Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: A Girl Like You (Henrietta and Inspector Howard #1) by Michelle Cox

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.

Paperback, 288 pages 
Published April 19th 2016 
by She Writes Press
*** (I liked it)

A Girl Like You is the first book in series, with book 2 (A Ring of Truth) available and book 3 coming soon.  The time period here is one I read a lot of but usually pertaining to the war, this was a refreshing change to get a glimpse of the seedy side of Chicago.  A learning experience also since I have never heard of a '26 girl' or 'taxi dancer'.  

Henrietta is a likable character, in her late teens I found her to be somewhat naive even though taking jobs at disreputable places.  But her desire to take care of her family is what drove her there.

The author painted a picture of the struggles society faced post depression and it wasn't hard to sympathize with Henrietta and her family's plight.  The mystery was interesting with a few twists and turns, even though I figured some things out the unveiling kept my attention.  I will continue with this series and will recommend this book to those that like a quick read with suspense and mystery.

This book is from my personal library.

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