Skip to main content

Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau

Author: Nancy Bilyeau

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Suspense

Publisher: Lume Books

Release Date: 2020

Pages: 291

Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

      The invitation to Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

     But soon it transpires that the hedonism of Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of. Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal, and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamor of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything… even murder.

     Extravagant, intoxicating, and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class, and dangerous obsession.

      My Review: Peggy is a member of one of America’s richest families. Her family is on a summer holiday at the Oriental Hotel, which is a mile from Coney Island. Peggy is forced to leave her job at a bookstore and join her family. Shortly after her arrival, a woman is murdered at Coney Island. Can Peggy find the killer while also falling in love with an artist?

     Peggy is a fun character. She is feisty and bold. She is a young woman that yearns to break out of her wealthy social circle and become an independent woman. Throughout the novel, she struggles to find her own happiness. She wants to make her own choices rather than let her family define her. I also love the relationship between her and her sister. She cares for her and helps her a lot. I also found her to be a smart, capable heroine who could solve the crimes around Coney Island. Thus, Peggy was the best character in the novel and a person to root for!

      Overall, this novel is about finding one’s place in the world. Aside from Peggy, I found the characters to be very stereotypical. The romance between Peggy and the artist was undeveloped and mostly felt like an instant romance. The novel was also focused more on political issues in the early 1900s, which tended to distract me from the main plot. The mystery was predictable, and I guessed the killer pretty early in the story. Still, the novel is very well-written, and the author did an excellent job of making Coney Island come alive! I recommend this book for fans of The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Murder on Astor Place, and Cartier’s Hope! Dreamland is an enjoyable cozy mystery for a hot summer afternoon!

Rating: 3 out of 4 stars


Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn: A Book Review

The Rose Code Author: Kate Quinn Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Harper Collins Release Date: 2021 Pages: 635 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: 1940, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.        Three very different women are recruited to the mysterious Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.       Vivacious debutante Osla has the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses – but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, working to translate decoded enemy secrets. Self-made Mab masters the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and the poverty of her East-End London upbringing. And shy local girl Beth is the outsider who trains as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.       1947, London.        Seven years after they first meet, on the eve of the royal wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, disaster threatens. Osla, Mab and Beth are estranged,

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