Who’s up for a 1920’s era mystery, the second in the Discreet Retrieval Agency series by Maia Chance. Please read on for my review and an excerpt from
So – I couldn’t find a way to resist this one – I’m obsessed with the BBC mysteries that air on PBS weekly, and have been taken in by the improbably Australian production of the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the heroine is a straight-forward modern woman, rather clever but mostly lucky, with a fun setting and clever mix of historical influences and murder. So, I had hopes.
And Maia Chance delivered what I had hoped for: characters with style and a bit of flair, plenty of humor and a touch of luck. Lola is a widow, down on her luck and funds, after her husband’s death. With the help of her loyal cook Berta and one portly Pomeranian, Cedric. Not willing to ‘out’ herself as a lady detective with the Discrete Retrieval Agency, the rent has come due and needs must…
Traveling to her brother-in-law’s ‘fat farm’, Lola and Berta have been hired to find a diary belonging to the daughter of her mother’s friend. Friend’s daughter Grace and her diary disappear shortly after their arrival, and then the bodies start to drop…..
Characters stand out in this story: Lola with her ‘way’ of approaching life and it’s pleasures, her attempts to maintain a ‘certain standard’ in all things while still enjoying the times she indulges her sweet tooth. Berta, a no-nonsense and rather pragmatic woman with a logical way of thinking, a belief in Lola and her wish to do well, and providing an insight and perspective that the life Lola has led do not provide. When you add in Ralph the detective with his obvious feelings for Lola despite her driving him around the bend with her unorthodox approach, there are plenty of moments to love, and the story moves forward quickly. Engaging, unique and clever, I’ll be sure to read more of this series.
Author: Maia Chance
Series: Discreet Retrieval Agency #2
Genre: Contemporary Mystery, Historic Elements
Published by: Minotaur Books
Published on: 4 October, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 17 minutes
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In Maia Chance’s follow-up to her acclaimed Prohibition-era caper Come Hell or Highball, Lola Woodby is hired to find a diary, but soon the diary owner’s future mother-in-law is murdered.
After her philandering husband died and left her penniless in Prohibition-era New York, Lola Woodby escaped with her Swedish cook to the only place she could—her deceased husband’s secret love nest in the middle of Manhattan. Her only comforts were chocolate cake, dime store detective novels, and the occasional highball (okay, maybe not so occasional). But rent came due and Lola and Berta were forced to accept the first job that came their way, ultimately leading them to set up shop as a Discreet Retrieval Agency, operating out of Alfie’s cramped love nest.
Now they’re in danger of losing the business they’ve barely gotten off the ground—they haven’t had a job in months and money is running out. So when a society matron offers them a job, they take it—even if it means sneaking into a detox facility and consuming only water and health food until they can steal a diary from Grace Whiddle, a resident at the “health farm.”
But barely a day in, Grace and her diary escape from the facility—and Grace’s future mother-in-law is found murdered on the premises. Lola and Berta are promptly fired. But before they can climb into Lola’s red and white Duesenberg Model A and whiz off the property, they find themselves with a new client and a new charge: to solve the murder of Grace’s future mother-in-law.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Read an Excerpt
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: