Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
MURDER, SHE REPORTED by Peg Cochran is the first in a new historical mystery series set in the late 1930s New York City. The novel is due to be published on July 31st 2018 by Alibi.
Searching for more purpose in her life than that of a socialite, Elizabeth Adams takes a job as a gal Friday at the Daily Trumpet. Her dream of one day becoming a staff photographer slowly begins to come true when one of the reporters, Ralph Kaminsky, takes her along to take photos of this season’s debutantes at their coming out ball. While at the ball, this season’s It Girl’s stepmother is murdered in the bathroom. Between doing her job, taking care of her family, and having a bit of a social life, Elizabeth and Kaminsky conduct their own investigation into Mrs. DeWitt’s murder.
MURDER, SHE REPORTED started out as an interesting, light-weight mystery novel. Elizabeth Adams is a bit naïve when it comes to the real world – she was brought up as a sheltered socialite – but she begins to spread her wings as the novel progresses and she finds herself in situations that no socialite would typically find herself in. She also encounters people from all walks of life. As a young woman, Elizabeth is also fighting to make her way in a man’s world. Unfortunately, her reporter friend makes things a bit easy for her considering he chooses to take her along as his photographer almost every time he gets called out to a story. While I found the novel interesting, I wasn’t blown away by the mystery aspect. The suspect pool seemed fairly small considering the murder took place at a party with a large number of attendees. Elizabeth settles on a narrow suspect list, and never seems to consider that any of the other guest could possibly have a motive. Storylines and characters from the first half of the novel disappeared or were given no conclusion. Early in the novel, one of the staff photographers threatens to get Elizabeth fired after he feels that she stole his job by taking photographs at the debutante ball. Despite the fact that Elizabeth continues to take photographs for other stories, the other photographer never follows through on his threat. In fact, he almost completely disappears and is seen only one more time when he smiles at Elizabeth from across the newsroom. I found it baffling that this angry photographer was suddenly showing approval towards Elizabeth. The scene that lost me was when Elizabeth finds out that her oldest friend is working as a prostitute, but, instead of helping the other woman, Elizabeth runs off to have lunch with the attractive detective that she conveniently keeps running in to. Also, the descriptions got a tad heavy-handed at times. I felt like I was being told things rather than shown.