Historical cozy mystery set in Los Angeles, CA, in 1926.
Mercy Allcutt, Boston Brahmin, wants to experience life in all its grittiness. How better than by working for a down-on-his luck PI in Hollywood? Once she discovers what PI actually stands for, she knows Mr. Ernest Templeton is the boss for her.
Raised in the ivory tower of proper Boston, when well-bred Mercy gets a job with Ernest Templeton, Private Investigator, she's ecstatic. Ernie, a jaded ex-cop, is incredulous. Together, they must cope with a stray child, kidnapping, blackmail, murder, a toy poodle, a vamp, a stalker, Mercy's overactive imagination and Ernie's strong protective streak. Throw in a speakeasy, Chinatown, and a couple of down-and-dirty criminals, and Mercy and Ernie are in for a drama that will put the motion picture industry to shame...if they can survive long enough to tell the story.
©2006 (print) 2009 (e-book) Alice Duncan (P)2013 Alice Duncan
The narration in this book is absolutely some of the best narration I have experienced in many years of listening to audio books. You can actually visualize Mercy and her conversations in her Boston accent. The narration is actually acting the parts.
Mercy, a Boston Brahmin, has an admirable quality in that she has chosen to step out of her privileged life and seriously step out of her comfort zone so that she can gain experience to become a writer. To hold a job- something someone of her traditional upper class would never do. She is so sheltered that normal slang conversation is often a mystery to her. She becomes part of a sting operation to catch drug dealers in china town. I laughed myself silly.
She speaks the Boston Brahmin accent perfectly, her drama with the dialogue is so good she becomes Mercy. Almost immediately due to her narration in the book you step into Mercy's perception of LA in the 1920s and the juxtaposition of her Brahmin upbringing and the "real world". The narration is perfectly timed.
Mercy's concern for Barbara Ann is so touching. Mercy has been so sheltered and protected all of her life that she is just heartbroken that Barbara Ann has been left alone without anyone to care for her. Often due to the writing, I would find myself wanting people to help her more. I became involved in the story.
I immediately started listening to the second book in this series.
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