Grace in the Wings: A 1920's Grace Michelle Murder Mystery (Grace Michelle Mysteries Book 1) by Kari Bovee

Bones of the Redeemed review - HERE
Folly at the Fair review - HERE
Grace in Hollywood Review - HERE!

Synopsis - 

New York City, 1920. Grace Michelle has everything she wants: a home, a family, and a future career as a costume designer for famed showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.’s Ziegfeld Follies. Pretty good for a girl who once lived on the streets of New York City. But when her sister, Sophia, the star of the show, is murdered, Grace’s safe and protected life is shattered.

Battle-scarred by the war and emotionally scarred by his past, Chet Riker has made it a practice to keep his distance from others; love, after all, leads only to pain. But Chet has a problem—a big one: he’s become indebted to mob-boss Joe Marciano in an attempt to save his estranged mother’s life, and Marciano wants him to pay up or else. Desperate to get the money, he contacts former client Florenz Ziegfeld for work.

Soon, Chet finds himself playing bodyguard for introverted Grace, who has reluctantly agreed to be Ziegfeld’s new leading lady—on the condition that Ziegfeld promises to find Sophia’s killer. Upon meeting Grace, Chet quickly finds his hardened theory that love equals pain tested. Grace, meanwhile, is swept up in a life she never wanted as the Follies’ star, and as the pawn in a series of publicity stunts during a transcontinental train trip to California that puts her life at risk. Who would want her and Sophia dead? Together, she and Chet must confront publicity-hungry Florenz Ziegfeld, power-driven Joe Marciano, and their own pasts to find Sophia’s killer—and let themselves love once again.

Review - 

One of the previous books I read by this author - Folly at the Fair - was also a fiction story wrapped around a bit of real history. When using this approach you have the freedom of writing a fictional murder mystery, but also have to do your research to make sure you portray the time, the characters, the places and they way they behave as accurately as possible. It's not easy, but when well done like here, it creates a great atmosphere.  

This story has a lot of elements to juggle - orphan sisters taken in by Ziegfield (Sophia to become a star and her younger sister Grace to become a costume designer), the burden of old debts, the death Sophia after she weds and moves to the west coast, a distraught Grace looking for the truth (murder or suicide) and forced to try to fill her sister's shoes on the stage (something she never wanted),  a handsome detective named Chet, difficult backstage jealousies, scary interactions with the mob, a trip across the country offering a chance to continue the story in different settings and experience more of the time, a disastrous opening night, a kidnapping and a blossoming love.  WHEW! 

All through this, we look for answers and hope for the best.  Against all odds, will Grace and Chet survive the threats surrounding them, will they find happiness together, and what really did happen to Sophia! 

Note - There is one very violent, disturbing chapter in this book where a woman is beaten and keeps coming back for more.  Outside of that chapter, the violence gets a lighter hand and is only what is required to tell the story. 
Buy the book: Amazon ~ Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author - 

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels.

An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and won First in Category in the International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards. It was also a finalist in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings won First in Category for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards. Peccadillo at the Palace won Grand Prize in the 2019 Goethe Awards, and was a finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category.

Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram
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  1. Replies
    1. It was fun and light and easy to read. I always label books like this great escapist literature. And love that I can sleep after - something not true of all mystery books I read.

  2. I love this cover! So pretty. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I think it's amazing too. And it's an easy fun read. I have a review for book 2 in this series coming out soon so check back.

  3. I love the 1920's. I can't wait to read this book.

    1. It really was a fun era to set a murder mystery in. And book 2 in the series - Grace in Hollywood takes the same characters and lands them out west. I enjoyed them both.


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