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.
Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man: A Girl Friday Mystery
Historical Mystery/Female Sleuth
1st in Series
Setting – New York
Crooked Lane Books (November 8, 2022)
Hardcover : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639101829
ISBN-13 : 978-1639101825
Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639104275
ISBN-13 : 978-1639104277
Kindle ASIN : B09S3L5K6R
New York City, 1950. Viviana Valentine is Girl Friday to the city’s top private investigator, Tommy Fortuna. The clients can be frustrating, and none more maddening than fabulously wealthy Tallmadge Blackstone, who demands Tommy tail his daughter, and find out why she won’t marry his business partner, a man forty years her senior. Sounds like an open-and-shut case for a P.I. known for busting up organized crime—but the next day, Viviana opens the office to find Tommy missing and a lifeless body on the floor.
The cops swoop in and Detective Jake Lawson issues a warrant for Tommy’s arrest. Desperate to clear Tommy’s name, Viviana takes on the Blackstone case herself. When she goes out for a night on the town with the heiress, she begins to learn the secrets behind Tallulah’s headline-grabbing life. Meanwhile, Lawson is itching to solve his murder case, and continues harassing Viviana for answers—until she’s the victim of a series of violent attacks.
But Tommy’s still missing, and Viviana is scared. As she digs into the dirty history of the Blackstone empire, she suddenly realizes the true danger at hand. Now, it’s up to her to find her missing boss and make sure he doesn’t turn up D.O.A.
Viviana Valentine works for the city’s top P.I. Tommy Fortuna as his Girl Friday. His current case is to tail young socialite, Tallulah Blackstone, for her father to see why she hasn’t accepted the marriage proposal from his business partner who just happens to be 40 years older than she is. This should be an easy case. Both Viviana and Tommy are at a party where Tallulah makes an appearance. But the next day Tommy fails to show up at the office and Viviana finds an unconscious man in his office.
When the cops arrive they quickly pin Tommy to the top of the suspect list and Detective Jake Lawson issues a warrant for Tommy’s arrest. With no idea where her boss is Viviana knows she needs to find Tommy but Tallmadge Blackstone wants answers. Detective Lawson is on her tail as well thinking she will lead him to Tommy. So Viviana makes friends with Tallulah at the same time she is working to get a lead on Tommy. When she starts uncovering some dirty deals her life is on the line. Can she keep herself safe and bring Tommy home or will she die trying?
Ms. Edwards catches the 1950s perfect with slang, idioms, fashion, the heat of the city, and all the situations the characters get involved in. It was like watching an old black-and-white movie.
The characters really came to life off the pages. Viviana Valentine is one smart cookie with a determination to find the truth and her boss. I really enjoyed the way she became friends with Tallulah Blackstone. All the girls at the boarding house are friends too. They all cared about each other and worked together to help Viviana. Tommy may be her boss but there is more there too. The author has introduced a nice cast of core characters with a real friendship theme and they developed so nicely over the course of the story.
The mystery was filled with secrets and lies. I enjoyed following along with Viviana and she worked through the clues but took time to have a little bit of fun too. She really took on the life of a private investigator searching out alternate suspects with the right motive. It really was a complicated mystery with a lot of moving parts. I loved when all the clues fell into place and Viviana called a meeting of all the interested parties to out the killer. Again just like an old gumshoe movie.
I appreciate the way the author tells a story and sets the scenes making her readers feel like they are in the middle of the action. Vivianna is a formidable woman an quite a sleuth with a lot on her plate but she doesn’t ever give up.
Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man was a delightfully entertaining read with a strong female protagonist. Ms. Edwards’ words easily allowed me to escape to 1950s New York and I can’t wait to return soon. I have moved Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River up on my TBR stack so I will be ready when Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock comes out in November.
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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.
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Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man 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.”