** I received an audio of this book in exchange for a review**
Listening to this story was a little different for me. I liked it when I first started it. Then I didn’t like it because Anna Blanc is a spoiled brat. But then the more I listened the more I realized the author did such a great job developing the character of Anna that to me she felt real. I’ve known people like her. They think of themselves before anyone else. Yet, when they are faced with a life-changing event, they wake up and use their personal determination to right all the wrongs in the world.
The world building was even stronger than the character developmental. Even though this is not a make-believe world, it is from so long ago it seems make-believe. I was transferred to turn of the century, Los Angeles. There were so many times I just stopped what I was doing so I could listen to the story. It made me wonder if this is what it was like for people listening to dramas on the radio so long ago.
I can only imagine how hard it is for a narrator to remember how different characters sound, but to remember characters with different accents seems almost impossible. Moira Quirk does a fantastic job. Her voice creations add to the story and enrich the story. It makes for an even better experience.
It’s 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels, but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era’s rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. If the police find out, she’ll get fired; if her father finds out, he’ll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he’ll cancel the wedding. Midway into her investigation, the police chief’s son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity, and shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail. Anna must choose – either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.
Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse’s aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She’s currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.
Moira grew up in teeny-tiny Rutland, England’s smallest county, which is fitting as she never managed to make it past five feet herself. Moira’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR, video games, commercials, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She’s won Multiple Audie Awards, Earphone Awards, as well as Audible’s prestigious Book-of-the-Year Award. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”
If I were to cast characters for this book, I would
Anna Blanc- Katherine Watson
Joe Singer- Chris Hemsworth
Wolf- Ryan Reynolds
Madame Lulu- Kate McKinnon
Christopher Blanc- Collin Farrell
Edgar Wright- Benedict Cumberbatch