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Murder at the Flamingo

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“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…” Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionabl “Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…” Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo night club. When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build.


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“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…” Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionabl “Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…” Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo night club. When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build.

30 review for Murder at the Flamingo

  1. 3 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: Sometimes stories are in the people whose life’s pages no one thinks of turning… Reggie didn’t have the privilege of choice when it came to finding gainful employment. Economic times had fallen hard for those with numerous skills she didn’t possess. She almost missed having someone to rush home and apply red lipstick for. Someone to turn in front of a mirror and adjust her skirt for. Someone she would watch the clock to be fashionably late for… They both knew Luca had a past. Heck, Favorite Quotes: Sometimes stories are in the people whose life’s pages no one thinks of turning… Reggie didn’t have the privilege of choice when it came to finding gainful employment. Economic times had fallen hard for those with numerous skills she didn’t possess. She almost missed having someone to rush home and apply red lipstick for. Someone to turn in front of a mirror and adjust her skirt for. Someone she would watch the clock to be fashionably late for… They both knew Luca had a past. Heck, anyone seeing that suave Valentino gait would know Luca Valari had a past. And probably a present. There are layers and layers of crime here. You’d think it was a chocolate cake. “He’s too good looking to be sinister,” Nate reassured with a wink at Hamish. “Besides, he doesn’t have the right mustache.” Hamish couldn’t help but follow Reggie with his eyes. He hadn’t known fabric could cling like that. The material of her dress knew what it was doing… My Review: It took me several chapters to ease into this tale and acclimate to the writer’s style. This was a slowly developing story with tons of details that filled my head and initially appeared merely observational yet gradually most of these ancillary tidbits dovetailed into a finely woven tapestry. This was a thoughtful and insightful read that included, gangsters, mystery, a bit of pining romance, family drama, humor, Bostonian history, and one character’s interest in the newly created Superman comics. Murder at the Flamingo kicked off a new series and was my first time reading the talented scribblings of Rachel McMillian. Ms. McMillian has a unique writing style and provided a complicated and intriguing plot populated with distinctive, intriguingly flawed, and complex characters. Her writing was highly descriptive calling forth sharp visuals that included not only the sounds and sights but also set the emotional tone for each scene. What I struggled the most with was the lack of communication between the characters as they all seemed so secretive and furtive, as such, the majority of the book consisted of the observations and inner musings of the highly captivating two main protagonists who aspired to be Nick and Nora from The Thin Man movies, although, unfortunately, they were lacking the adorable Asta.

  2. 4 out of 5

    TL

    A fun adventure crackling with life and energy:). I did think it was a bit rushed at a few parts but overall this charmed the heck out of me:). Hamish and Reggie wormes their way into my affections pretty quickly and were content to stay there. Many times I just wantes to dive into the story and just hang out with them and "see the city." (view spoiler)[The murder in the title is only a small part. The biggest part of this is getting to know Reggie, Nate, the city, and Luca to a smaller extent. The A fun adventure crackling with life and energy:). I did think it was a bit rushed at a few parts but overall this charmed the heck out of me:). Hamish and Reggie wormes their way into my affections pretty quickly and were content to stay there. Many times I just wantes to dive into the story and just hang out with them and "see the city." (view spoiler)[The murder in the title is only a small part. The biggest part of this is getting to know Reggie, Nate, the city, and Luca to a smaller extent. The mystery of who is pulling the strings and what is really going on keeps a nice pace with everything else. (hide spoiler)] Don't know if the above would count as a spoiler but just to be safe. Click at your own risk:). Side note: I thought Hamish's anxiety was handled very well. Definitely want to see where these two go next with everything! Best 50 cents I spent at Goodwill haha

  3. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Clark

    With Rachel McMillan’s distinct historical voice and attention to detail, she paints a vivid historical mystery with a hint of romance against the backdrop of a brilliant 1930s Boston scene. In her distinct way, she makes the setting a secondary character of its own, vocal and important in its culture and story role. With a fabulous puzzle solved and room for more adventures to come, the city comes to life as the characters grapple with loyalty, independence, anxiety, and purpose. Hamish and Regg With Rachel McMillan’s distinct historical voice and attention to detail, she paints a vivid historical mystery with a hint of romance against the backdrop of a brilliant 1930s Boston scene. In her distinct way, she makes the setting a secondary character of its own, vocal and important in its culture and story role. With a fabulous puzzle solved and room for more adventures to come, the city comes to life as the characters grapple with loyalty, independence, anxiety, and purpose. Hamish and Reggie are endearing, quirky, enigmatic, and just plain lovable. Even secondary characters like Luca (whom you will dislike/love/want to hug all at once!) and Nate (and his wonderful candidness!) are sure to be favorites and promise to be even more essential in stories to come. And I just want to hang out with Reggie and watch films of the time! Fans of McMillan’s previous Herringford & Watts series will be ecstatic to learn of the “next” generation (Hamish is a DeLuca, after all) and see tiny nods to the previous series and a familiar name or two! Let’s stop right here and talk about Hamish. He is SUCH a product of his parents! But, he is his own kind of special, quirky, and important. Through his unique viewpoint, Rachel McMillan illustrates the challenges of mental illness — namely anxiety and panic — in a normalizing and emphatic way. This makes him wonderfully relatable — even for a reader with no personal experience with such challenges (like myself). I applaud her for using characterization to subtly bring awareness and empathy to the forefront in a way that adds so much to the story. I could talk all day about more wonderful elements of this story — lemon cannolis, bicycles, jazz, picture shows, DANCES, light bulbs, classic literature, and an implied message of grace. Instead, I hope you choose to discover for yourself all the intricacies and fun of this little mystery. I cannot wait to see where these beloved characters will take me next! MANY thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy. This is my honest review.

  4. 3 out of 5

    Jocelyn Green

    Boston comes roaring to life with fullness and flair, a character in its own right. Endearing protagonists carry the tale with wit, charm, and struggles that make them human. Bursting with rhythm, Murder at the Flamingo is a toe-tapping, heart-pumping immersion into the world of Reggie and Hamish. A delightful experience.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Murder and Mayhem, O My! If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you’ll know Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan is a little out of my reading comfort zone (as far as the time period and it being a murder mystery). So I am pleasantly surprised by how much I did enjoy this book! The story is a great one that focuses a lot on the characters and not a whole lot on the actual murder, blood and grime, etc. Our main characters, Reggie and Hamish, are both looking for adventure and really Murder and Mayhem, O My! If you’ve been following my reviews for a while, you’ll know Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan is a little out of my reading comfort zone (as far as the time period and it being a murder mystery). So I am pleasantly surprised by how much I did enjoy this book! The story is a great one that focuses a lot on the characters and not a whole lot on the actual murder, blood and grime, etc. Our main characters, Reggie and Hamish, are both looking for adventure and really trying to find themselves, each in their own way. Hamish is not the usual hero, but one I think many readers will love. Hamish deals with panic attacks and anxiety (mental health is addressed in such a loving way through Hamish’s character). Hamish is very relatable, sweet, bookish and a real gentleman. I really like Hamish’s love of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the way he uses passages from the book to help calm his anxiety. I enjoyed Reggie’s character as well. She is very adventurous and independent. I didn’t like how Reggie has a boyfriend (who is back in her home town), but at the same time she is sort of developing a romance with another man. Mystery and suspense readers will find much to love in the story of Luca (Hamish’s cousin) and his nightclub, where the mysterious murder takes place. I enjoyed the literary references in Murder at the Flamingo and reading about the pop culture of the time. This is published by a Christian publisher, but there isn’t any overt faith content (except characters visit a church and mention it as a safe haven for all religions) but it is still very clean and has Christian themes, such as sacrificial love. Overall, this is a great read! I listened to part of it through an audiobook which I highly recommend, due to the narrator who does all of the different accents. Murder at the Flamingo presents wonderful themes of family loyalty (characters struggle with how far one should go in being loyal as compared to choosing one’s conscience), being the hero of one’s own story and learning to live in the moment. Content: This is a clean read. I would rate it PG for some minor content. This is a murder mystery that takes place in nightclubs during the 1930s, so keep that in mind. Some examples of the content are: the main character deals with panic attacks and anxiety; references to alcohol; a man makes unwanted physical advances on a woman but is unsuccessful; a mention of the devil and hell; a mention of cursing, but the words aren’t actually written; a woman is a man’s mistress; violence and talk about the mob; a murder takes place; a lot of drinking and smoking in the nightclubs. Rating: I give this book 3.5 stars. Genre: Mystery; Historical Fiction; Romance I want to thank The Fiction Guild, Rachel McMillan and Thomas Nelson for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Jes Drew

    Rachel McMillan has done it again with an atmospheric historical mystery with great relationships at the core. Murder at the Flamingo was a charming pilot to a new series that features a girl and guy detective team this time, set in 1930s Boston. The descriptions are rich and I really felt like I was exploring the city with Regina and Hamish- and getting fat on baked goods- with them. And the characters themselves are rich and multi-layered, with a runaway heiress and a shy lawyer with a fettish Rachel McMillan has done it again with an atmospheric historical mystery with great relationships at the core. Murder at the Flamingo was a charming pilot to a new series that features a girl and guy detective team this time, set in 1930s Boston. The descriptions are rich and I really felt like I was exploring the city with Regina and Hamish- and getting fat on baked goods- with them. And the characters themselves are rich and multi-layered, with a runaway heiress and a shy lawyer with a fettish for The Hunchback of Notre Dame and an anxiety disorder that was written realistically and sensitively. My personal favorite was Luca, with his charm escaping the pages, his being such a larger-than-life character. And the mystery and flamingo drama keeps the pages turning. An all-around excellent summer- and anytime- read for anyone who wants to be completely immersed into another world. I received a complimentary copy of this book, and the opinions are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4.5 stars "You are only as strong as the moment that finds you braver than you have ever been." Not many people would consider Hamish DeLuca to be brave; brilliant, introverted, unpredictably anxious maybe, but not brave. Or perhaps he just needed the opportunity. For when Hamish shrugs off an embarrassing debut into his legal career, and travels from Toronto, Canada to the bustling city of Boston, Massachusetts to visit his extravagant cousin Luca, he discovers that courage often needs just the 4.5 stars "You are only as strong as the moment that finds you braver than you have ever been." Not many people would consider Hamish DeLuca to be brave; brilliant, introverted, unpredictably anxious maybe, but not brave. Or perhaps he just needed the opportunity. For when Hamish shrugs off an embarrassing debut into his legal career, and travels from Toronto, Canada to the bustling city of Boston, Massachusetts to visit his extravagant cousin Luca, he discovers that courage often needs just the right partner. After all, nothing will test one's heroism like solving a murder and no one fits Hamish quite like the dazzling Regina "Reggie" Van Buren. Escaping her claustrophobic life as an heiress, while dodging an unwanted suitor, Reggie Van Buren decides that life in Boston is just what she needs. Accepting a secretarial position with the enigmatic new owner of the hottest club in town, she fields the most curious phone calls from Chicago and tries to pretend that everything leading up to the Flamingo's grand opening is above board. Besides, her boss's cousin would never step across any illegal lines; Hamish DeLuca is just as determined as she is to understand Luca's diverse set of business partners. If only a murder had not been thrown into the mix, they could have enjoyed the Flamingo's smashing debut, while making many more of their own memories on the dance floor. Above all, "Murder at the Flamingo" is a story to be savored and enjoyed; written by an author with an uncanny ability to write just the right words, creating a unique pair of charismatic characters who will undoubtedly capture your heart with their perfectly imperfect partnership and keen determination to "breathe" and "hope" towards the future. "Spira. Spera."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    I confess to it! I will give up and admit that I was not expecting to fall so very much in love with Mr. Hamish Deluca. But oh my stars!! He is a delight from the first pages to the last and by the time I closed the book, I was thoroughly convinced that I wished he were real. He and Reggie both, of course! And the atmosphere that surrounds them, the city of Boston itself, is very like a secondary character in the book. I was so utterly swept up into the glittering magic of Ms. McMillan's clear l I confess to it! I will give up and admit that I was not expecting to fall so very much in love with Mr. Hamish Deluca. But oh my stars!! He is a delight from the first pages to the last and by the time I closed the book, I was thoroughly convinced that I wished he were real. He and Reggie both, of course! And the atmosphere that surrounds them, the city of Boston itself, is very like a secondary character in the book. I was so utterly swept up into the glittering magic of Ms. McMillan's clear love of this city which permeates every aspect of the story. Decadent, delightful, and so wonderfully filled with quirky, extraordinary, likable (and unlikable!) characters, this is a feast for the reader who dares! :D Firstly, can I just repeat? HAMISH IS AWESOME. Okay. Now that I've gotten that off my chest, let me just give you a few short reasons why I think so. (At least, I promise I will try to keep my gushing short! ;) It's his properness, mixed with a bit of an adventurous side that struck me at first. And watching him struggle through dealing with his anxiety and panic just further endeared him to me. He is like a shy little puppy, who has all this amazingness inside of him just waiting for someone to notice and encourage it. He's unlike any other character I've ever met, but I mean that in all the BEST ways! I think what it really boils down to is that he's attempting to find himself. He has all this awesome inside, yes, but he's very unaware of it, especially in the beginning. This beautifully written story is his journey to discovering all the amazing parts of himself and realizing that the flaws he'd imagined he has were just that, his imagination. He simply has to learn that for himself though, no amount of telling him so will suffice. It must be experienced! And watching his gradual awareness and growth, as he finally begins to trust himself, brings such glorious moments! I am unashamed to tell you that he's my favorite. (As you, no doubt, have already figured out, right? ;) Oh, but then there's Reggie! She has quite the journey herself and it's not any easier for her either. Watching the two of them work through their struggles (while dipping and dodging the crackling chemistry between them! *swoon*) and come through to the other side so much stronger...ah, it does my heart good. But it's not just their individual journeys that take center stage, Ms. McMillan has quite the murder mystery for them to solve! This is where the city truly comes alive. As the two circle around everywhere, searching out their answers, the mix of unconventional secondary characters who cross their path makes for so much fun. (Especially Luca and Nate, both of whom are quite unforgettable themselves!) Life in 1930s Boston is full of excitement and secrets, some of which are easily found out and others not so much. This setting is so lovingly described that I could easily picture every building and back alley, kudos to Ms. McMillan for that! One gets so swept up inside the time period that, when real life intruded while I was reading, I was much frowny-faced! Oh! And I shouldn't forget the awesome little callbacks to Ms. McMillan's first series, Herringford & Watts. So many mentions that made me grin, yet so many questions I'm still anxious to figure out! From beginning to end, this story was a delight to my senses. So full of charm and fun, I could not read fast enough. And I closed the last chapter with a heart full of Hamish and Reggie! Excited for book two, yet quite satisfied to go back and be enchanted all over again. And it's a good thing too, since I have such a long wait for the next one! Humph. :D Read it, friends! I promise you won't regret meeting Hamish. (But just remember, I totally saw him first! Well, after Ms. McMillan and Reggie, of course. ;) **I received a complimentary copy from the author via Thomas Nelson & Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Anna Lee Huber

    Murder at the Flamingo is a dynamite beginning to McMillan’s newest series. Both a coming-of-age tale and a twisty case of whodunit, readers will fall in love with her delightfully complicated characters. 1937 Boston leaps to life in vivid detail, while the author’s portrayal of anxiety and panic disorder is both heartbreaking and inspiring. I cannot wait to read Hamish and Reggie’s next adventure.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Clara

    I had an international trip to pack for and shouldn't have picked up this book when I did, but Hamish DeLuca is a bit irresistible 😁 If you’re looking for a talented writer capable of writing a literary novel with a twist of mystery, look no further. There's something about Rachel McMillan's books that are so... Rachel McMillan. And as vague as that sounds, for me it's the truth and the only way I can describe her books. They're unique and I really feel as if these stories were meant for her to wr I had an international trip to pack for and shouldn't have picked up this book when I did, but Hamish DeLuca is a bit irresistible 😁 If you’re looking for a talented writer capable of writing a literary novel with a twist of mystery, look no further. There's something about Rachel McMillan's books that are so... Rachel McMillan. And as vague as that sounds, for me it's the truth and the only way I can describe her books. They're unique and I really feel as if these stories were meant for her to write. They're an ode and anthem for what make her heart sour - be it a city, music, a book... her stories are always an experience as we readers dive into the characters' feelings, senses and journey. It's always a joy to pick up one of Rachel's books and a responsibility to review them because I feel like I'm reviewing her... Anyway, about this book. The writing shines as we travel around Boston’s magnificent streets alongside Hamish and Reggie as they try to find out how a flamingo, Chicago and a giant are related to each other. Join two easy-to-relate-to characters as they try to find their ground as independent grown-ups as well as who they want to be. Honestly, the only reason I accepted the end of the Herringford and Watts Mysteries was that the next series was going to be about Hamish DeLuca with a nod to Notre Dame 💕 *I received a review copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cara Putman

    A delightful read for those who love the glamour of the 1930s. This book is an ode to Boston and a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. It is a journey of self-growth wrapped inside an intriguing mystery. Who’s the villain? There are many good culprits. But the hero is never in question. Hamesh DeLuca is a hero to love, the question is whether Reggie can see him that way.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    About this book: “Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. Regina “Reggie” Van Bu About this book: “Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo night club. When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build.” Series: Book #1 in the “Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery” series. Connected to the “Herringford and Watts Mysteries” series (Reviews of #.5 Here!, #1 Here! and #2 Here!). Spiritual Content- Mentions of churches/Temples, church going, & ministers; Mentions of Jewish beliefs & a man wearing a kippah; Mentions of miracles & a place with miracles in the name; A handful of mentions of people & places in the Bible; A couple mentions of saints; A mention of God resting someone’s soul; A mention of Sunday School; *Note: A couple ‘for the love of heaven’ and ‘for the love of angels’ is said; A couple mentions of ghosts; A mention of the devil himself; A mention of being condemned to a special circle in hell for showing bare legs; A mention of Hades breaking loose; A mention of Adonises. Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘blasted’, a ‘cursed’, a ‘drat’, two ‘heck’s, and eighteen forms of ‘stupid’; Many mentions of curses & cursing (said including by Luca, but not written); Some sarcasm & eye rolling; Finding a murdered body (boarder-line barely-above-not-detailed // semi-detailed); Being shot, Passing out, & Pain (up to semi-detailed); Guns are aimed (barely-above-not-detailed); Luca drinks often & makes different alcoholic drinks (barely-above-not-detailed); Going to nightclubs very often & Reggie drinks once; All about mentions of nightclubs (Luca’s is said to be a “high-class watering hole”), alcohol, & drinking (barely-above-not-detailed); Many mentions of a murder, the body, how it happened, blood, & the murderer (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of murders; Mentions of being threatened, passing out, being shot, pain, blood/bleeding, & injuries (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of criminals, organized crime, & illegal activities; Mentions of mobsters & gangsters; Mentions of money laundering; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of gossip & rumors; Mentions of cigars, cigarettes, & smoke; A few mentions of a massacre; A few mentions of threatening to remove someone’s limb; A couple mentions of the Prohibition; A couple mentions of hatred; A couple mentions of gambling; A mention of liquor stores; A mention of hunting; *Note: Mentions of actresses, actors, & movies; A few mentions of singers/musicians & songs; A couple mentions of car brands; A mention of Al Capone. Sexual Content- an almost kiss, a forehead kiss, two cheek (welcoming/thanking) kisses, and a boarder-line semi-detailed // detailed kiss; Wanting to kiss; Touches, Dancing, & Nearness (up to semi-detailed); Noticing & Smelling (barely-above-not-detailed); a ‘baby’; A man leers at & touches Reggie’s shoulder (barely-above-not-detailed); Another man touches Reggie’s face in a manner that was unwanted (barely-above-not-detailed); Reggie & Hamish spend the night alone together (nothing sexual happens, but it’s scandalous for the time period); Mentions of mistresses & a married man’s current affair; Mentions of men leering & eyeing different women (including Reggie); Mentions of an almost kiss, kissing, & kisses; Mentions of flirting & flirts; Mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of chaperones; A couple mentions of crushes; A couple mentions of girlfriends; A mention of a man pinning Reggie to the wall; A mention of a woman having two boyfriends; A mention of men whistling at girls; A mention of blushes; Love, falling in love, & the emotions; *Note: Mentions of women’s figures/curves & noticing (barely-above-not-detailed); Mention of buxom women; Mentions of a woman wearing boy shorts at a club (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of Reggie’s tight dress; A mention of an older man with a girl who could be his daughter’s age; A mention of lipstick on a man’s collar. -Regina “Reggie” Van Buren -Hamish DeLuca, age 25 P.O.V. switches between them Set in 1937 344 pages ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Pre Teens- One Star New Teens- One Star Early High School Teens- Two Stars Older High School Teens- Three Stars My personal Rating- Two Stars I was tempted to try this novel due to it being a historical mystery. While it ended up not being my cup of tea, I liked that the author discussed mental illnesses like a panic and anxiety disorder through Hamish. We don’t often see characters with mental disorders or physical disabilities in Christian Fiction, so I welcome that this book opened that discussion. I did have to give low ratings for some content (the unwanted advances that Reggie faced (not detailed at all), all the mentions of women’s figures and curves (again, not detailed at all), and the large amount of cursing mentioned), but I did also really struggle with the writing style of this book. I have tried the author’s previous books and had the same problem, but this one seemed tougher to get through as it was much longer. It also took over halfway (page 188 of 344) for the plot point mentioned on the back-cover to happen, which seemed much too far into the story. I understand that this novel is connected to the author’s previous series but being set towards the end of the Great Depression, I was a little confused at the lack of mentions of the depression; only a couple comments alluded to the event. I did also misunderestimated from the back-cover how much drinking, alcohol, & club mentions there would be and it was quite a lot. The love-triangle towards the end seemed a bit odd and Reggie’s feelings for Vaughan seemed contradictory. I wasn’t very impressed with the mystery or the romance, so I don’t believe I’ll be trying this author again. Link to review: https://booksforchristiangirls.blogsp... *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author. *I received this book for free from the Publisher (Thomas Nelson) for this honest review.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Patti Henry

    I LOVE THIS NOVEL. In a story both atmospheric and thrilling, we meet Hamish and Reggie, who are brought together at just the right time in just the right place. But there is so much more to this novel than just a mystery to be solved; there are also two lives that intersect as they learn who they were meant to be and growing the courage to be those very people. I literally can't wait for the next in this series.... pch

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abby Breuklander

    Love love and love!! Sometimes the things that we believe hinder us can be the very things that make us exactly who we are. What we believe are issues that need to be kept hidden and kept secret could possibly be the very tools used to get us right where we need to be. Those insecurities or self-doubts that we try to hide behind can actually be something that makes us unique, helping to develop our character and have empathy for others, binding us to those who struggle with the same things we do Love love and love!! Sometimes the things that we believe hinder us can be the very things that make us exactly who we are. What we believe are issues that need to be kept hidden and kept secret could possibly be the very tools used to get us right where we need to be. Those insecurities or self-doubts that we try to hide behind can actually be something that makes us unique, helping to develop our character and have empathy for others, binding us to those who struggle with the same things we do. This creates a bridge of support not just for others, but for ourselves as well. Setting us on a journey that we never saw coming, reminding us that we've gained so much more than we ever thought possible.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susie Finkbeiner

    If there's one thing I can count on in a Rachel McMillan novel, it's that I'm going to love the characters she creates. If there's another thing, it's that the story she weaves is going to be enthralling. McMillan delivers on both in Murder at the Flamingo. With beautifully conceived prose, dialogue that rings true, and a mystery that kept me turning pages. I so enjoyed this novel. In fact, I do believe this is McMillan's finest work thus far, which is saying A LOT. I loved....LOVED....the Herri If there's one thing I can count on in a Rachel McMillan novel, it's that I'm going to love the characters she creates. If there's another thing, it's that the story she weaves is going to be enthralling. McMillan delivers on both in Murder at the Flamingo. With beautifully conceived prose, dialogue that rings true, and a mystery that kept me turning pages. I so enjoyed this novel. In fact, I do believe this is McMillan's finest work thus far, which is saying A LOT. I loved....LOVED....the Herringford and Watts series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Chiavaroli

    A perfectly-flawed hero and a liberty-seeking lady are the backbone of this delightful and lively mystery novel. Grounded in a city that is no stranger to independence, Hamish and Reggie seek what it means to be free beneath the lights of Boston's glitziest nightclub...and a murder that taints its opening night. Fast-paced and at times humorous, the satisfying ending leaves the reader content and anxious for more all at the same time.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Angela

    This was so entertaining! I loved this! Here are my full thoughts - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8dz0...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    Hamish DeLuca and Regina (Reggie) Van Buren both leave home and meet in Boston. They find themselves involved in the life of Luca Valari as he opens his nightclub, The Flamingo. Reggie is Luca's secretary and Hamish is Luca's cousin. On opening night, a woman is found dead and the authorities decide it was an accident. However, Reggie and Hamish believe otherwise. The author does a wonderful job describing the hustle and bustle of life on the streets in Boston in this murder mystery. Hamish loves Hamish DeLuca and Regina (Reggie) Van Buren both leave home and meet in Boston. They find themselves involved in the life of Luca Valari as he opens his nightclub, The Flamingo. Reggie is Luca's secretary and Hamish is Luca's cousin. On opening night, a woman is found dead and the authorities decide it was an accident. However, Reggie and Hamish believe otherwise. The author does a wonderful job describing the hustle and bustle of life on the streets in Boston in this murder mystery. Hamish loves to ride his bicycle and I was caught up in the thrill as he dashed through the streets, the rush of the city passing by. And! The glitz and glamour of the nightclub with bubbling champagne, bands and glamorous surroundings. There are many references to classic films and the actors and actresses in these films. Hamish loves the story, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and as I have never read that classic story, I enjoyed reading all the comments and quotes from the book. However, the mystery wasn't for me. It was to confusing and as I reflect on the book, I'm still missing pieces to this baffling story. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    You know there's just something about Hamish DeLuca. A detective with severe social anxiety, his Girl Friday, ex-debutante Regina Van Buren, a city that is at turns dark and beautiful, whiffs of a revolutionary past in a place of liberty, way too many Hunchback of Notre Dame quotes Can't wait for you to all meet him!

  20. 3 out of 5

    Emily Crow

    *Actual rating: 2.5 stars* It's not a bad book by any means, but too slow-paced for my tastes. The murder doesn't even take place until 60% of the way through the story. Hamish was quite a likable character, though.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Oh, Hamish...My Hamish...Where have you been all my life? Hamish is my kindred spirit. My best friend. The fictional character that I so desperately want to meet. For Rachel McMillan to take something that she has personally dealt with her whole life, and give it to her HERO...It is one of the most beautiful things you will ever witness. I feel like I not only know Hamish...But I know Ms. McMillan better. She opened her heart and let the words pour onto the page. The description is REAL, the emo Oh, Hamish...My Hamish...Where have you been all my life? Hamish is my kindred spirit. My best friend. The fictional character that I so desperately want to meet. For Rachel McMillan to take something that she has personally dealt with her whole life, and give it to her HERO...It is one of the most beautiful things you will ever witness. I feel like I not only know Hamish...But I know Ms. McMillan better. She opened her heart and let the words pour onto the page. The description is REAL, the emotion is REAL, the pain and the heartache is REAL. Anxiety...is REAL! In addition to the anxiety factor...We have all the makings for an intense and intriguing mystery. A suave Italian nightclub owner, a bad guy on the hunt, and a high class born young lady determined to solve a crime. One of the themes that stood out to me in this story, is the sense of finding home. "What if home wasn't something you were born into but rather something you found and ultimately chose?" Murder at the Flamingo is a story full of life and adventure! From the North End of Boston to the nightclub scene of the 1930s...You will want to dance the night away with Reggie and Hamish in this new mystery from Rachel McMillan! I received a complimentary copy of Murder at the Flamingo. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Yvette

    With writing that was at times reminiscent of golden age mysteries, Rachel McMillan amuses, enchants, and leads the reader through a cozy mystery and adventure set in 1937 Boston full of interesting characters and an unlikely detective duo. On finishing this first Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery, I had two thoughts: first, I’m glad there will be more mysteries with anxiety ridden Hamish DeLuca, lately of Toronto, and Regina “Reggie” Van Buren of the New Haven Van Burens and secondly, where can I get With writing that was at times reminiscent of golden age mysteries, Rachel McMillan amuses, enchants, and leads the reader through a cozy mystery and adventure set in 1937 Boston full of interesting characters and an unlikely detective duo. On finishing this first Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery, I had two thoughts: first, I’m glad there will be more mysteries with anxiety ridden Hamish DeLuca, lately of Toronto, and Regina “Reggie” Van Buren of the New Haven Van Burens and secondly, where can I get a cannoli? Boston in 1937 comes alive for the reader through Hamish’s eyes, as he rides a bicycle through both swanky and run down neighborhoods, while Reggie brings more of the spotlight on the people struggling to get by in the North End where she finds a job working for Hamish’s cousin Luca. While the murder of the title does not occur until well into the story, it is hardly the first bit of mystery to intrigue Hamish or Reggie. And as a reader, I had several candidates for who the victim might turn out to be. I adored this not only as a period cozy, but as a story of two individuals who run away from very different homes and make new lives for themselves in the city. As historical fiction, as a first in series, and as a cozy mystery, Murder at the Flamingo just works. I am looking forward to Hamish and Reggie’s next mystery, along with more character growth and to seeing where the various relationships go. Highly recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction and cozy mysteries with a touch of clean romance. This review refers to a finished copy I voluntarily received through Book Look Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    A unique start to a new series, set in 1937 Boston. Underneath the glitz and glamour of the nightclub scene lurks dark secrets and sinister characters. Loosely linked to the fun Herringford and Watts series, the fledgling detective team of Hamish DeLuca and Regina 'Reggie' Van Buren find themselves in the middle of a confusing murder investigation. Fans of classic films will enjoy all of the references and interaction of this pair. Old Boston is a lovely setting for a new mystery series with its A unique start to a new series, set in 1937 Boston. Underneath the glitz and glamour of the nightclub scene lurks dark secrets and sinister characters. Loosely linked to the fun Herringford and Watts series, the fledgling detective team of Hamish DeLuca and Regina 'Reggie' Van Buren find themselves in the middle of a confusing murder investigation. Fans of classic films will enjoy all of the references and interaction of this pair. Old Boston is a lovely setting for a new mystery series with its history, and the dark undertones of the 1930's. The plot develops at a steady pace as Hamish and Reggie try to piece together what is going on behind the club scene, and the confusing 'who-dun-it'. Hamish is a complex character as he battles his own inner turmoil and struggle with anxiety, crippling at times. He and Reggie both are young people breaking away and finding their true identity and strengths. There are fun moments as the pair dances like pros--a version of Astaire and Rogers--and find their friendship growing as the tension mounts. Some action and final revelations made the ending exciting, setting up for the next book. Readers who enjoy a mystery with hints of romance, in a historical setting may enjoy this book. Look forward to the next installment. (I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are completely my own.)

  24. 3 out of 5

    Miranda Atchley

    A mystery that unfolds gently, with an unlikely hero and heroine at the helm, Murder at the Flamingo is a smashing start to a delightful new series. A historic thriller wrapped in 1930s magic set against a backdrop that is at times charming, and at others gritty, the novel boasts two endearing lead characters that readers will surely want to befriend. Shy and quiet, Hamish DeLuca struggles with anxiety and panic disorder, and copes by turning to his favorite book The Hunchback of Notre Dame for A mystery that unfolds gently, with an unlikely hero and heroine at the helm, Murder at the Flamingo is a smashing start to a delightful new series. A historic thriller wrapped in 1930s magic set against a backdrop that is at times charming, and at others gritty, the novel boasts two endearing lead characters that readers will surely want to befriend. Shy and quiet, Hamish DeLuca struggles with anxiety and panic disorder, and copes by turning to his favorite book The Hunchback of Notre Dame for comfort. Yet he is also incredibly smart, and over the course of the summer, learns that he can be courageous; the hero of his own story. Readers facing the same challenges as Hamish will at once find a character to sympathize with, while also finding a new literary hero to look up to. Former New Haven debutante Reggie Van Buren is just as delightful in her own right. Full of pluck and a fearless woman of the ‘30s, she learns to navigate life in a new city away from her parents’ affluence. I found it endearing as she marked off each new accomplishment in her Journal of Independence and cheered for both she and Hamish as they took steps toward accomplishing their goals. The friends Reggie and Hamish make and the villains they encounter along the way make for a rich, full cast of characters as diverse as the city in which they live. Having read McMillan’s Herringford and Watts Mysteries, I was delighted by references to the characters I so loved in that series; some of which I was quite familiar with, others bearing familiar names who I hope to meet in future Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries. The setting of the book is marvelous. You can sense the author’s love for Boston in the descriptions of the North End and the lively Scollay Square. The fact that it takes place in the 1930s makes the Boston setting even more endearing, as I can clearly imagine Reggie, Hamish, and Nate as they gather ‘round the wireless in the office to listen to Winchester Molloy and share cannoli. Overall, I really enjoyed Murder at the Flamingo and I can’t wait to read more about Hamish and Reggie and their adventures. Fans who love historical mysteries will love this book. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Annette Gilbert

    You had me at....THE COVER!! Seriously. That vintage font and art deco image set the stage for a nightclub murder mystery in 1930s Boston! Reading experience with McMillan's other two sleuths, Herringford and Watt, should have prepared me for Reggie, a no nonsense, I got this, feminist. But I was totally taken. I loved her! Shunning conformity and family expectations, she escapes to Boston, away from a comfy entitled future with a husband, to an unpredictable 9 to 5 wage earner living in a roomi You had me at....THE COVER!! Seriously. That vintage font and art deco image set the stage for a nightclub murder mystery in 1930s Boston! Reading experience with McMillan's other two sleuths, Herringford and Watt, should have prepared me for Reggie, a no nonsense, I got this, feminist. But I was totally taken. I loved her! Shunning conformity and family expectations, she escapes to Boston, away from a comfy entitled future with a husband, to an unpredictable 9 to 5 wage earner living in a rooming house. But her journal of 'firsts', an independence journal, inspires her self-confidence as she comes to learn what she's really capable of. Let's face it: we all daydream about launching such an adventure. While I'm definitely team Reggie, I warmed to Hamish like so many other readers. How can't you? Embedding your own struggles with anxiety as an author into a character requires a balance of guts and sensitivity. We need more characters who not only reveal their mental health challenges, but further, invite us to imagine their impact despite not overcoming them. Recognizing the power that setting has on McMillan's narrative style, I eagerly anticipated full immersion into 1930s Boston. One can just imagine poking around the north end, late afternoon, a cannoli in hand. Like her other series that explored Toronto's marginalized and immigrant community in St John's ward, I enjoyed her respectful handling of the challenges facing the Italian immigrants here. Indeed Hamish's sense of belonging in this new city of Boston is convincingly tied to this community. It's a great read, a quick read. You won't be disappointed, except if you, like me, get sucked into hoping for Hamish to finally kiss the girl! I guess that's one reason this is the first book in a series I'll be following.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Allison

    This series debut sweeps the reader into a world of liquid-silk gowns, snazzy gangsters, smoke-filled dance floors, and star-crossed romance. Not to mention a bit of murder. Rachel McMillan breathes life into a cast of characters that defy the clichés of the genre: a rich girl who isn’t spoiled, a leading man plagued with anxiety, a mob boss with a heart, and others who bring twists with each turn of the page. McMillan crafts Hamish, Reggie, Luca, and Nate with enough dimension for the reader to This series debut sweeps the reader into a world of liquid-silk gowns, snazzy gangsters, smoke-filled dance floors, and star-crossed romance. Not to mention a bit of murder. Rachel McMillan breathes life into a cast of characters that defy the clichés of the genre: a rich girl who isn’t spoiled, a leading man plagued with anxiety, a mob boss with a heart, and others who bring twists with each turn of the page. McMillan crafts Hamish, Reggie, Luca, and Nate with enough dimension for the reader to inspect each with a slow turn—strengths, flaws, frustrations. Nothing is absolute. The story plays out with the grit and humor of an RKO picture show, with the author’s love for the time and place evident with each nod to detail. McMillan gives us a new Nick and Nora. Fans of mystery should know that this isn't a story that opens with a dead body in the parlor and the remaining pages devoted to finding the killer. This is a coming-together of characters, the introduction of a romance, and the start of something that goes beyond solving a crime. Thus I, not being a huge fan of mystery, loved it! But I think you'll find yourself swept up in the story, and the murder well worth the wait.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I liked this book. It is a fun and charming and I enjoyed the time period. It felt like I was in the 1930's. Hamish and Reggie are great. They really held the story together as main leading characters. It was nice getting to experience everything for the first time through Hamish's eyes. Reggie may have come from better upbringings than Hamish but she was not stuck up. She was personable. Thus the reason that I liked and could connect with both of them. This is a good start to what appears to be I liked this book. It is a fun and charming and I enjoyed the time period. It felt like I was in the 1930's. Hamish and Reggie are great. They really held the story together as main leading characters. It was nice getting to experience everything for the first time through Hamish's eyes. Reggie may have come from better upbringings than Hamish but she was not stuck up. She was personable. Thus the reason that I liked and could connect with both of them. This is a good start to what appears to be a fun series. It will only get better. While, I was not in love with this book, I did like it. My only issue is that while I liked Hamish and Reggie, I did have some trouble staying focused at times. The other characters were not resonating with me as well. Thus I was not invested as I wanted to be. Readers should check this book out.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Clarissa

    Rachel McMillan’s Murder at the Flamingo is a wonderful start to her new series. I don’t even know where to begin with all the things I loved about it. When I started reading it, I knew I was in for something special because I instantly fell in love with Hamish DeLuca, a clever, shy lawyer from Toronto with brilliant blue eyes. He’s unusually vulnerable for a male protagonist because he struggles with an anxiety disorder. The techniques he uses to calm himself don’t always work. My favourite is Rachel McMillan’s Murder at the Flamingo is a wonderful start to her new series. I don’t even know where to begin with all the things I loved about it. When I started reading it, I knew I was in for something special because I instantly fell in love with Hamish DeLuca, a clever, shy lawyer from Toronto with brilliant blue eyes. He’s unusually vulnerable for a male protagonist because he struggles with an anxiety disorder. The techniques he uses to calm himself don’t always work. My favourite is the dog-eared copy of The Hunchback of Notre Dame that he always carries with him: he wraps himself in the comfortingly familiar words of his favourite book. Regina Van Buren is an appealing companion for Hamish as they work together to solve a crime complicated by his loyalty to his flashy cousin Luca, who may or may not be involved in shady business dealings associated with The Flamingo, the nightclub he has just opened. I didn’t feel I got to know Reggie as well as I did Hamish, but her love of adventure and movies (especially The Thin Man) makes her a great foil for the quieter, more thoughtful male protagonist. And of course there’s the “will they or won’t they?” chemistry between them that keeps readers guessing. This novel is beautifully grounded in history and a sense of place. McMillan has clearly done her research, and she lovingly traces the streets, smells, and sounds of 1930’s Boston so vividly that I felt I was there. And the cannoli! Oh my goodness, the cannoli! This novel will make you run out to the nearest Italian bakery and stuff yourself with the heavenly dessert! Having read most of the books from McMillan’s earlier series (Herringford & Watts), I was very interested in Hamish’s parents and hope to see more of them. I love McMillan’s three-dimensional characters with complicated family relationships. Without giving too much away, when Hamish realizes the misunderstanding he’s laboured under about his father’s attitude to his anxiety problems, it completely melted my heart! The love and misunderstandings mixed up together in his family rang very true. I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the Van Buren and DeLuca mystery series!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Suzie

    Wow, fellow readers. Just wow. There is so much I loved about Murder at the Flamingo, so get ready for some gushing about Rachel McMillan’s newest book. First, there’s Boston. Seeing the city through Hamish’s eyes and learning some of the history from Nick had me ready to plan a vacation right then and there. McMillan did her research and wove it into this story so well the city came to life. Then there’s the relationships. Luca and Hamish—cousins who are more like brothers. Hamish and his father. Wow, fellow readers. Just wow. There is so much I loved about Murder at the Flamingo, so get ready for some gushing about Rachel McMillan’s newest book. First, there’s Boston. Seeing the city through Hamish’s eyes and learning some of the history from Nick had me ready to plan a vacation right then and there. McMillan did her research and wove it into this story so well the city came to life. Then there’s the relationships. Luca and Hamish—cousins who are more like brothers. Hamish and his father. Reggie and Hamish. Nick and well, everybody. I just wasn’t ready to leave any of these characters (at least we have more books in this series to spend more time with this group). And Hamish, dear, sweet Hamish. The man is kind-hearted and intelligent, yet his attacks can paralyze him at times. While I (thankfully) have not personally experienced anxiety attacks, McMillan seamlessly put me into Hamish’s mind during these episodes, I felt like I got a front row seat to what happens in the heads of those who struggle with this. I thoroughly enjoyed McMillan’s Herringford and Watts series, but Murder at the Flamingo has lifted to an entirely new level. Entertaining, engaging and astounding (in the best kind of way), you don’t want to miss this book. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    After Hamish DeLuca’s anxiety gets the better of him during his first real court case as a lawyer, he runs away to his cousin, Luca Valari. Luca was the only person who never focused on Hamish’s flaw, and treated him like everyone else. Regina Van Buren comes from high-class society stock, but she flees when decision for her life are being made for her. She finds a job working for Luca Valari, as his secretary, and begins taking steps to be an independent woman and live on her own terms. When a de After Hamish DeLuca’s anxiety gets the better of him during his first real court case as a lawyer, he runs away to his cousin, Luca Valari. Luca was the only person who never focused on Hamish’s flaw, and treated him like everyone else. Regina Van Buren comes from high-class society stock, but she flees when decision for her life are being made for her. She finds a job working for Luca Valari, as his secretary, and begins taking steps to be an independent woman and live on her own terms. When a dead body is found at Luca’s new night club, The Flamingo, Hamish and Regina take it upon themselves to uncover the truth, but there are some who don’t want the truth discovered. I can’t say that I enjoyed this one. I originally decided to read the book, because of the comparison to The Thin Man movies, which I love. Sadly, the only real comparison is that Regina and Hamish occasionally call each other Nick and Nora to boost each other’s confidence. Let’s start with what’s good. McMillan does a great job of scene-setting and pulls the reader into the time period of 1930’s Boston. The characters are well-developed. Hamish, especially, is a breath of fresh air as a male lead with a struggle like anxiety and panic attacks. Unfortunately, I had a lot of issues with the novel. 1) This novel is marketed as Christian fiction. While it is pretty clean reading, there is nothing decidedly Christian about it. There is no mention of faith or God in any way. 2) The murder doesn’t occur until more than halfway though the story. The first half of the novel is really just setting the tone and getting to know the characters and city. 3) The writing was sometimes hard to follow. I had to go back and re-read lines or passages several times to figure out what was being described or discussed. 4) Regina has two love interests in this novel, and I was not happy with where it was left at the end. I’m sure this will be an ongoing arc as the series continues, but with all the build-up of connection with one of the love interests, I was very disappointed with the lack of resolution, and the turn Regina took as a character. 5) Hamish and Regina kind of stumble into the truth about the murder, and solve it with little evidence or struggle. People seem to suddenly open up to them. 6) There’s an added mystery surrounding Hamish’s cousin, Luca, who has a history of bad choices and sketchy practices. This new club is supposed to be a clean start for him. He puts his office in a poorer area of the city, and no one knows why. There seems to be a connection to that part of town, and how badly the tenants are treated, to the people Luca are involved with. Hamish and Regina stumble into the answer for this as well, and there is a very climactic scene that comes from it, but it left me feeling like nothing was actually answered. Murder mysteries are supposed to leave you feeling like you don’t know everything, but this one left me feeling like I had almost no information. I felt like I was missing vital pieces of information. Like there was something even the main characters figured out that they hadn’t let me in on. I was able to get to the end of this one, but I probably won’t be reading the next in the series. Content Warnings: It is a murder mystery, so there is violence. A lot of scenes take place at night clubs with heavy drinking and lots of unsavory characters. Regina is also on the receiving end of some unwanted advances.

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