Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Murder at the Portland Variety” as Want to Read:
Murder at the Portland Variety
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Murder at the Portland Variety (Libby Seale Mystery #1)

3.14  ·  Rating details ·  42 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The year is 1894 and Portland, Oregon's white slave trade is alive and flourishing thanks to the Shanghai Tunnels underneath the city. When Vera Carabella, a performer at a vaudeville theater, is found murdered in the tunnels, the police write it off as a botched kidnapping. But Libby Seale, a costume seamstress at the same theater, isn't convinced.
Suspicious that Vera's
...more
Paperback, 329 pages
Published October 8th 2005 by Midnight Ink (first published October 1st 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Murder at the Portland Variety, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Murder at the Portland Variety

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Bev
Took a little ride in a time machine this weekend--back to the 1890s in Portland, Oregon. That's the setting for M. J. Zellnik's Murder at the Portland Variety. The Portland Variety is a theater house where vaudeville acts made up of beautiful dancing girls, magicians, and recycled opera singers entertain Portland audiences. Libby Seale is a seamstress who works backstage to keep the vaudeville players properly dressed. Libby has come to Portland from New York City--escaping a past that she want ...more
Jessica
Mar 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Not the most exciting mystery, but I'm in a Portland state of mind these days so it worked for me.
Tony
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Before heading out on vacation, I like to pick up a few novels set in the locations I'm going to -- which is why I picked this up. It's a period whodunit, set in Portland, Oregon at the tail end of the 19th-century, as the town was just starting to shed its pioneer roots and become a true city. The heroine of the story is a seamstress named Libby Seale, a recent transplant to the West coast who is trying to escape some personal problems back home in Manhattan. She works for a variety theater, re ...more
Maureen
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is a fun book set in Portland, Oregon. Although I live in Portland myself, I had not heard of the Shanghai Tunnels until reading this book. Grab a copy of "Portland Then and Now" as a visual guide of Portland in the 1890's to accompany "Murder at the Portland Variety" and enjoy the ride back in time.
Spotsalots
Sep 29, 2015 added it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This is an engaging historical mystery set in the Portland of 1894, with the heroine-detective being a young Jewish seamstress recently arrived from New York. I would be up for reading the second in the series if it should happen to cross my path.
Kae Cheatham
Dec 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Period piece set in Portland OR 1890s, Historical details were good. Libby Seale is a seamstress at the Portland Variety theater, and tries to determine who is murdering theater girls. This is a first novel, and it shows potential.
Jonna
Mar 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Not quite the mystery I'd hoped for, but the setting more than makes up for that. I enjoyed reading about Portland of yesteryear, and Libby Seale is a likeable character.
Suziqoregon
Sep 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008, library
My blog post about this book is at this link.
Juli
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I love the descriptions of nineteenth century Ptwon.
Emma
Jun 28, 2010 rated it liked it
I picked this up in a desperation moment at the library when I realized I had nothing to read! Was pretty good. Enough so that I will seek out the next one.
Sharon Buxton
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
C. historical mystery, turn-of-the-century
Liz Clappin
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know this series was axed after the second book, it's a real shame because they're very strong period mysteries. I have read far worse books that were lucky to have good marketing behind them. Libby's back story and personality are strong and for once there are reasonable challenges to sleuthing which is time consuming for someone with a full time job. Good supporting characters, diverse and well drawn thought Peter was a bit needy and flat for my taste. The mystery had a lot of moving parts a ...more
Kristen
rated it liked it
Dec 30, 2011
LikeTheDog
rated it liked it
Oct 19, 2014
Sue
rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2009
Kory
rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2011
Jennifer
rated it liked it
Aug 31, 2015
Lorrie Meneely
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2015
J.D. Chandler
rated it it was ok
Mar 29, 2013
Gwen
rated it liked it
May 12, 2014
Florence
rated it liked it
Dec 03, 2014
Devon Rhodes
rated it liked it
Jan 10, 2010
Kaye
rated it it was ok
Aug 11, 2009
Ali
rated it really liked it
Sep 14, 2007
Sandy
rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2010
Cathy
rated it liked it
Jun 08, 2017
Jennie
rated it liked it
Dec 13, 2008
judith king
rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2015
Alyssa
rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2016
Beth
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2008
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Miriam Zellnik [1966-] & Joe Zellnik (siblings)
More about M.J. Zellnik...

Other Books in the Series

Libby Seale Mystery (2 books)
  • A Death at the Rose Paperworks