Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Jennifer Kincheloe
Seventh Street Books, July 2019
375 pages
ISBN: 1633885402

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

After Assistant Matron Anna Blanc has solved the cases in Jennifer Kincheloe's second in the series, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, Anna is ready and willing to go after more criminals. She is still blocked by the attitudes towards women in 1908. As Assistant Matron with the LA Police, she can only tend the female jailbirds in the Cow Pen, truants and women who have gone astray.

Luckily she can depend on her boyfriend Detective Joe Singer and his badge to assist in her detective career. Joe calls her Sherlock in admiration of the 5 murders she has solved. Anna has come down in the world since she renounced her socialite status and her fiancé to live in a squalid room and wear the ugly Matrons' uniform which allows her, with some subterfuge, to DETECT.

She and Joe find a body while pitching woo in Griffith Park one afternoon. It is set up as a suicide and it looks like one to Joe, but Anna examines the scene and sees that the man was shot "on his knees, execution style!"

When mysterious flowers start appearing on Anna's desk, leading to an assignation with an unknown dark and handsome stranger, in a church, at night, Joe intervenes and punches the man in the nose. He reveals himself to be Anna's half-brother Georges, son of her father's Parisian mistress and therefore a bastard.

It appears that he already loves Anna whose mother died when she was ten and whose father has disowned her since she stopped playing socialite, so the arrival of a loving brother is just what Anna needs.

Joe does not trust Georges one bit. He is already implicated in a procuring ring where young girls are introduced to rich men who pay them well. The girls call this man The Black Pearl or The King and Georges appears to be the man. He may also be the killer of the man in Griffith Park.

Anna adores Joe and although she is without either experience or knowledge, she is eager to make love to him, whatever that means to her. She lusts after Joe's body and swoons over his kisses, but Joe is reluctant – after all, he is a good guy. And she fears marriage to Joe, as she knows that men love to order women around at the least opportunity. What a bind she is in! She wants to be bad but can't persuade her boyfriend to join in the fun.

With the appearance of Georges, Anna must turn away from Joe as she tries to exonerate her brother. She employs her amazing detective abilities, but is she blinded by her affection for Georges? Will she abandon her commitment to following the trail she is sniffing along and let a guilty man escape? She refuses to believe that her beloved Georges could do wrong.

Part murder mystery, part romance, THE BODY IN GRIFFITH PARK is a fast-paced and funny tale of a fearless and independent young woman way ahead of her time. I look forward to seeing what Anna Blanc will get up to next time.

§ Susan Hoover is a playwright, independent producer and retired college English teacher. She lives in Nova Scotia.

Reviewed by Susan Hoover, September 2019

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]