Saturday, July 21, 2018

ARC Review: Murder, She Reported by Peg Cochran

Murder, She Reported
Author: Peg Cochran
Publication: Alibi (July 31, 2018)

Description: A Park Avenue princess discovers the dark side of 1930s New York when a debutante ball turns deadly in this gripping historical mystery for readers of Victoria Thompson, Anne Perry, and Rhys Bowen.

Manhattan, 1938. Tired of being trapped in the gilded cage of her family’s expectations, Elizabeth Adams has done what no self-respecting socialite would think to do: She’s gotten herself a job. Although Elizabeth’s dream is to one day see her photographs on the front page of the Daily Trumpet, for now she’s working her way up as the newsroom’s gal Friday.

But fetching coffee isn’t exactly her idea of fun. So when veteran reporter Ralph Kaminsky needs a photographer to fill in for a last-minute assignment, Elizabeth jumps at the chance. At the Waldorf Hotel, Elizabeth is tasked with tracking down the season’s “It girl,” Gloria DeWitt, who will be making her society debut. Working her own connections to New York’s upper crust, Elizabeth manages to land an exclusive interview with Gloria.

Then Gloria’s stepmother is shot dead in a Waldorf bathroom, placing Elizabeth at the scene of a headline-worthy scandal: “Murder of a Society Dame.” Now Elizabeth will have to get the scoop on the killer before her good name gets dragged through the gossip columns—or worse. . . .

My Thoughts: Socialite Elizabeth Adams has taken a job as a gal Friday for a newspaper because she doesn't want the typical life of girls of her class. She studied photography at college but is finding herself running errands for other reporters and typing the society reporter's notes. One day a reporter named Kaminsky grabbed her to take some photos at the debut of a young woman who could be the next "It Girl" at the Waldorf Hotel.

Elizabeth first sees Gloria DeWitt in the Lady's Room where she catches her crying. She snaps a picture of her which ends up as front page story when her stepmother Frances is found shot to death. Elizabeth also sees Gloria in a blood-stained dress right after she finds her stepmother. All of a sudden, she and Kaminsky have a much bigger story on their hands.

This historical mystery was also an exploration of New York City in 1938. Sheltered Elizabeth - renamed Biz by Kaminsky - meets people she has never met before including Police Detective Sal Marino. She develops a crush on him which he returns. He introduces her to Italian food which she has never tasted and, at the end of this story, promises her a trip to Chinatown.

Biz is also shown trying to balance her life as the socialite her mother wants her to be with her new life working for a newspaper. Biz had polio as a child which has left her with only a slight limp and the fact that it gets worse as she gets tired. In the course of her work, she runs into fellow patient Irene who didn't fare as well and is now using leg braces and crutches to get around. Irene's family didn't fare as well during the Depression as Elizabeth's did either. Irene, now an orphan, is working as a coat check girl at the Waldorf and provides an essential clue.

I liked the historical detail that was part of this mystery. Biz was an interesting character too. I'm hoping that this is only the first adventure for Biz.

Favorite Quote:
"Kid, this is the newspaper business. There is no right or wrong. What counts is getting the story and the picture to go with it." He grabbed Elizabeth by the shoulders. "This could be your big break. You want to be a gal Friday forever?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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