Cozy Mystery, Mystery/Thriller

Kayla Reviews RELATIVE FORTUNES

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Summary

In 1924 Manhattan, women’s suffrage is old news. For sophisticated booklover Julia Kydd, life’s too short for politics. With her cropped hair and penchant for independent living, Julia wants only to launch her own new private press. But as a woman, Julia must fight for what’s hers—including the inheritance her estranged half brother, Philip, has challenged, putting her aspirations in jeopardy.

When her friend’s sister, Naomi Rankin, dies suddenly of an apparent suicide, Julia is shocked at the wealthy family’s indifference toward the ardent suffragist’s death. Naomi chose poverty and hardship over a submissive marriage and a husband’s control of her money. Now, her death suggests the struggle was more than she could bear.

Julia, however, is skeptical. Doubtful of her suspicions, Philip proposes a glib wager: if Julia can prove Naomi was in fact murdered, he’ll drop his claims to her wealth. Julia soon discovers Naomi’s life was as turbulent and enigmatic as her death. And as she gets closer to the truth, Julia sees there’s much more at stake than her inheritance…

My Take

This is another one that took me by surprise in the best of ways. About half way through the story, I thought I knew the killer, and I was so wrong. The characters are all well-rounded and well-defined and the time period is represented perfectly–flaws and all.

The only word I can think to use in describing Julia is ‘iconic.’ While clearly flawed (she initially has no interest in politics or voting) she is strong, smart, and unafraid. She is everything a 1920’s heroine should be, and I absolutely adore her. Plus, her method of unveiling the murderer is quite reminiscent of Hercule Poirot, and who doesn’t love Agatha Christie’s detectives?

My favorite scenes featured Julia and Phillip. Their banter was often hilarious and occasionally heart-breaking, and the way in which their relationship evolved (they aren’t particularly close siblings) was refreshing and surprising.

If you love Agatha Christie’s novels, you’ll adore this one!

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