Murder in Two Acts

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The line between what is real and what isn’t becomes blurred when Shannon McClain enters the world of dinner theater. Shannon and the Purls of Hope, a knitting circle in Apple Grove, Oregon, go for what is intended to be a pleasant excursion to watch Essie Engleman, the manager of Shannon’s Paisley Craft Market & Artist Lofts, star in a play.

But the comedy turns tragic when the director of the play suddenly dies, the apparent victim of food poisoning. Shannon and the Purls are cast headlong into the drama when Essie becomes a suspect in the murder, despite a lengthy list of possible killers.

Was it the captain and owner of the ship on which the play was being held? How about the other cast members, some of whom the director and his perfectionist demands have definitely rubbed the wrong way? Or is it possible that Essie is involved?

Shannon is asked by the director’s widow to look into his death, much to the chagrin of Michael Stone, the dashing leading man of Shannon’s heart. Michael, an ex-cop and the owner of an international security firm, dives into the case, if for no other reason than to make sure Shannon is safe.

Will Shannon “break a leg” when she joins the cast of yet another mystery dinner theater in hopes of smoking out a cold-blooded killer? 

Shannon and her little band of amateur sleuths are in a race against time to keep Essie from playing a character in this real-life crime drama. Will they uncover who is trying to frame Essie before she’s forced to take the lead role in a police lineup?

The Characters

Shannon is an avid beader -- running her own custom jewelry business. She thrives on expressing her talents through her one-of-a-kind creations. She is headstrong and can be stubborn at times. But she's best known for her sensitivity to the feelings and needs of others, and for her beautiful smile. Widowed at only 37, she draws strength and inspiration from her two teenage children, but worries about their future. She knows she needs to move on with her life ... but she never expected anything like this mysterious inheritance!

A striking and personable 42-year-old, Michael is 6 feet 2 inches, with straight black hair and striking blue eyes. He owns an elite security consulting firm with many long-reaching connections to nearly all levels of industry and politics. He is strongly attracted to Shannon from the moment he meets her, but unwilling to reveal his secrets, which raises a barrier between them. Death has followed people he's loved, having lost his wife as a result of his dangerous career -- and he is unwilling to trust his heart again. This will change with Shannon, though he tries to hold her at a distance for a long time.

Morgan is the manager of the craft market and quite the expert at card making and stamping. She is most unhappy to have Shannon on the scene as her new boss but she hides it well. What dark secret lurks behind her friendly façade?

Alec has his father's calm, thoughtful nature. He is a good son and very supportive of his mother's quest to learn the truth about her past. When he's not out with his friends, or studying for his classes, he enjoys fishing, something his father taught him to do years earlier.

Lara has inherited her mother's flashpoint temper. But she also inherited her mother's creative talents and is an expert crocheter. Lara possesses a rare talent for noticing things others miss -- seen as well as unseen. This makes her a great asset to her mother throughout the series as Shannon is drawn into the mysteries of Apple Grove.

Deborah was Shannon's grandmother's cook and confidant for more than 30 years. She becomes a comforting presence in Shannon's life, helping her adjust to life in America. Deborah is thrilled that Shannon has inherited the crafts mall. An avid quilter herself, she and Shannon find much to talk about.