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Ratings and Book Reviews (6 13 star ratings
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    Great little 1938 Mystery

    Peg Cochran has written a delicious 1938 murder mystery with all the sights and sounds of the Depression. Elizabeth is a "girl Friday" on a Newspaper even though her family is one of the wealthy. Through a lucky break she takes over photographing a Debutante Ball with the "It girl" featured prominently. Beautiful gowns and sleek- haired escorts provide the color but who could predict it would end in murder? "The Rich are not like you and me," Kaminski noted, as he wrote his byline. He is a hardened Newspaperman reeking of onion and cigarettes. He took Elizabeth under his wing barking," Do you want to work for the Newspaper or not?" Biz, her shortened name, questioned the ethics of taking photos of people at their very worst and most vulnerable. She had snapped a crying girl with blood all over her dress but questioned the right and wrong of it. Death left a bad taste in her mouth and a white-faced Biz. The murders continue as she and Kaminski track down clues and interview people. They relentlessly pursue the police theories for their newspaper. But Biz has a few ideas of her own. The smooth delivery lines and the elegance of the attires really helps this Mystery bring that Era to life. But it's not all golden- the seamy side is written in also, so, that makes a well-integrated murder mystery. I really enjoyed it and I will continue with the series. Five stars... My thanks to Netgalley and Random House
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    Sweet, but not particularly engaging.

    In 1938 Manhattan 'Society' it would have been unthinkable that a young woman would go out and get a job, but that's precisely what Elizabeth Adams does. Elizabeth loves taking pictures and she hopes someday to see one of her photos gracing the front page. But it's 1938 and a woman in the newspaper office isn't about to do much more than fetch coffee now and then. Until a veteran reporter needs a photographer and Elizabeth is the only one around. The story...? It's time for Society's big 'coming out' party at the Waldorf. Ralph, the veteran reporter, is impressed that Elizabeth seems to know all the women at the event and can get in to talk to them (he has no idea that Elizabeth is a Society dame) and he tasks her with getting some good photos and any insider information she can gather up. When Elizabeth hears crying in a bathroom stall she opens the door and accidentally snaps a photo of a friend, capturing her bleary-eyed and with running make-up. She promises not to publish the picture (though of course we all know what's going to happen). When that woman's mother is later discovered murdered and Elizabeth and Ralph have the scoop, beating all the other papers, Elizabeth's photo makes the front page. Feeling guilty for the breach in promise, Elizabeth vows to help her friend find her mother's killer. I really enjoy a good historical fiction story and the time period here is very appealing to me. I like seeing a strong female protagonist - particularly for this time period, though I'd go so far as to say she's not strong enough yet. Elizabeth tends to fall into good luck over and over, rather than taking control on her own. Author Peg Cochran has clearly done some research. And yet ... Cochran has done some research and shares it such that it doesn't really add to the story. It comes across as filler to make sure we know what era we're in because really this doesn't feel like 1938. We only know it because we're told it with the little research snippets dropped in, and most of those snippets are things that could be found with a quick Google search. This has some potential and I liked the basic character, but I'd like it much better if she were a stronger female character. For historical mysteries, I'd still prefer the Jake and Laura series by Michael Murphy also published by Alibi a few years ago. Looking for a good book? Murder, She Reported, by Peg Cochran, is a simple mystery set in the late 1930's with a female protagonist that is sweet, but not particularly engaging. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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    Good Historical Mystery!

    In 1938, Elizabeth Adams lives with her family in an apartment on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Feeling trapped by her family’s expectations, she decides to get a job as a gal Friday for the newspaper, The Daily Trumpet. One day, she hopes to see her photographs gracing the front page, but for now she is stuck typing. When the photographer is unavailable, Elizabeth is tasked with accompanying veteran reporter, Ralph Kaminsky, to interview Gloria DeWitt, a society girl who is making her debut. But, when Gloria’s stepmother is shot dead in the ladies’ room, Elizabeth uses her connections to find out whodunit. This was a very well-plotted historical mystery. I loved Elizabeth’s passion for independence, even though she was disabled. She didn’t let her disability slow her down. She also showed strength when she took care of her family after they became sick and injured. I liked the romantic aspects of the mystery which lightened the suspense. The one drawback to this novel was the overabundance of descriptions. It took too long to describe something, and left little to the reader’s imagination. I would love to read another book from this series. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.
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    Strong Female Lead, set in 1938

    I love the period setting, 1938, for so many reasons including the lack of instant communication accessibility and the struggle of women in society being featured. Elizabeth Adams, 22, graduated Wellesley, had her debut last year, and is definitely not happy with the life of a socialite. She dreams of being a journalist. Taking the job as a lowly Girl Friday typing the Dear Miss Draper column at the Daily Trumpet she is up against society acceptance on both sides of the desk. When reporter Ralph Kaminsky needs a photographer Elizabeth jumps at the chance and races off to the debutante ball of Gloria DeWitt. Elizabeth fits right into this crowd and is able to get photographs that no-one else has access to, including the dead body of Gloria's dead step-mother! Elizabeth is also a polio survivor who is determined to keep it a secret while keeping up with the demands of her job without letting it handicap her career. "Biz Adams" is exposed to a great array of situations including Det. Marino and Italian food. I look forward to watching this character blossom as she defies society and tackles a career in a very tough field. I volunteered to read an ARC from Alibi (Random) through Net Galley.
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    The delightful story of Biz Adams

    Murder, She Reported by Peg Cochran takes us back to 1938 in New York City. Elizabeth “Biz” Adams comes from a well-to-do family, but she is not content to follow in her mother’s footsteps (marriage and hosting charity events). Elizabeth obtained a job as a Gal Friday at the Daily Trumpet, but her goal is to have her photographs appear in the paper. On the night of Gloria DeWitt’s debut ball, reporter Ralph Kaminsky finds himself without a photographer and Elizabeth gets her break. Elizabeth (shortened to Biz by Ralph) goes searching for Gloria so Ralph can get an interview. She finds Gloria crying in the ladies’ room of the Waldorf Astoria over a fight with her stepmother and accidentally snaps a pic. Later in the evening, Gloria stumbles out of another ladies’ room with blood on her dress and her stepmother, Frances is dead inside. Ralph is thrilled at getting the scoop and Elizabeth’s picture of Gloria crying makes the front page (Biz promised not to use that one). Gloria wants Elizabeth to help prove her innocence or she will ruin her socially. Can Elizabeth get the scoop on Frances’ murder or will Kaminsky get an exclusive on her death? Murder, She Reported is a delightful story. I was drawn into the book immediately and I did not wish it to end. Ms. Cochran set the stage for the era with her references to music (Andrew Sisters), books (Gone with the Wind), food, hats, buildings, dances, makeup, clothing, and the slang. It felt like 1938 in bustling Manhattan (great world building). I thought the story to be nicely written with good transitions. Biz Adams is a great character with her intelligence and go-getter attitude. Elizabeth finds herself straddling two worlds. She is a socialite, but she is also a working woman. Her social connections aid her in investigating the crime. Ralph Kaminsky was a fun character. He is a great counterpart to Elizabeth with his rough edges and he has a different outlook from Biz. Murder, She Reported has a steady pace and I enjoyed the authors writing style (conversational). The mystery was complex with misdirection and good clues to aid the reader in solving the whodunit. There are a few items that could have been handled better (reworked). When the mother breaks her leg and needs help (she is quite demanding), the younger daughter takes care of her until she falls ill with pneumonia. The housekeeper/cook tries to cater to the mother’s every whim, but she is soon run ragged. The father does not believe in spending money unnecessarily, but, in this case, a nurse should have been hired. Especially since Elizabeth had polio as a child which left her with a limp and she tires easily (and is in a great deal of pain). There was an incident with another photographer who threatened Elizabeth. As Elizabeth gets more photography work, I thought he would pop up again. Instead, they smile across the newsroom. A little polishing would have made this a five-star novel. I am looking forward to reading the next Biz Adams story.
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