Author: Ana Brazil
Publisher: SHRP Sand Hill Review Press
Type of book: Historical mystery, 1889, Jack the Ripper copier, personages, prostitution, kidnapping, hiding evidence, pornography, conversion, Catholics, Protestants, pictures, Reformers, prestigious personages
Year it was published: 2017
Gilded Age New Orleans is overrun with prostitutes, pornographers, and a malicious Jack the Ripper copycat. As threatening letters to newspaper editors proclaim, no woman is safe from his blade.
Desperate to know who murdered her favorite student, ambitious typewriting teacher Fanny Newcomb launches into a hunt for the self-proclaimed Irish Channel Ripper. Fanny quickly enlists the help of her well-connected employers--Principal Sylvia Giddings and her sister Dr. Olive--and together the women forge through saloons, cemeteries, slums, and houses of prostitution.
Fanny's good intentions quickly infuriate her longtime beau Lawrence Decatur, while her reckless persistence confounds the talented police detective Daniel Crenshaw. Reluctantly, Lawrence and Daniel also lend their talents to Fanny's investigation.
As the murderer sets a date for his next heinous crime, can Fanny Newcomb and her crew stop the Irish Channel Ripper before he kills again
The main characters include Fanny Newcomb, a charming and brash young woman who has desire to act as a detectie and to solve crimes. In order to solve the crimes she will do whatever she can, be it breaking taboos or even agreeing to do things she doesn't want. She is resourceful, passionate and very headstrong, determined to make the world a good place for women. Sylvia Giddings is the principal of the school for ladies where Fanny and Olive work. Sylvia is extremely charming, modest, and it often takes a long time to get her excited about something. She is also described as needing a cane due to an accident and also has a grand plan. Olive is Sylvia's younger sister who desires to be a doctor but who also seems to be in denial about her own feelings. She and Fanny tend to be the brains of the group. Olive is also very observant and has a good memory. Other characters also play a role, but its not as big as that of the sisters'.
One never knows how the mystery will be solved
The story is in third person narrative from Fanny's, Sylvia's and Olive's points of views. Each of the sisters have their own strengths and resources which they use in trying to solve the mystery. It often felt that the men weren't much of help to them, in my opinion. The sisters have distinct dreams and personalities, but I felt as if I didn't really get to know them as well as I hoped. While being entertained by the mystery, I also enjoyed learning about Louisiana of 1889, especially in how it relates to Irish immigration and the animosity between Germans and Irish, which was pretty interesting.
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE
About the Author
A native of California, Ana Brazil lived in the south for many years. She earned her MA in American history from Florida State University and traveled her way through Mississippi as an architectural historian. Ana loves fried mullet, Greek Revival colonnades, and Miss Welty’s garden. She has a weakness for almost all things New Orleans. (Although she’s not sure just how it happened…but she favors bluegrass over jazz.)
The Fanny Newcomb stories celebrate the tenacity, intelligence, and wisdom of the dozens of courageous and outrageous southern women that Ana is proud to call friends.
Although Ana, her husband, and their dog Traveller live in the beautiful Oakland foothills, she is forever drawn to the lush mystique of New Orleans, where Fanny Newcomb and her friends are ever prepared to seek a certain justice.
For more information, please visit Ana Brazil’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterestand Goodreads.
Maybe because I have previously read a historical mystery that was a comedy and that dealt with prostitutes as well as a mysterious murderer, for some odd reason I thought that this book would also be a comedy. While not a comedy, this story has a unique charm of its own in that there is a lot of focus on how the three female characters solve the mystery in one way or another as well as the focus on their thought processes and how they arrive at the conclusions they have. While I applaud the author for paying attention to the mystery and for taking the reader through step by step process, I felt that the characters didn't really get the same amount of detail as the mystery had. To an extent I did get to know the characters and did connect with them, but I felt that I only saw bits and pieces of them rather than a complete picture of their thoughts and motivations. The mystery is lively and interesting and its obvious that the author has a lot of passion for the time period she decides to bring to life.
This is for HFVBT
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Monday, February 5
Interview at Passages to the Past
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Excerpt at What Is That Book About
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Interview at Fervently Curious
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Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All
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Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, March 19
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)