cover image The City Beautiful

The City Beautiful

Aden Polydoros. Inkyard, $19.99 (480p) ISBN 978-1-335-40250-9

Polydoros (the Assassin Fall series) seamlessly blends a murder mystery with Jewish folklore in this haunting historical fantasy. Alter Rosen, a 17-year-old Jewish immigrant to America, works as an apprentice typesetter, trying to scrape together enough money to bring his mother and sisters over from Romania. But Jewish teenage boys keep turning up dead while Chicago enjoys its grand World’s Fair, and when Yakov, Alter’s roommate and secret crush, becomes one of the victims, usually unassuming Alter must find a way to bring Yakov’s spirit peace—or risk his dybbuk taking over. Alter’s search for the killer reunites him with bold and charming Frankie, a fellow Jewish immigrant who’s willing to steal and gamble for success and stability. Polydoros offers an unflinching depiction of anti-Semitism abroad and in Chicago while capturing Jewish intra-communal tensions with nuance. Readers looking for finely wrought historical fiction with fully realized characters and a thrilling pursuit of justice are sure to be satisfied by Alter’s story. Ages 13–up. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Sept.)