Set in 1908 Los Angeles, Kincheloe’s effervescent third Anna Blanc mystery (after 2017’s The Woman in the Camphor Trunk) finds the socialite turned police matron still smitten with police detective Joe Singer, whom department regulations forbid her to date. Never one to follow the rules, Anna is trysting with Joe in Griffith Park when they discover a dead man, Samuel Grayson, in the bushes. Though matrons have no investigative authority, Anna talks her way into a surreptitious role on the case. Samuel was a gambler whose bank accounts show large payments from an unknown source and whose former girlfriend lives in the Jonquil Apartments, the site of a suspected prostitution ring. Anna and Joe’s relationship grows more serious—and more physical—as the story progresses, but tensions flare when she’s contacted by Georges Devereaux, a half-brother she didn’t know existed. Anna welcomes this new sibling warmly, but Joe suspects that Georges is not what he claims to be. Kincheloe’s vibrant comic voice, quirky characters, and intricate, fast-paced plotting sparkle with lighthearted energy. Yet the novel doesn’t neglect deeper themes, most notably the limited choices available to women in early 20th-century America. Kinchloe remains a writer to watch. Agent: Amy Fitzgerald, Blair Partnership. (July)
Reviewed on : 08/16/2019 Release date: 05/07/2019 Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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