Last Call at the Nightingale
Last Call at the Nightingale combines authentic-feeling prohibition era period detail with a heroine who’s easy to love, a unique cast of supporting characters, and a genuinely surprising mystery.
It’s 1924, we’re in New York City, and bisexual Irish immigrant Vivian Kelly sews at a dress shop for a living, sharing a tenement apartment with her younger sister, the old-fashioned Florence. The two young women were orphaned as children, and aged out of the system and into their tenement apartment together. But at The Nightingale – an underground dance club – Vivian can escape from her daily drudgery and experience glamour and romance in the dark, with free drinks and free dances galore. Vivian crosses boundaries of class as she lets loose and has fun.
Then one night at the club, Vivian and her waitress friend Bea stumble upon a man’s body in the alleyway at the back. Though they vow to tell no one what they’ve seen, she and Bea find themselves swept up into the investigation surrounding the man’s murder.
Last Call at the Nightingale is a strongly-written mystery that’s a very engrossing read and a very surprising and breathlessly-told tale. It’s perfectly plotted, moves with all speed toward the conclusion and is hard to put down. But if you’re only here for a love story, be forewarned: there is a romance between Vivian and a fellow who becomes involved in the case, but it’s secondary and left somewhat in the air, so don’t expect anything more exciting than a happy-for-now conclusion.
Strong research and an easy-to-root-for heroine make this one especially interesting. Vivian is determined to have fun no matter what, and her fun leads her to a different sort of adventure.
This is a great mystery, and the ending to it is truly unpredictable. To reveal very much more about the book would ruin the experience of it. So go pick up Last Call at the Nightingale and let yourself be swept away.
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier