in Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman. Odd things keep happening, smoke bombs, threatening phone calls, a fire. Who's behind it all? And is Debbie going to make it to opening night alive?

The actual whodunnit plays second fiddle to the quirky, over-the top in a good way characters. The story is told from Debbie's point of view. She's funny and sees a lot of what's going on. Of course, she can be a little dramatic, which is only to be expected. And she has a tendency to be naked when she needs rescued. Joining her are the rest of the cast, each full of themselves to some degree or other and there are love triangles and gossip galore. Like I said- pure fun. To be honest, I didn't care who the culprit was, I was just enjoying the people. You got the opera singers with all the requisite scheming and undermining each other. The conductor who can be more than mean when the occasion demand it. The too cool lesbian director who keeps hitting on Debbie. And the rich, sexy general director Debbie is falling for. Oh, and a ghost and an anti-opera terrorist group, believe it or not. Sounds like a lot of characters and it is. I can't say they're all well-developed, some are little more than stereotypes, but they were perfect. They're all nuts.

As a mystery, I may have found it a little disappointing, if I hadn't been so distracted by the characters. There are plenty of motives and red-herrings, but it felt more like a mystery tacked on to "backstage at the opera." The opera company was the star, not the mystery, which worked well for me.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fabulous first book!!!! 9 mars 2011
Par Lisaskier - Publié sur
What a great read...I couldn't put it down till the last page was finished.This is a great & very original combination of thriller/mystery set in an operatic background.Fingers crossed Cat Melodia has a sequel coming out can be sure I'll be first in line when it's published!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Live To Read 1 novembre 2011
Par Chels - Publié sur
Debbie is the main character of this novel, she finds herself in an opera house where things are not as they seem and everything is a little There is a lot going on in this novel, the reader will not be bored. The main character was funny, somewhat dramatic, and a little bit insane herself. The reader will connect with her easily, she is very likable.

The secondary characters pull the novel together. Some are hysterical, others are slightly creepy, and still others will make the reader think twice. They each have individual characteristic quirks that make them stand out to the reader. They are hard to forget.

The plot was different and interesting, the reader will likely not be able to compare this novel too closely to one he/she has read in the past. The events are fast-paced, many are very exciting and dramatic. This book is recommended to adult readers.

*Complimentary copy received for this review, does not affect my opinion in any way*
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