Saturday, February 17, 2018

A YA Historical Mystery

Anyone familiar with what I call nineteenth century historical mysteries? Obviously they are mystery series set in the nineteenth century. Some examples: 1813 or so--Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries, 1890s to post WWI--Amelia Peabody, 1890s--Veronica Speedwell, 1880s or 90s--Gaslight Mysteries (Hillary Clinton's a fan). My Kindle is heavy with these things. The ones I read usually have a female and male amateur detectives or an amateur combined with a professional detective. The ones I read also have some kind of romantic tension and then involvement between the male and female leads.

Well, The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrell reads to me like the first entry in one of those series. Except for being YA. And set in the early twentieth century.  I would not describe it as "Downton Abbey in downtown Chicago" the way one of the blurbs does. It has a lot more story than that show ever did.

Piper Sail (eighteen years old, on the high end for YA) is the daughter of a well-known defense lawyer in 1920's Chicago. A lawyer with Mafia clients. (This is hardly Lord Grantham we're talking about.) When her best friend disappears, Piper gets involved in the hunt for her. She also gets involved with the hot, young Italian cop on the case. And who, guess what!, also has Mafia connections. Piper is one of those women who is trouble because she won't stay in her place. Mariano, an outsider to both his Mafia family and WASP Chicago culture, can tolerate her.

They are a couple made for a historical mystery series.

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