I love it when I hit on a fab new book series. Blackmail in Bloomsbury is the first book in a new classic murder mystery series set in the 1920s. I absolutely loved reading this book and was really gutted when I came to the end. I finished reading it a few weeks ago and am still missing the characters and their brilliant sleuthing.
This is definitely a book series that is set to gain a big fan base with me leading the way! 🙂
Written from the point of view of Marjorie Swallow who lands a job as the assistant to Mrs Jameson, a renowned American private investigator, we follow Marjorie’s adventures as she does a lot more than assisting. Marjorie soon comes to realise that she possesses a great skill for sleuthing. I would say even better than Mrs Jameson!
Only recently being appointed by Mrs Jameson, Marjorie is nervous about accompanying her employer to a party in Bloomsbury. Being the daughter of a south London draper, she feels she will be out of her depth as she mixes with the bohemian party guests made up of actors, artists and intellectuals. Yet Marjorie surprises herself by really enjoying the night, especially as she is whisked around the dance floor by Hugh Williams, a handsome young artist.
Marjorie finds the guests fascinating, especially Betty Norris, a middle aged women who doesn’t appear to fit in with the bohemian set. In fact the majority of the other guests appear to have a great dislike for Betty Norris. To add to Marjorie’s confusion, Mrs Norris is asking her very prying questions about Mrs Jameson’s private life, which Marjorie is extremely uncomfortable about.
The next morning Mrs Jameson is called upon to help the police solve a murder. Betty Norris is the victim. Don’t worry, that is not a spoiler.
With dark forces at work Mrs Jameson is thwarted in using her renowned detective skills. But the villains underestimate Marjorie. As Marjorie goes beyond the extra mile to assist her forward thinking boss, she learns more about life and humanity than ever before. She puts herself at risk as she confronts the underbelly of London life head on. Marjorie also realises that Mrs Jameson has an intriguing past that she suspects concerns Rome, a missing husband and Inspector Peter Chadwick from Scotland Yard. He is the lead police officer tasked with solving Betty Norris’s murder.
Blackmail in Bloomsbury is written by Anna Sayburn Lane known for writing contemporary thrillers. This new novel is apparently a bit of a departure for the writer. It is being deemed as a ‘cosy historical mystery,’ yet it so much more than that as Anna Sayburn Lane skilfully juxtaposes the refreshing, entertaining ‘cosiness’ of the plot with the 1920s being a period of great social change, yet still confined by social hypocritical values. I marvel at how Anna Sayburn Lane brilliantly interweaves the historical nuggets of information into the compelling narrative to portray the social change and dangerous hypocrisy of the period. This is all set against the dark reality of Britain coming to terms with the harrowing events of World War 1 and its aftermath.
Like Marjorie, I am extremely intrigued by Mrs Jameson and her past. This is just one of the reasons why I can’t wait to read the second book in this captivating series. Marjorie is so likeable as a character, as well as being brave and intelligent. I really invested in her. I am also intrigued as to how the relationship between Marjorie and Mrs Jameson is going to play out as they embark on their next sleuthing adventure.
I think you can guess from reading this blog post that I am a big fan of Blackmail in Bloomsbury. If you are intrigued to read this entertaining novel I urge you to do so with it being released on 5 October.
Thank you Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour of Blackmail in Bloomsbury. To read the reviews from my fellow book bloggers also on the tour, please see below.
Happy reading everyone! 🙂