The Opening Night Murders by James Scott Byrnside

the opening night murders

Title: The Opening Night Murders

Author: James Scott Byrnside

Published on: 3rd June 2019

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers

Buy on Amazon

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Everyone has something in the past that will not stay quiet.

Lisa Pluviam’s received a death threat. She’s warned that the opening night of her play will be her last night. She asks Detective Rowan Manory and his sidekick Walter Williams for help and the duo readily agree. The prep for catching the killer red-handed is all done. But Lisa falls to her death during the enactment of a scene.

With 200 witnesses and not a single suspect on stage, could this be the perfect murder? Manor and Williams investigate.

A Modern-day mystery written in Mystery Classics style.


The Opening Night Murders is James’ second novel. Having read many good reviews by my blog buddies, I decided to give The Opening Night Murders a read.

First things first, James is a master storyteller. Be it the writing or the plot development, The Opening Night Murders is marvelous! If you are looking for a good story written in mystery classics style, you must read this book.

The five actors in the play include Lisa, Allison, Timothy, Edward and Maura. Jenny (Lisa’s sister) is the director/writer while Grizz is in charge of the sets. Each of these characters has a story of their own. Take Jenny for example. The poor thing lost her arm in an accident years ago. But that didn’t stop her from following her dream of becoming a scriptwriter.

Maura is a mysterious girl. She says she’s from Ohio, no wait, Iowa,… er? Edward is smitten by Maura and would do anything for her – even leave his aunt, maybe? Allison and Tim form quite a pair. Grizz!! The fella is Mysterious with a capital M!! By the way, Maura cannot seem to pronounce ‘ACTUALLY’ correctly.

Edward grabbed hold of Maura’s shoulders, squaring her body to his. “Look at me. Now say it. Ack.”










Edward must have done a facepalm for sure. Lol!


The story is complex and the reader might have to use their grey cells at times to deduce few clues.

“I’m sure the solution is simple, something we’ve seen before. That’s the way it is in detective novels. The killer is right in front of your face; you meet him in the first chapter.”

So, did we meet the killer in the first chapter? I am not telling ya! 😀

Manory and Williams’ friendship is well portrayed. In fact, the ending makes it very clear that the duo would do anything for each other. There were a few twists that I did not see coming – especially the scene where Manory confronts the killer.

The red herrings and twists kept me hooked on to the story. The tension and suspense are well-maintained until the end. I enjoyed reading The Opening Night Murders and I recommend this book to those who love to read books of the genre Mystery and Thrillers.

Second Opinions:

Aidan @mysteriesahoy; Brad @ahsweetmystery; JJ @invisibleevent; TomCat @moonlightdetective

6 thoughts on “The Opening Night Murders by James Scott Byrnside

  1. I’ve heard so many good things about this author. I really must give him a try sooner rather than later. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Really pleased you enjoyed this — even this early in his career Byrnside’s a fabulous writer with some serious talent going spare. And, yeah, his sleuths are somewhat fabulous, aren’t they? His third novel, out next year, has been one of my most anticipated books of 2020 since I learned of its potential existence.

    1. No doubt about James being a fan writer. 🙂🙂 Ah yes, read about book 3. Williams is going to be back.😁

Comments are closed.