Release Date: May 28, 2019
Series: Murder, She Reported
Publisher: Random House
After a hurricane hits New York City in September 1938, newly appointed newspaper crime photographer Elizabeth “Biz” Adams joins veteran crime reporter, Ralph Kaminsky, to cover a hot story. They travel to Westhampton where a body has been found in a wealthy family’s summer home. However, the young woman who worked there as a maid isn’t one of the storm’s many victims. Noeleen Donovan was stabbed, and Biz and Ralph launch their own investigation to uncover a scoop as well as get justice for Noeleen.
I have read a couple other books by this author, but I missed the first one in this series. I was intrigued by the main character, Elizabeth, from the first chapter. As part of a wealthy family, Elizabeth had a sheltered upbringing, but is now enjoying the new experiences she is having working at the Daily Trumpet. It’s fun seeing the joy she receives from what are everyday things for many New Yorkers, such as riding the subway or eating a hot dog from a street vendor. There is definitely chemistry between Elizabeth and the handsome New York City detective Sal Marino. Their very different backgrounds and the attitudes of Elizabeth’s upper class friends and family are obstacles to their fledgeling romance. Although the era is different, fans of Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight Mysteries will enjoy this book and will see parallels with the main characters in that series who fall in love in spite of coming from different worlds.
Kaminsky is a seasoned reporter and works so well with Elizabeth. I like their partnership and their growing friendship. Kaminsky sometimes brusque manner hides a kind, insightful man. He offers valuable career and personal advice to Elizabeth and it’s great to see the respect she has for him. I enjoyed following their investigation and seeing them find more viable suspects than expected for the death of what appears to be such a nice, unassuming young woman like Noelle.
This book is well-written and the descriptions allow you to get carried away by the story. It’s detailed enough to give you a wonderful sense of the time and place of the story without slowing the pace. The unveiling of the murderer is actually sad, and unfortunately seems a little rushed. However, all loose ends of the case are wrapped up by the end of the book thanks to the teamwork of Kaminsky and “Biz.” I love the way the book ends with Elizabeth continuing to become less dependent on her wealthy, sometimes judgmental, family. I hope there is a follow-up book so I can continue with Elizabeth on her journey, growing in both her job at the newspaper and in life outside the newsroom.