About Ella

The Diva who is not a DIVA


In Gilded Age New York, swashbuckling opera singer Ella Shane solves mysteries with her “confirmed bachelor” cousin Tommy, colorful friends, and adoring swain, the Duke. Ella, originally Ellen O’Shaugnessy, an Irish-Jewish Lower East Side orphan, found fame, fortune, and a very happy life singing the heroic male trouser roles so popular with nineteenth-century audiences. A performer and public figure she may be, but she is also a lady, who demands, literally at the point of her sword, to be treated as such. For the reader alone, she’s a bit more blunt: I’m nobody’s whore. She’s also nobody’s fool.

In her debut, A FATAL FINALE, Ella is playing Romeo when her Juliet apparently drinks real poison and drops dead onstage. Soon the Duke has come to New York to find out what happened to the girl, who was his runaway cousin. They find themselves looking for a killer, and drawn together in an unavoidable, and quite possibly unresolvable, attraction. Can Ella find – and stop – the murderer? Can a diva look at a Duke…and does she even want to? We’ll find out before the final curtain...

Mark it as Want-to-Read now on GOODREADS.

Publication 4/28/20
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Early Praise For A FATAL FINALE:

“Filled with period details and well-drawn characters, including an intelligent parrot named Montezuma, this story provides a nice start to a series for those who enjoy feisty heroines in cozies with theatrical frames.” —BOOKLIST

Preorder now at: Kensington,  Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. 

About Me


Author. Anchor. Mom...not in that order.

Kathleen Marple Kalb grew up in front of a microphone, and a keyboard.  She started her radio career as a teenage DJ at a small station in her hometown of Brookville, Pennsylvania, and despite a brief flirtation with advanced study in history before taking her B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh (her mother will never forgive her for turning down an assistantship at William and Mary), worked her way up through newsrooms in Pittsburgh, Vermont and Connecticut, to New York. But she never wore her Phi Beta Kappa key again after her first day at KDKA, when she accidentally hung up on a U.S. Senator. Her broadcast career went significantly better after that, including a number of regional Edward R. Murrow awards in Vermont, and her current post as a weekend morning anchor at 1010 WINS, New York’s top all-news station.

At age sixteen, she wrote her first historical novel, which thankfully did not find a publisher, though a couple of editors did actually read it. While she writes reams of news copy at work, fiction was firmly in the past until her son started kindergarten, when she decided to take another try. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, a fellow journalist and professor, their young son, a neurotic cat, and many, many boxes of Legos.