Haunt Me Still
Jennifer Lee Carrell
Plume, Feb 22 2011, $15.00
Although she knows the rumor of a curse associated with this dark play, “Occult Shakespeare” expert Kate Stanley directs a production of Macbeth near Dunsinnan Hill, Scotland. Her partner Ben Pearl is also with her as he was when they found a missing Shakespearean manuscript and something much more lethal (see Interred with Their Bones).
However, unexplained phenomena haunt the rendition as the infamous curse seems real. First there is mumblings about the boy actor who played Lady Macbeth during the Elizabethan Era opening only to die in the role. Then there is the trench filled with blood that the crew and cast wonder if it might be a warning from Lady Macbeth as there would have to have been a major monstrous massacre to produce all that crimson. Finally Kate acts possessed when she sleepwalks. When she awakens at the top of Dunsinnan Hill she is frightened as she has no idea how she got there nor why her hands are drenched in blood. The cops think they can answer that bloody question when they find the corpse of a woman on the hill. With Ben at her side, Kate investigates refusing to believe the Bard had demonic rituals written into the play as the director assumes a more mortal murderer makes mischievous mayhem.
This is an enjoyable amateur sleuth take on Macbeth in which the opening theme of “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble” is the prime premise of Haunt Me Still. Although over the top of Dunsinnan Hill, but rich with the Bard’s lore and history of productions of Macbeth, fans will enjoy Jennifer Lee Carrell’s fine Shakespearean spin.