THE IVY MEADOWS SERIES
The best way to decribe my books? Screwball traditional mysteries. Imagine Tina Fey channeling Agatha Christie–the result is slightly silly with a satisfyingly twisty plot. This series stars Ivy Meadows, an actress and part-time P.I. --"sort of a Nancy Drew Barrymore.”
MACDEATH (Ivy Meadows Mystery #1)
Agatha Award nominee for best debut novel!
Like every actor, Ivy Meadows knows that Macbeth is cursed. But she’s finally scored her big break, cast as an acrobatic witch in a circus-themed production of Macbeth in Phoenix, Arizona. And though it may not be Broadway, nothing can dampen her enthusiasm—not her flying caldron, too-tight leotard, or carrot-wielding dictator of a director.
But when one of the cast dies on opening night, Ivy is sure the seeming accident is “murder most foul” and that she’s the perfect person to solve the crime (after all, she does work part-time in her uncle’s detective agency). Undeterred by a poisoned Big Gulp, the threat of being blackballed, and the suddenly too-real curse, Ivy pursues the truth at the risk of her hard-won career—and her life.
"A gut-splitting mystery” - Mystery Scene Magazine
THE SOUND OF MURDER (Ivy Meadows Mystery #2)
All Ivy Meadows wants is to be an actor. And a private investigator. Plus she’d really like a pair of clean underwear, a place to stay since her apartment caught fire, and to overcome her fear of singing in public. Minor inconveniences aside, Ivy might be on a roll. She’s just landed her first real PI case, a seeming suicide in a retirement community. Not only that, but a big New York producer is coming to Arizona to see Ivy in the world premiere of The Sound of Cabaret (singing nuns AND Berlin burlesque).
But all is not raindrops on roses. A creep in a convertible is tailing Ivy, a local posse member is way too interested in her investigation, and something is seriously wrong with one of her castmates. And that suicide—could it be murder? As the curtain rises, Ivy finds herself smack in the sights of a serial killer.
“A definite delight” - Suspense Magazine
OLIVER TWISTED (Ivy Meadows Mystery #3)
Orphans. Thieves. Murder. And an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet!
When Ivy Meadows lands a gig with the book-themed cruise line Get Lit!, she thinks she’s died and gone to Broadway. Not only has she snagged a starring role in a musical production of Oliver Twist, she’s making bank helping her PI uncle investigate a string of onboard thefts, all while sailing to Hawaii on the S.S. David Copperfield.
But Ivy is cruising for disaster. Her acting contract somehow skipped the part about aerial dancing forty feet above the stage, her uncle Bob is seriously sidetracked by a suspicious blonde, and—oh yeah—there’s a corpse in her closet.
Forget catching crooks. Ivy’s going to have a Dickens of a time just surviving.
"Comedy, drama, danger, and more than a little madcap action...from the wickedly funny and talented Cindy Brown.” Mystery Playground
IVY GET YOUR GUN (Ivy Meadows Mystery #4)
There’s a new sheriff in town—and she can sing! When Gold Bug Gulch’s actor-gunslinger Mongo winds up shot for real, actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows goes undercover as the ingénue in the tourist town’s melodrama. Unfortunately, she’s distracted by a pack of marauding Chihuahuas, a problematic love life, auditions for Annie Get Your Gun, and a personal mission: to show people the real Annie Oakley.
What’s more, the no-good, yellow-bellied varmint who killed Mongo isn’t finished with the Gulch—or with Ivy. Will our heroine prove she can get a man with a gun—before the killer gets her?
"While it is endlessly entertaining and full of humor, the author is not afraid to tackle serious topics and confront contemporary issues…a masterful blend of mystery and the entertaining fun of the theater world." Kings River Life Magazine
THE PHANTOM OF OZ (Ivy Meadows Mystery #5)
A Kings River Life Magazine Best Book of 2018
Creepy Munchkins. A Mysterious Phantom. And a Real Wicked Witch.
Who dropped a chandelier on the Wicked Witch of the East? Was it the ghost who haunts the Grand Phoenician Theatre? A “wicked witch” among the cast of The Wizard: A Space OZpera? Or was it someone—or something—more sinister? Actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows has been hired to uncover the cause of the creepy accidents that plague the roadshow.
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 some tough 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.
"An extraordinarily in-depth and timely exploration of how social media and the entertainment industry can affect a woman’s body image...Ivy only becomes more likable as she acknowledges her own vulnerabilities, jealousy, and insecurities, ensuring for the success of this original and satisfying series." Kings River Life Magazine
KILLALOT (Ivy Meadows Mystery #6)
A jouster, a playwright, and a detective walk into a faire…but it’s no joke when
one ends up dead.
Actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows is thrilled when she learns that the famous playwright behind Hello Dolly Madison is in Arizona. Not so much when she realizes he’s a suspect in the murder of a Renaissance faire jouster. As is her friend Riley. And about a thousand other people, all disguised in Renaissance costume during the fatal jousting match.
When Ivy is hired to investigate the killing, she goes undercover as a Cockney belly dancer at the faire and finagles her way into the playwright’s Kennedy-inspired version of Camelot—as Marilyn Monroe, no less. Then, in the midst of her toughest case ever, Ivy has to solve another dilemma: Will she follow her lifelong dream of being an actor or settle down with the love of her life?
The murder investigation, the play, and real life come together in a twist that begs the question: Is there a happily-ever-after for anyone?
"Cindy Brown has mastered the serial novel format, parsing out self-contained references to Ivy's previous adventures while still developing the character as well as a cracker of a Christie-style mystery. " BroadwayWorld.com
MURDER MOST THEATRICAL (anthology)
Ivy Meadows does a star turn in this Malice Domestic anthology in the short story, "Drama-Rama Flip Flop."