- File Size: 3097 KB
- Print Length: 344 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Bosque Publishing (September 19, 2019)
- Publication Date: September 19, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07WHB2YM8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,881 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Grace in the Wings: A Grace Michelle Mystery (Grace Michelle Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Readers can expect each of the following all at once: the misunderstandings of a Jane Austen romance, the strange sexual tension between a PI and a desperate dame in a film noir and something reminiscent of Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner' relationship in The Bodyguard."
- Weekly Alibi
"Not one page of this captivating tale bores, whether it's the latest scandal hitting the Follies or a glance between Grace and Chet. GRACE IN THE WINGS is the perfect blend of noir mystery, romance, action, and historical fiction, with a few comedic moments thrown in.GRACE IN THE WINGS is a page-turning 1920s mystery set against the smoky and sometimes seedy world of the famous Ziegfeld Follies." - Kent Page McGroarty for IndieReader
About the Author
Born in northern New Mexico, Kari developed a love of reading, writing, and history early in life. Her most treasured Christmas gift as a young child was a toy typewriter. After graduating with a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing, Kari found work as a technical writer at a Fortune 500 tech company. But, her love of story-telling never waned. While staying at home with two young children, Kari wrote her first novel and hasn't stopped. She and her husband live happily in rural Corrales, New Mexico with their horses, dogs, and cats.
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This is a murder mystery romance with some thriller overtones. It's set in 1920/21 in New York and California and the plot is peppered with real life characters (Flo Ziegfeld, Hedda Hopper, Mary Pickford, etc) who are woven into the plot with varying degrees of skillfulness. The plot is relatively straightforward and character driven. Main character Grace is a former street kid, taken in by Ziegfeld with her sister Sophia and raised in the theater world under his protection. Despite living on the streets and being raised in the theater world, Grace is a naive virginal damsel (in distress). Enter devastatingly handsome romantic lead guy Chet Riker (stage left), he's a good guy who got on the wrong side of a mobster borrowing money to pay for his estranged mother's surgery.
This could be (and mostly is) a straightforward romance/cozy mystery except for the last half of the book. There's a lot of fairly graphic violence, sexual content (including consensual sex, threatened rape and kidnapping, graphic violence against female characters), drug use, manipulation, etc. I personally found the denouement abrupt and far too convenient.
The writing is unpolished (but promising) and would have benefited from some ruthless editing. Despite the problems with my suspension of disbelief and the 'too much' denouement, I can certainly see this developing into a good period series.
For Kindle Unlimited subscribers; this title is available in the KU subscription to borrow and download for free. It's also worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes
I'm not a huge fan of the characters though. Chet Riker is a Private Investigator with a pile of debt to a mobster, and falling into increasingly unscrupulous business tactics to try and pull himself out of the hole. Grace is the sister of recently deceased Follies star Sophia, and finds herself the unwitting pawn of Flo Zeigfeld. Flo has long been her father figure, having taken Grace and Sophia in as orphans off the street, but the more Grace realizes how little she really knew about her sister, the more she learns that Flo will do anything to keep the Follies afloat and use anyone to gain publicity - good or bad.
I found Grace to be a little too waffling. One minute she is so glad no one is around, she just wants to be alone, then the next she's whining because Chet left her alone and unprotected. I also think Grace comes out of her back-stage naivete and into her new-found independence a little suddenly.
Overall, I liked the story, but found it to be a little unpolished. It's good historical fiction with a not-so-twisty mystery (several suspects, but no major red herrings or surprises). If you like Golden Age fiction, give it a try.
Top international reviews
Grace had been orphaned, lived on the streets with her older sister, rescued they both became involved in the sophisticated world of the New York stage. After all this we are supposed to believe that Grace is a virginal naive innocent. My imagination didn't stretch that far.