Historical fiction, Mystery

Speak Easy by Lori Adams

This historical mystery is set in LA in the time between the two world wars. The lead protagonist is a girl wanting to do more than just attend high school. The times are different, and the behaviour of the people around the ‘youngsters’ to them rather than their own behaviour sets the scene better. It is also a city where the money flows in from the movie industry, giving them a hold over things.
Kate happens to stumble on the death of a movie bigwig and arrives there with enough time to realise that things are being swept under the rug, or in this case, being smuggled out before the police make their arrival. This is just the opportunity Kate has been waiting for in order to prove to her father and even herself that she is an investigative reporter with all the right intuitions.
I was not as pleased by the narrative style initially as I was later on. The book begins with Kate being held in an interview room, and she is biding for time. She tells her story in drips, focussing on the mundane just to annoy the detective in front of her. It also annoyed me because I felt like the plot was not taking shape quickly enough. A few chapters in, I started to get more involved.
Overall, I was very satisfied with the book. I am not sure how accurate the lingo was, but it took me a while to get used to it. The people introduced to us were quite exciting, and the mystery at the heart of it all was worth the wait. The investigation was not dull, with a variety of efforts thrown into the mix.
I would definitely recommend this to people who like the cozy mystery-historical fiction mash-up. I look forward to the next book since a little of the angst in Kate’s head and relationships have been tackled to some degree.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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