Series Title: A Girl Like You (A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel #1) by Michelle Cox
Category: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Mystery
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There are sex scenes, not too explicit, some violence)
Henrietta Von Harmon works as a 26 girl at a corner bar on Chicago’s northwest side. It’s 1935, but things still aren’t looking up since the big crash and her father’s subsequent suicide, leaving Henrietta to care for her antagonistic mother and younger siblings. Henrietta is eventually persuaded to take a job as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall—and just when she’s beginning to enjoy herself, the floor matron turns up dead.
When aloof Inspector Clive Howard appears on the scene, Henrietta agrees to go undercover for him—and is plunged into Chicago’s grittier underworld. Meanwhile, she’s still busy playing mother hen to her younger siblings, as well as to pesky neighborhood boy Stanley, who believes himself in love with her and keeps popping up in the most unlikely places, determined to keep Henrietta safe—even from the Inspector, if need be. Despite his efforts, however, and his penchant for messing up the Inspector’s investigation, the lovely Henrietta and the impenetrable Inspector find themselves drawn to each other in most unsuitable ways.
Henrietta comes from a very poor family in Chicago’s northwest side. Her father tragically died when she was thirteen and her mother is a bitter woman who is depressed and very hard on Henrietta. Being the firstborn, Henrietta does what she can to find jobs that bring in money to feed her brood of younger siblings. She's a beautiful girl, bold and courageous with a naiveté that attracts men and lands her as an undercover usherette at a burlesque club.
I enjoyed the mystery, the setting and the cast of characters in this novel. They felt authentic to the time period. Inspector Clive is somewhat of a brooding man with a painful past. Henrietta is feisty and alluring, with a sweet innocence about her. One can't help liking her. She does what is right by her family while coming of age in a heady world where sex sells and desperate women try to eke out a living amidst a dangerous trade. I did feel Henrietta was in over her head at one point and was taking bad risks, all to impress the Inspector who should not have used a young inexperienced girl to catch a mobster. Apart from this, the story kept me turning the pages. I liked the twist at the end, so good!
This is the first audiobook in the series and it made me want to listen to the next one too. The narration is excellent! Jayne Entwistle brought the story and era alive because every character stood out with her various voice impressions. Henrietta's voice was distinct and sounded like a young woman coming of age, and the male voices were spot on. Inspector Howard's voice stood out too. Cool, calm, collected and sexy. Honestly, I could picture the whole cast.
I'm now listening to the second book A Ring of Truth, so watch for my audiobook review next week.
Disclosure: I was provided with a downloadable audiobook. I was not told how to rate or review this product.
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