The Bossy Bookworm
Review of Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
Atkinson's newest mystery is set in vivid Roaring Twenties London as Nellie Coker struggles to hold on to her empire of clubs while mysterious dark undercurrents threaten stability throughout the city.
It's 1926 in London, and recovery from the Great War inspires many in the city to dive into the wild nightlife scene and revel in the frenzy of the Jazz Age.
Nellie Coker is fresh out of jail and ready to jump back into the action, masterminding moves to increase her family's power, influence, and riches.
But not everyone she's paying off can be trusted, some of her six children are undermining her, and goings-on in the dark undercurrents of Soho could shake Coker's hold on her empire--and upset her ambitious dreams.
On the other side of the Shrines of Gaiety story line is Detective Frobisher, an upstanding outlier in the largely corrupt police force, and his unlikely assistant in investigating Ma Coker, former librarian Gwendolen Kelling.
I was particularly hooked by the intersection of Gwendolyn and Ma Coker's golden child, her eldest son Niven--along with the mystery of missing girls across Roaring Twenties London, plus deadly high stakes, the dealings of various crooks, and significant double-crossing throughout the story.
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Atkinson is also the author of Case Histories, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Life After Life, Human Croquet, When Will There Be Good News, and many more books.
If you like historical fiction mysteries, you might like the books on the Greedy Reading List Six Historical Fiction Mysteries Sure to Intrigue You.