On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
I am breaking my #FlashbackFriday rules. This book was just released back in May, and I try to only include books from the prior year or earlier on these Fridays, but this book which I only had in hardcover and not from NetGalley was truly screaming at me from the shelf. Almost every time I added a book to the shelf this book caught my eye. Last week it actually fell from the shelf and I don’t know why. So I figured I had better squeeze it in somewhere and I am glad I did.
Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River (A Girl Friday Mystery)
Historical Mystery/Female Sleuth
2nd in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (May 2, 2023)
Hardcover : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 163910268X
ISBN-13 : 978-1639102686
Kindle ASIN : B0B8GF9H1Q
1950, New York. Viviana Valentine–Girl Friday turned partner to New York’s top investigator, Tommy Fortuna–is drawn into a sordid new case when Buster Beacon, a wealthy man of science, beckons them to a party at his mansion north of the city. There, Buster entertains blue-blooded friends as well as investors keen to make a dollar on the many advancements made in his home laboratory, but he’s been hearing strange noises in the night coming from his expansive estate, and he doesn’t know who to trust.
Once Viviana and Tommy arrive, the party is snowed in. And suddenly, there is a dead body and nowhere to hide. Who killed the disguised federal agent in their midst? And how have details from the top-secret lab become public? Once chomping at the bit to be brought into this mysterious life, Viviana wonders if she’s ready for the risks that come with the territory—risks that rise treacherously high as the killer targets the next victim.
Viviana Valentine is now New York’s top investigator, Tommy Fortuna’s partner and she is excited about their new case. Buster Beacon has become rich from his scientific knowledge and inventions. He welcomes many of his well-to-do friends to his estate in a quest to obtain more money for his research and advancements. He promises they will make money in the future if they just invest now. He has a problem though, he has heard some weird noises during the night, and no matter how many people help him search they can’t figure out where the noises are coming from. He has hired Tommy and Viviana to move in and find the source of the confusing sounds.
Shortly after Viviana and Tommy join Mr. Beacon and his various guests at his estate a huge snowstorm moves in leaving everyone at the estate snowed in. Then one of the guests is murdered. They know that one of them is a killer but there is no way out. Now, Tommy and Vivianna are not only tracking the source of the strange noises but more importantly, a murderer.
Is Viviana really cut out to be a top investigator? or will her snooping make her the killer’s next victim?
A classic locked-room mystery leaves Tommy and Viviana with their hands full. Posing as an engaged couple they try to solve the crime. This brings out an interesting and funny side of both characters. Vivana knows just how to get to Tommy as only she can. Their interactions are so entertaining. She is also very smart, sassy, and determined to solve the case and isn’t above a little flirting to get the answers she needs. Their new secretary, Tallulah Blackstone, who was featured in the first book is the one that set up the meeting between Buster Beacon, Tommy, and Vivianna, but then she really dropped the ball. She doesn’t really need to work so she didn’t. It was another woman from the boarding house where Viviana lives who really stepped up to help the snowed-in couple get some details they needed. I did like that while the main characters were away they still touched base back to the women at the boarding house.
The mystery was full of twists and turns. Beacon’s mansion was a character itself with its hidden rooms and staircases. Add to that every guest had some kind of secret or they weren’t who they said they were. At times it felt like Tommy and Viviana were going in circles but not in a bad way, they were just trying everything they could to ascertain the truth from a bunch of obstinate people who were trying to last long enough to get the bridge fixed and the snow cleared so they could get the heck out of there before they were accused or proven guilty. I enjoyed the pursuit very much.
Ms. Edwards’ words pulled me right into the story. Her detailed descriptions of the weather, the mansion, Buster Beacon, and his guests enhanced my enjoyment of the story. The author has a firm grasp of the life and times of the 1950s with appropriate slang, idioms, fashion, and more. Like the first book, Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man, I had vivid images in my mind, just like watching a noir film.
Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River is a great follow-up to Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man. I really like Vivianna and would probably follow her anywhere even into an old spooky house with a murderer. She is a fun female sleuth and I am excited to see what kind of investigation she gets wrapped up in next. Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock will be released on November 7, 2023.
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About the Author
Emily J. Edwards is the author of the Girl Friday series. She earned her degree in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College and took the long road to becoming an author, working for over a decade as a wine and spirits journalist, radio producer, and podcaster. She currently lives with her husband and several quadrupeds in Connecticut.
Thanks to the publisher I have 1 hardcover copy of
Viviana Valentine Goes Up The River to Give Away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”