Deadly Spirits by Mary Miley – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Deadly Spirits by Mary Miley

(A Mystic’s Accomplice mystery Book 3)

Book Blurb:

Medium’s assistant – and reluctant sleuth – Maddie Pastore is shocked when her long-lost sister is accused of murder, in this twisty, atmospheric mystery set in 1920s Chicago.

Deadly Spirits by Mary MileySummer, 1924. Young widow Maddie Pastore has been working for fraudulent spiritual medium Madame Carlotta for nearly a year – if ‘work’ you could call it. Investigating Carlotta’s clients, and attending seances as her shill, keeps Maddie and her young son Tommy fed and clothed, and she’s grown to love the kind, well-meaning spiritualist like family.

Still, Maddie – estranged from her abusive parents for over a decade – can’t help but wonder what fates befell her brothers and sisters. So when she lucks into two free tickets to a glamorous Chicago speakeasy and recognizes the star performer as her pretty little sister Sophie, she’s beyond delighted.

But before Maddie can meet with Sophie again, the telephone rings. It’s Sophie’s husband, calling in a panic to tell her that his wife is locked in the Cook County jail, charged with first-degree murder . . .

Enter a dark and deadly world of seances and speakeasies, populated by fake mediums, sultry singers and dangerous mobsters! An ideal pick for readers who enjoy glitzy Jazz Age mysteries with feisty female sleuths.

My Review:

What a pleasant surprise this turned out to be! I was sucked in because of the blurb and the cover and thought it would be one I’d like. And it is! It’s the wild and wooly early 1920s, a decade that can provide endless stories.

Maddie Pastore is the MC, a young widow working for spiritual medium Madame Carlotta for bed and board. Handy that Madam Carlotta loves Maddie’s fourteen-month-old son. She attends Madame Carlotta’s séances as a shill, but her real purpose is to research upcoming clients so she can feed info to Freddie who helps with “enhancements” to solidify the experience.

Maddie scores free tickets to a Chicago speakeasy and discovers the star performer is her own baby sister from a large abusive family where siblings scattered like the wind as soon as they could. But before she and Sophie really have a reunion and catch up, she is notified by Sophie’s husband that she’s in Cook County jail charged with first-degree murder.

Deadly Spirits by Mary MileyYou can’t scratch much of the surface of Chicago’s history without confronting the mobsters who populated the back streets and unfortunately Maddie has a bit of experience with that as it was what got her husband killed.

So here’s what I liked about the story: There’s history here, real history, lots of well-known names, the Chicago mystic, and iconic architecture. Lots of fascinating tidbits you might not have known about the area and the time. (Reversing the flow of the Chicago River, for heaven’s sake! Yeah, I’m still new to the area.)

In between working on finding a way out of jail for the sister she’s sure is innocent, she is given the names of new clients to investigate and these are interesting side stories uniquely fabricated into the narrative seamlessly. Her method of investigation is remarkable, not unlike a person searching ancestry info—sources readily (or not so) available to scour.

I like the characters, both the main characters and the support characters, most well fleshed, and the female detective (apparently drawn from history) a hoot, but I thought the baby might have been a little good to be true.

I had just a little problem with the climax (wondering about survivability) and the conclusion that pushed boundaries a bit. Otherwise, although this is the third in the series (and sorry now I missed the first two!), it can easily be read as a standalone. It’s gripping, evenly fast-paced, and has me ready to read the next.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Historical Mystery
Publisher: Severn House
ASIN: B09XGRP2TK
Print Length: 259 pages
Publication Date: September 6, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Mary Miley - authorThe Author: [Mary Miley] I’m an Army brat who has lived in Virginia most of my adult life. I received my BA and MA in history from the College of William and Mary and taught American history and museum studies at Virginia Commonwealth University for thirteen years. I am the author of 200 magazine articles, most on history, travel, and business topics, and a dozen nonfiction books. The Impersonator (2013) was my first foray into fiction–and it won the national Mystery Writers of America award for Best First Crime Novel! Three others in the series followed: Silent Murders (2014), Renting Silence (2016), and Murder in Disguise (2017). More recently, my new Roaring Twenties series debuted in the U.S. in 2021. The Mystic’s Accomplice is set in Chicago and features violent gangsters, fraudulent Spiritualists, and a single mom with a new baby. Its sequel, Spirits and Smoke, was released early in 2022 and the third, Deadly Spirits, is scheduled for a fall debut. For me, the Roaring Twenties is the America’s most fascinating decade and the perfect setting for both my mystery series.

When I’m not writing or plotting, I spend a good deal of time at Valley Road Vineyards in Afton, VA, a winery that my husband and I own with 4 other couples. Last year we planted another 6 1/2 acres of vines and introduced several new wines–my favorite is the viognier. Already this year I’ve spent 3 days on the bottling assembly line, doing strenuous intellectual work like loading full bottles into cases and standing on a ladder to feed corks into the hopper. Visit us at Valley Road there in person or at http://www.valleyroadwines.com.
http://www.marymileytheobald.com
http://www.pinterest.com/mmtheobald/the-mystics-accomplice

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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Wild Irish Rose (Molly Murphy Mysteries Book 18) by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles – #BookReview – #historicalmysteries

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles

A Reading Ireland Month book St Patty's Day Hat

Book Blurb:

[New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen, now writing in partnership with her daughter, Clare Broyles, transports and enthralls readers through the incomparable Molly Murphy Sullivan. A brand new novel in this beloved mystery series is cause for celebration for readers and critics alike.]

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare BroylesNew York, 1907: Now that she’s no longer a private detective—at least not officially—Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to a time of settled tranquility with friends and family. Back in New York, where her own story began, Molly decides to accompany some friends to Ellis Island to help distribute clothing to those in need. This journey quickly stirs up memories for Molly. When you’re far from home and see people from your country, every face looks like a family member.

That evening Molly’s policeman husband, Daniel, is late returning home. He comes with a tale to tell: there was a murder on Ellis Island that day, and the main suspect is the spitting image of Molly. The circumstances are eerily similar to when Molly herself arrived on Ellis Island, and she can’t help but feel a sense of fate. Molly was meant to be there that day so that she can clear this woman’s name.

My Review:

Once again, I bit on a book well into the series with the 18th book. With some books, it makes no difference. I suspect this is not one of those.

I liked the blurb, Molly identifying with a new Irish arrival to Ellis Island, and then befriending her even in the face of a fresh murder in which hubby policeman Daniel determines she is number one suspect. Molly was on the island to help disseminate warm clothing to immigrants not prepared for the severe cold weather of New York.

Wild Irish Rose by Rhys Bowen and Clare BroylesMolly is a former private detective, now married and a mother, but as she watches Daniel put the puzzle pieces together of the mystery, she is drawn into the investigation sure that Rose McSweeney is an innocent pawn. Molly is sure she can do a better job of teasing clues from Rose and the others in attendance than could Daniel or the other investigators.

Here’s where I have a problem: Molly can be caustic. She has a quick temper and sometimes works to control it—sometimes not—but she is seldom kind or thoughtful and doesn’t elicit empathy. She pounds on her theory without question that it’s right, although it’s easy to figure who the culprit is. Being a mother is okay–but she misses the old (exciting) life and is quick to delegate childcare when and where she can get it so she can be free to be off, which it seems is most of the time.

So I had a problem with the protagonist, with the support characters, and felt sorry for Daniel, who had my sympathy while wondering why he didn’t step up appropriately. There were a few twists and red herrings and I also had a problem with the pace, my attention often waning—just could not stay with it.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three-point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mysteries, Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ASIN: B092T8VJJP
Print Length: 310 pages
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Rhys and ClareThe Author(s): Rhys Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of two historical mystery series as well as the #1Kindle bestseller In Farleigh Field, the international bestseller The Tuscan Child. and three other historical novels–including the newly released THE VENICE SKETCHBOOK. This story takes a young woman to Venice to discover her great aunt’s secret life.

In Farleigh Field was nominated for the Edgar Award, won the Agatha award for best historical mystery as well as the MacAvity and Bruce Alexander Memorial Awards.

Rhys was born in Bath, England and educated at London University but now divides her time between California and Arizona. Her books have been nominated for every major mystery award and she has won twenty of them to date, including four Agathas.

She currently writes two historical mystery series, each very different in tone. The Molly Murphy mysteries feature an Irish immigrant woman in turn-of-the-century New York City. These books are multi-layered, complex stories with a strong sense of time and place and have won many awards including Agatha and Anthony. There are 17 books so far in this series plus three Kindle stories, The Amersham Rubies, Through the Window and The Face in the Mirror–a great way to introduce new readers to Molly’s spunky personality.

Then there is Lady Georgie, Rhys’s latest,and very popular, heroine. She’s 35th in line to the throne of England, but she’s flat broke and struggling to survive in the Great Depression. These books are lighter and funnier than Molly’s adventures. They poke gentle fun at the British class system–about which Rhys knows a lot, having married into an upper class family rather like Georgie’s, with cousins with silly nicknames, family ghosts and stately homes. The thirteenth book in the series, Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, was published August 2019. Two books in the series have won the Agatha award for best historical mystery.

The series received the Readers Choice Award for favorite mystery series and Rhys was nominated for career achievement. It was also voted one of Goodreads top 10 cozy mysteries. The books have been translated into many languages and brought Rhys fans from around the world.

Her most recent achievement has been the big World War 2 stand-alone novels, In Farleigh Field and The Tuscan Child as well as The Victory Garden, a novel of WWi and Above the Bay of Angels–a young woman becomes a chef for Queen Victoria. They have enjoyed impressive sales world-wide and brought Rhys many new readers.

As a child Rhys spent time with relatives in Wales. Those childhood experiences colored her first mystery series, about Constable Evans in the mountains of Snowdonia. 10 books including the Edgar nominee Evan’s Gate. She has lived in Austria, Germany and Australia, but has called California her home for many years. She now escapes to her home in Arizona during those cold California winters. When she’s not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, paint and play the Celtic harp–and hear from her readers!

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Have a good week!

The Unveiling of Polly Forrest: A Mystery by Charlotte Whitney – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Rural Michigan, 1934.

The Unveiling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte WhitneyWhen her new husband Sam perishes in a bizarre farm accident, would-be milliner Polly soon becomes the prime suspect in his murder. As she digs for evidence to clear her name, Polly falls into a sinister web implicating her in a nefarious crime ring being investigated by White House Police. Polly’s life and those of her family are at stake.

Narrated by Polly, her self-righteous older sister, Sarah, and Sarah’s well-meaning, but flawed husband Wesley, a Methodist minister, the story follows several twists through the landscape of the rural Midwest. During the throes of the Great Depression Polly marries for money. After her husband Sam dies in a freak farm accident, new bride Polly assumes she is financially set to pursue her dream of opening a hat-making business. Instead, she becomes the prime suspect in Sam’s murder. Secrets abound and even Polly’s family can’t figure out the truth. [BookBub]

My Review:

Told in the POVs of three persons, Polly Forrest, her sister Sarah, and her brother-in-law, the Reverend Wesley Johnson, the tale is woven through the perilous, deprived times of the depression in 1934, Michigan.

The Unveiling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte WhitneyPolly’s husband Sam is killed in a farm accident and it isn’t long before she becomes a suspect. Her sister, who lives up the hill on the adjacent property with the reverend is also implicated. Sarah is the typical depression era housewife and mother of two young boys and a baby daughter. The oldest of the two sisters, she was fundamentally responsible for raising her much young sister, Polly, who had been spoiled before their mother passed.

Polly remains immature, making bad decisions and one was her marriage to Sam who appeared to have money but turns out to be abusive. Polly tries to hide injuries and she denies any problem, but Sarah suspects the truth, so she quietly wonders if Polly had had enough and “helped” her husband to his death by bull.

Living on boiled potatoes and bean soup, thoroughly patched and repatched clothing, most are living hungry with the threat of losing their farms and a roof over their heads. The reverend is losing his congregation. Polly, now desperate, is beginning to discover secrets around Sam’s farm she hadn’t known about which might make a small difference in her financial recovery. But there are others who might also have interest in those as well.

I wasn’t able to really engage in either sister or the reverend. Polly feels more like Petulant Polly and Sarah as an overworked and underappreciated workmate who had put up with her sister until she could no longer—no love lost. There were themes of domestic abuse, friendship, secrets, and felonious crimes. All characters are flawed.

Chapters alternate on each perspective while events begin to occur that gradually change the demeanor of Polly. This is often illustrated by naming Polly as Patient Polly, Impetuous Polly, or Pretty Polly allowing for a slight bit of humor in a dark theme. There is a gradual softening of Sarah as she begins to see the strength and maturing in Polly.

A rather slow start, the plot picks up speed as it hurdles into an interesting conclusion. In the meantime, however, I noted a few contradictions and slightly awkward descriptions.

I received a complimentary review ARC of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mysteries, Mystery, Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Lake William Press
ISBN: 979-8-9851601-0-9
Publication Date: March 15, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Google Books  |  BookBub

Charlotte Whitney-authorThe Author: Charlotte Whitney‘s latest book, THE UNVEILING OF POLLY FORREST is a historical mystery set on a Midwestern farm in 1934. It follows her successful novel, THREADS A DEPRESSION-ERA TALE. The author grew up on a Michigan farm and heard her aunts and grandmother tell stories of “hard times,” and was surprised to hear that even farmers went to bed hungry. That served as the impetus for the settings for her most recent novels. She worked at the University of Michigan as the associate director of Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts before leaving to write full-time. Currently, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two Labrador Retrievers. She loves hiking, bicycling, and yoga.

To learn more about the author’s upcoming books and subscribe to her free newsletter go to: http://www.charlottewhitney.com

©V Williams – V Williams

Have a great week!

To Die but Once: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear – #Audiobook Review

To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear
(Amazon) Editors Pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

Spring 1940. With Britons facing what has become known as “the Bore War” – nothing much seems to have happened yet – Maisie Dobbs is asked to investigate the disappearance of a local lad, a young apprentice craftsman working on a “hush-hush” government contract. As Maisie’s inquiry reveals a possible link to the London underworld, another mother is worried about a missing son – but this time the boy in question is one beloved by Maisie.

My Review:

Book fourteen in this series and my first, so I came in listening to the audiobook as a standalone and had no problem keeping up. There are sufficient backstory tidbits along the way to provide fleshing and an appreciation for her character.

To Die but Once by Jacqueline WinspearMaisie Dobbs was a nurse in WWI and subsequently trained to be a psychologist and investigator following that war. This story takes place in 1940 with Great Britain once again at war with Germany and several subplots tied to and underlying the main focus.

First, Maisie is hired to investigate the disappearance of a young boy, Joseph Combes, who succeeded in finding work for a company with a government contract. Set in the background are Dunkirk and the pending possible invasion.

Also in the background is a family drama (her own possible adoption of a young girl) and the spy hiding in plain sight.

A low-key start to the audiobook gradually begins pulling plot threads together until they weave interchangeably throughout the narrative. While the beginning is rather slow moving, the well-plotted novel hooks the reader into the discovery of the dark side of war, those who would reap huge monetary rewards from the military conflict. So sad, but so true of every war, unfortunately, that impacts many more lives over those in the actual conflict.

The personal losses stemming from the battles do not go unnoticed either and there are emotional scenes regarding the population and their individual handling of grave circumstances. The author movingly incorporates her own experiences as she describes the desolation and sacrifices.

A great historical novel along with the mystery was well drawn and satisfying in the conclusion. I was engaged and entertained and can recommend to any who enjoys detective stories (even with a slow build-up) authentically mixed with history.

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Detective Mysteries, Historical Mysteries, Women Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher:  HarperAudio
ASIN: B077NHKTP6
Listening Length: 10 hrs 29 mins
Narrator: Orlagh Cassidy
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: To Die but Once [Amazon] 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

Jacqueline Winspear - authorThe Author: Jacqueline Winspear is the creator of the New York Times and National Bestselling series featuring psychologist and investigator, Maisie Dobbs. Her first novel – Maisie Dobbs – received numerous awards nominations, including the Edgar Award for Best Novel and the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. It was a New York Times Notable Book and a Publisher’s Weekly Top Ten Pick.“ Jacqueline’s “standalone” novel set in WW1, The Care and Management of Lies, was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in 2015. In 2019 The American Agent, her 16th novel, was published, along with a non-fiction book based upon the Maisie Dobbs’ series, What Would Maisie Do? Originally from the UK, Jacqueline now lives in northern California.

 

Orlagh Cassidy - narratorThe Narrator: Orlagh is an American actress, both parents from Dublin, Ireland. She works in Theatre, Television and Film and has recorded numerous award winning audiobooks and commercials. She can be seen in ‘St. Vincent’ with Bill Murray as well many guest starring roles on ‘Homeland’, ‘Billions’, ‘Good Wife’, ‘Elementary’ and ‘The Mysteries Of Laura’. She has worked in New York theatre at MTC, The Public Theatre, MCC, Origin Theatre Company and The Irish Rep where she received a Drama Desk nomination for the role of ‘Mamie’ in the ‘The Field’ in 2007. She is a recipient of The Princess Grace Foundation Award and has a BFA from SUNY Purchase.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

#throwbackthursday

A Valiant Deceit (An Olive Bright Mystery Book 2) by Stephanie Graves – #BookReview – #historicalmysteries

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

A Valiant Deceit by Stephanie GravesYoung pigeoneer Olive Bright has been conscripted, with her racing birds, to aid the fight against the Nazis. It’s not the daring role she’d envisioned for herself, but her quiet little English village is not nearly as sheltered as she imagined . . .

Returning to Pipley following her FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) training, Olive is eager to step up her involvement in the war effort. Her pigeons are being conscripted to aid the Belgian resistance, and it’s up to Olive to choose the best birds for the mission. To protect the secrecy of their work, she must also continue the ruse of being romantically involved with her superior, Captain Jameson Aldridge, a task made more challenging by the fact that she really does have feelings for the gruff Irish intelligence officer.

But perhaps the greatest challenge of all comes when an instructor at Station XVII, the top-secret training school housed at Brickendonbury Manor, is found dead in Balls Wood by a troop of Girl Guides. The police quickly rule Lieutenant Jeremy Beckett’s death an accident, but based on clues she finds at the scene, Olive begins to suspect he might have been a spy.  Involving the reluctant Jamie, she is determined to solve the murder and possibly stop a threat to their intelligence efforts which could put the Belgians—not to mention her pigeons—in grave danger.

His Review:

Bullets and bombs were not the only weapons in use during WW II. During war, information is extremely valuable. Troop movements, weapons deployment, and stockpiles are viable targets of value. The distance between the British Isles and the European mainland is very small in some locations.

Olive has been using and training pigeons for racing and sport. Small packets of information attached to a pigeon’s legs are usually undetectable. The birds were often dropped into enemy territory with spies. Vital troop movements and concentrations could then be sent back to England via these birds. Olive was very proud of her flock and their accomplishments.

A Valiant Deceit by Stephanie GravesShe became very attached to her aviary friends and gave each of them a name. As they were shuttled into Belgium and France, she would look for them to return to their cages. Attached to their legs were usually a 2 1/2 to 3 inch canister with a coded message inserted. The messages helped to win the war and protect some of the inserted spies and combatants.

Stephanie Graves has added a valuable piece of war history and memorabilia in this entertaining tale. Her character, Olive, is a Nancy Drew want to be who has solved some crimes in her day. Her commanding officer is Jameson Aldridge. He is skeptical of the entire mission and continually questions she and her birds’ abilities to help in the war effort.

CE WilliamsGrudgingly he admits to her accomplishments, but keeps a close rein on her activities, as she tends to get herself into trouble with her constant delving into other people’s affairs. The story is fun and imaginative. I really enjoyed the author and her repartee between the characters. Overall, a very fun and engaging read. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, Historical Mysteries
Publisher: Kensington Books
ASIN: B093XVNDBH
Print Length: 329 pages
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): A Valiant Deceit [Amazon] 
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Stephanie Graves - authorThe Author: STEPHANIE GRAVES has recently turned from happily-ever-afters to murder. The author of four published novels under the pseudonym Alyssa Goodnight, she transitioned to writing under her real name with her debut historical mystery, OLIVE BRIGHT, PIGEONEER. Her books have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, First for Women and Woman’s World. She lives with her family and two rescue pups in Houston.

Visit her at msstephgraves.com to subscribe to her newsletter or find her on FB, Twitter, Instagram or BookBub.

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Where There’s a Will (Roland Sinclair WWII Mysteries Book 10) by Sulari Gentill – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

2021 NED KELLY AWARD NOMINEE, BEST CRIME FICTION

Book Blurb:

Hell hath no fury like a family disinherited…

Where There's a Will by Sulari GentillAmerican millionaire Daniel Cartwright has been shot dead: three times in the chest, and once in the head. His body is found in Harvard Yard, dressed in evening attire. No one knows who he planned to meet there, or why the staunch Oxford man would be caught dead at Harvard—literally.

Australian Rowland Sinclair, his mate from Oxford and longtime friend, is named executor of the will, to his great surprise—and that of Danny’s family. Events turn downright ugly when the will all but disinherits Danny’s siblings in favor of one Otis Norcross, whom no one knows or is able to locate. Amidst assault, kidnapping, and threats of slander, Rowly struggles to understand Danny’s motives, find the missing heir, and identify his friend’s killer before the clock—and his luck—run out.

A deft blend of history and mystery, WHERE THERE’S A WILL offers an alternately charming and chilling snapshot of Boston and New York in the 1930s, with cameo appearances by luminaries of the day including Marion Davies, Randolph Hearst, Errol Flynn, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and an arrogantly ardent Joe Kennedy, who proves no match for Rowly’s sculptress friend Edna…

My Review:

I love it when I can get into daily life of the 1930s crowd, although these characters are all so wealthy it was difficult for me to identify.  The background is Boston, New York, and North Carolina and name-dropping throughout the narrative brought some jolting moments. Not that old, but these support or peripheral characters are names even most younger people would recognize.

The protagonist, Rowland Sinclair, and his cronies are Australian called from Singapore to Boston upon notice of the death of a close and dear friend, David Cartwright. Rowland is accompanied by Edna (who he insists on calling Ed), Clyde, and Milton. To Rowland’s horror, he has been named executor of David’s will. Upon reading of the will, however, the family discovers the bulk of David’s wealth is to go to one Otis Norcross—assuming he can be found. The Cartwrights are not happy.

In languid prose, the narrative proceeds with no one breaking out a sweat to find Otis—although that is the declared objective from the beginning as well as the discovery of who killed David. In the meantime, the novel introduces all manner of early to mid-thirties characters, invoking scenes in which Marion Davies, Joseph Kennedy, or William Randolph Hearst might appear. (Followed by Errol Lynn and Orson Wells.)

“Reputation is what you are supposed to be; character is what you are.”

There are gangsters, both Irish and Italian, formal dress codes for dinner, fashions, sights and sounds of the time along with delightful and entertaining quotes from news reports as intro to new chapters.  I also enjoyed the lively scenes of the dance halls, noting the Savoy in New York and the creation and popularity of the Lindy Hop.*

There are twists, turns, and shenanigans that sidetrack the MCs and I loved the tidbits regarding some of those historical figures as well as F Scott Fitzgerald and Monopoly (the Parker Brothers game that saved the company). So many historical luminaries woven into the story!

I must admit that my attention waned several times throughout the book as the gain in the whodunit was rather slow, then something would happen to spark my interest again. Took a while to get to the heart of the matter, the histories of the victim and the missing Otis, and I’d guessed the antagonist shortly after introduction to the plot.

My first experience with the author and the series, it’s obvious that Rowland and Ed have a thing, have had for some time, so I wasn’t particularly thrilled about the solution in the conclusion but any history buff would enjoy the Louella Parsons worthy gossip.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Trigger Warning: Homophobia

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Organized Crime, Historical Mysteries
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN: 1464214905
ASIN: B09158FKZ2
Print Length: 386 pages
Publication Date: January 18, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Sulari Gentill-authorThe Author: After setting out to study astrophysics, graduating in law and then abandoning her legal career to write books, Sulari now grows French black truffles on her farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of NSW. Sulari is author of The Rowland Sinclair Mystery series, historical crime fiction novels (eight in total) set in the 1930s. Sulari’s A Decline in Prophets (the second book in the series) was the winner of the Davitt Award for Best Adult Crime Fiction 2012. She was also shortlisted for Best First Book (A Few Right Thinking Men) for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2011. Paving the New Road was shortlisted for another Davitt in 2013.

[Goodreads] Sulari lives with her husband, Michael, and their boys, Edmund and Atticus, on a small farm in Batlow where she grows French Black Truffles and refers to her writing as “work” so that no one will suggest she get a real job.

* The Lindy Hop is an American dance which was born in the African-American communities in Harlem, New York City, in 1928. [Wikipedia]

©2022 V Williams V Williams

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arbindkumar475151597. wordpress.com

Bhuvana Chakra

The Power of Living God Ministries

The Wild Coach

You are an important nexus of energy

Virtualidades

Blog do jornalista e professor Solon Saldanha

Happiness for a moment with you....

I'm glad I learned to express my thoughts clearly and everyone loves to read them. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking power to think about the surroundings. Someone who likes it, someone who enjoys it, appreciates that he is writing very well. Reading and commenting on the post I wrote would give me a lot of bullshit and I would get new ideas to write new ones. I'm really glad I got your response.

Brian Cook's Blog

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers. - Oscar Wilde

Writing Roses

Welcome to the Roses

Sophrosyne

I'm a Doctor with so many random thoughts, so I decided to blog.

Scott Clark | Teaching, Writing, Research

Portal to primary school blogs, research and resources | Middle Years/Young Adult story writing

UNITBALL

a medical education website

Endless dreams and boundless imaginations!

We only live once. Hence, let's not stop dreaming

readingtonic

book reviews

Competitive World

Your Competitive Exam Companion

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