Title: A Matter Of Love And Death by Caron Albright.
Publisher: Bombshell Books.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances’ life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it’s thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder.
If a life is at risk, she should tell the police; but that would mean breaking her confidentiality clause and would cost her the job. And practical Frances, not prone to flights of fancy, soon begins to doubt the evidence of her own ears – it was a very bad line, after all…
She decides to put it behind her, a task helped by the arrival of their new lodger, Phil. Phil takes her to a night club, where she meets charming but slightly dangerous club owner Jack. Jack’s no angel – prohibition is in force, and what’s a nightclub without champagne? But he’s a good man, and when Frances’ earlier fears resurface she knows that he’s the person to confide in.
Frances and Jack’s hunt for the truth puts them in grave danger, and soon enough Frances will learn that some things are a matter of love and death…
Frances works in a telephone exchange and is sole provider for her mum and her Uncle Sal but she is tested when she overhears a plan for the stick up. Should she break confidentiality to tell the police and risk losing her job or keep quiet?
So this is the second book in this week set in the 1930’s, which if you read the review for A Pearl For Her Mistress you will know is one of my favourite eras. It’s set in Adelaide in Australia in 1931 when the depression was in full swing with lots of unemployment and poverty.
Now this is the second book I’ve read by this author. The first was written under the name Carmen Radtke, The Case of The Missing Bride was one of my favourite books this year (you can read the review here), so I was excited to read this one.
I loved all of the characters, from good girl Frances to her Uncle Sal (otherwise Salvatore the magnificent, a former magician) but Jack had to be my favourite. Scarred by the first world war with some serious trust issues, to me he had a very Humphrey Bogart vibe about him.
There was also a lot about the fashions of the era and the heady club scene (Jack owns a nightclub called Top Note) which really drew me into this story.
I also like the bit of Aussie slang, although there wasn’t too much but just enough to make the dialogue interesting.
Unfortunately I didn’t feel the storyline was very strong, I thought there either should have been more mystery or a little more romance and the ending also felt a little rushed.
Caron Albright fell in love with books as soon as she could read and never grew out of it. With one foot firmly planted in Fictionland ever since, she is moving from one adventure to the next (strictly on the paper of course).
She loves capers with feisty heroines, dashing heroes with a dangerous edge and thrilling locations and would gladly explore the world for the sake of research – preferably while tap-dancing, with a champagne glass in her hand.
Instead she spends her time in front of her keyboard, sipping herbal tea.
When she feels the need for a change, she switches to coffee and writing crime novels under the name Carmen Radtke.