Miss Aldridge Regrets

Berkley. Jul. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780593439258. $27. F
Hare’s second novel (after This Lovely City) is set in 1936 London and aboard the Queen Mary. Lena Aldridge is a singer, entertainer, and a multiracial woman, who is often perceived to be a white person. After a murder at the club where she works, she grabs an opportunity to escape to the bright lights of Broadway, an unbelievable offer purporting to come from an old friend of her father’s. Traveling in first class is heavenly but not without complications, including another murder. As the passengers glide ever closer to their destination, secrets unravel—including the identity of Lena’s mother. With the support of the handsome bandleader, Will, and her own sharp wits, Lena unravels a murderous plot and heads toward a new life in New York on her own terms. The novel’s ambiance is spot-on; somewhat like Carola Dunn’s Daisy Dalrymple set 10 years later or Marie Benedict’s The Personal Librarian. As Lena narrates, switching from the present to the past, readers gain helpful glimpses of her backstory.
VERDICT With vividly drawn characters, this exciting blend of murder mystery and historical romance is hard to put down once one starts reading.
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