Skip to main content

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe: A Book Review

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
Author: Jennifer Kincheloe
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Release Date: 2015
Pages: 370
Source: This book was given to me by the publisher and the audiobook was given to me by Audiobookworm Promotions blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels--but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. 

     Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. 

     If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding and stop pouring money into her father's collapsing bank. 

     Anna must choose--either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.

     My Review: Anna is a socialite that lives under the eye of her chaperones and her controlling father. One day she decides to escape her father by trying to elope with a poor man. When things don’t go her way, she decides to bribe a chaperone and become a police matron. One day, she discovers that the deaths of some prostitutes may not be suicides, but that there may be an actual killer on the run! Anna teams up with detective Joe Singer to find the murderer.

  I tried to read this book back in 2015, but I had to put it down. I picked it up six months later, and I put it down again. I tried to listen to the audiobook version, but I gave up. It was not until I joined Audiobookworm Promotions blog tours and signed up for the sequel that I was determined to finish it. The Secret Life of Anna Blanc was a very disappointing read, and it took all my willpower not to throw the book across the room.

  Anna Blanc is the most selfish and manipulative person I have ever come across! This would not be so bad if Anna was a villain, but instead she was the hero. She does not care about anyone but herself! She makes her best friend lose her job and sends her into prostitution. She does not bother to help her or her family. She also manipulates Joe and gets him to do what she wants to do. She does not care about his feelings. Besides being selfish, Anna does a lot of stupid actions that really do not make any sense. She is supposed to be smart and clever, but I thought she was the least intelligent character in her own story. Thus, Anna was a very frustrating character, and it is mostly because of her that I gave the book up three times.

  Overall, this was a very disappointing historical mystery. It was supposed to be a comedy. However, it rubbed me the wrong way. I did not think it was funny at all, but very off putting. The mystery aspect was mostly in the background and instead focused on Anna’s love life. Once the murderer was revealed, there was no clear explanation for his motivations. It just did not make any sense. The audiobook was better than the book. If I did not listen to it, I mostly likely would have left it unfinished. The story was mostly told than shown. All of the characters were one dimensional. Besides Joe Singer, all the male characters are unlikable. It makes me wonder if the author secretly hates men. The only thing that I liked about the book was the setting. I like the historical tidbits in the novel, but it was not enough to save it. I hope the sequel will be better, but I have little faith it can turn things around.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars 


Popular posts from this blog

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

Blog Tour: Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles by Will Bashor

Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles [history/biographical nonfiction] Release date: June 15, 2020 Postponed due to Covid-19: July 30, 2020 at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Hardcover and ebook, 320 pages Author’s page | Goodreads SYNOPSIS Synopsis: This riveting book explores the little-known intimate life of Marie Antoinette and her milieu in a world filled with intrigue, infidelity, adultery, and sexually transmitted diseases. Will Bashor reveals the intrigue and debauchery of the Bourbon kings from Louis XIII to Louis XV, which were closely intertwined with the expansion of Versailles from a simple hunting lodge to a luxurious and intricately ordered palace. It soon became a retreat for scandalous conspiracies and rendezvous—all hidden from the public eye.       When Marie Antoinette arrived, she was quickly drawn into a true viper’s nest, encouraged by her imprudent entourage. Bashor shows that her often thoughtless, fantas

Blog Tour: Girl With A Gun (Annie Oakley Mysteries #1) by Kari Bovee: A Book Review

  Join us for this tour from Jan 10 to Feb 4 ,  2022 ! Book Details: Book Title : Girl with a Gun (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee Category :  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 316 pages Length : 9 hours, 24 minutes. Genre :  Historical Mystery / Cozy Mystery Publisher :  Bosque Publishing Release date:    April 2020 Content Rating :  PG + M: Mature themes, mild swearing  Source : This audiobook was given to me by iReads Book Tour in exchange for an honest review.   Book Description :      She’s on the rise to fame and fortune, but her sudden notoriety comes with some deadly consequences.      Annie Oakley thrives as a sharpshooter in the Wild West Show. Finally, she has a chance to save her family’s farm—and make her dreams come true.      But her act misfires when she discovers her Indian assistant dead in her tent. Uncovering a shocking secret from her assistant’s past, the girl with the gun believes it’s murder. Determined to find the truth, she ruffles some horse