Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Publisher: Endeavor Quill
Publish Date: January 16, 2020
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "The invitation to the
luxurious Oriental Hotel a mile from Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite
hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather
spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up
appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling
But soon it transpires that the hedonism of nearby Coney
Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not
long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist
of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove
Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity
lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin
to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the
powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder."
My Two Cents:
In the early 1900s, Coney Island was the place to come to be entertained. Filled with rides and games, it should be an ideal place to spend the summer. For Peggy, a young heiress, called from New York City to leave her beloved bookstore job, the island feels more like a prison. She must make an appearance to support her family's endeavors to push forward their name and recover some of its glitz and glamour. When mysterious murders start happening with alarming frequency, Peggy realizes that she may be exactly where she needs to be in order to be able to put things right. This is a great historical mystery that gives you a front row seat to a long ago world.
The characters in this book were great. Peggy starts out as a character who bends (albeit grudgingly) to her family's will because she recognizes the power that a "good" name has over all of them. When we first meet her, we see how she is trying to get outside of the influence of her family with her amazing bookstore job that she certainly doesn't need for the money but wants it for the independence that it provides her. We see how she is able to deal with these family forces with more savvy throughout this book, which I loved.
The setting is just wonderful! Anywhere close to New York City is always a personal favorite and makes for such an interesting background to any book, but especially to any historical fiction story. The author captures the grandeur of Coney Island and places like the smart hotels that lined the beaches so well. The little details make it easy to picture Peggy's world - you feel the sea breeze, you can taste Stefan's hot dogs! I loved how she was able to capture the novelty of it all!
The story line itself moves at a good pace and I loved the mystery at the center of the book. It really kept me guessing as the story unfolded. I really enjoyed getting sucked into this book!