Monday, April 18, 2016

A Girl Like You - A Surprising Historical Mystery

TITLE: A Girl Like You (A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel)
AUTHOR: Michelle Cox
PUBLISHER: She Writes Press
PUBLISHING DATE: April 19, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: Henrietta Von Harmon works as a 26 girl at a corner bar on Chicago s northwest side. It s 1935, but things still aren t looking up since the big crash and her father s subsequent suicide, leaving Henrietta to care for her antagonistic mother and younger siblings. Henrietta is eventually persuaded to take a job as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall and just when she s beginning to enjoy herself, the floor matron turns up dead. When aloof Inspector Clive Howard appears on the scene, Henrietta agrees to go undercover for him and is plunged into Chicago s grittier underworld. Meanwhile, she s still busy playing mother hen to her younger siblings, as well as to pesky neighborhood boy Stanley, who believes himself in love with her and keeps popping up in the most unlikely places, determined to keep Henrietta safe even from the Inspector, if need be. Despite his efforts, however, and his penchant for messing up the Inspector s investigation, the lovely Henrietta and the impenetrable Inspector find themselves drawn to each other in most unsuitable ways."

I received this book from Book Sparks as part of their #ItsRainingBooks promotion for April and when I picked it up, I didn't have much information about it. Seeing it was a mystery really intrigued me, because personally I think the title and cover do not hint at that at all, and once I picked it up, I found it hard to put down.

The book is set in Chicago in 1935. Henrietta Von Harmon finds herself almost 18, and having to work hard to help support her 7 siblings and an ungrateful mother, following her father's suicide several years ago. Henrietta bounces from job to job, with some of them being quite questionable, yet she remains pure and naive. Through a chain of events, Henrietta meets Inspector Clive Howard and ends up working as an undercover informant in a seedy burlesque.

I loved Henrietta. Even though she was young, innocent and naive in so many ways, she was also headstrong, and independent. She has a loving and nurturing capability, but clearly understands that it is not her responsibility to raise her siblings their entire life and marry the first man her mother pushes her toward. Inspector Howard is a somewhat aloof detective who tries to keep a professional boundary with Henrietta, but finds it harder and harder to do as time progresses. This book also has a great cast of side characters.

The mystery in "A Girl Like You" kept me guessing until the end. I never really considered myself a fan of historical novels, but over the past year I have found that when mixed with other elements, whether they be magic, paranormal, or mystery, I have really good luck with the genre. I believe this is the start of a new series and I can't wait to see what lies in store next for Henrietta and Inspector Howard. If you love mystery books, or even historical fiction, I think you should give this book a chance.

I received this book from Book Sparks and the published in exchange for an honest review.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review, Barb! So glad you enjoyed it!