Miss Aldridge Regrets (Canary Club Mystery #1)
Author: Louise Hare
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Suspense
Release Date: 2022
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: The glittering RMS Queen Mary. A nightclub singer on the run. An aristocratic family with secrets worth killing for.
London, 1936. Lena Aldridge wonders if life has passed her by. The dazzling theatre career she hoped for hasn’t worked out. Instead, she’s stuck singing in a sticky-floored basement club in Soho, and her married lover has just left her. But Lena has always had a complicated life, one shrouded in mystery as a mixed-race girl passing for white in a city unforgiving of her true racial heritage.
She’s feeling utterly hopeless until a stranger offers her the chance of a lifetime: a starring role on Broadway and a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary bound for New York. After a murder at the club, the timing couldn’t be better, and Lena jumps at the chance to escape England. But death follows her onboard when an obscenely wealthy family draws her into their fold just as one among them is killed in a chillingly familiar way. As Lena navigates the Abernathy’s increasingly bizarre family dynamic, she realizes that her greatest performance won't be for an audience, but for her life.
With seductive glamor, simmering family drama, and dizzying twists, Louise Hare makes her beguiling US debut.
My Review: Lena Aldridge is leaving her life in Soho to get started on a new career in Broadway. She buys a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary that is bound for New York. When one of the first- class passengers is killed, Lena begins an investigation to find a killer. As she investigates, she learns that it is similar to a murder that happened at the club in Soho that she once sang at before she left England. Could the two murders be connected?
I did not warm up to Lena Aldridge as the protagonist. I found her to be clueless on many occasions. She often gets herself into reckless and dangerous situations. She does not see the obvious of what is in front of her. Therefore, I was not impressed with her skills as an amateur sleuth. She made many foolish choices and was not a clever protagonist. Therefore, I did not find Lena Aldridge to be very likable and yearned for a smarter heroine.
Overall, this novel is about dreams, love, and racism. I found all the characters to be very bland and unlikable. I also thought the novel seemed to be dragged out and had a predictable mystery. Still, there is a lot of glitz and glamor and scandals that will pique the reader’s interest to keep reading. I also like the historical details of what it was like to be a passenger on the Queen Mary. I am going to give this series a second chance and read the sequel when it comes out to see whether I like the series or not. I am hoping that Lena Aldridge will grow into a smart and mature heroine. I recommend this for fans of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, The Key to Deceit, and The Mitford Murders!
Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars