*originally published 05/03/2016
A FRONT PAGE AFFAIR (A Kitty Weeks Mystery: #1) Written by Radha Vatsal
2016; 336 Pages (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Genre: mystery, historical, fiction
(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)
It is 1915, New York and the latest headlines in the paper scream about the sinking of the Lusitania, as well as, the shooting of J.P. Morgan in his mansion. Capability “Kitty” Weeks wants to be a journalist and write big headlines for newspapers. Currently, she is assisting the Editor of the Lady’s Page on writing about fashion, gossip and parties. While on her next assignment, to a Fourth of July party, Kitty ends up in the middle of a murder in high society.
Kitty jumps into the case to prove her worth as a journalist but doesn’t realize all that goes into trying to follow the clues. In this case the clues are leading to a bigger picture as the war in Europe is trying to break the American’s neutrality. As Kitty delves deeper into who killed Hunter Cole she also gets herself closer to danger.
Two things right off the bat – what a gorgeous cover! It is a cover that will make you pick this book up. The other thing that you will notice a chapter into the novel is that Vatsal has done her research. The setting of the book is wonderfully done. While the main characters and story is fictional, much surrounding the fiction is historical fact. There are few people and events I have highlighted and want to Wikipedia and Google about later. I enjoyed this book but the mystery ran a bit away from me. It started off like a cozy historical mystery and went into a bit of espionage like Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope series. I am wondering if the series will be more of a mystery or intrigue. I enjoyed the characters in the novel but they still seem a bit aloof to the reader. I feel like we get more about history and war that we lose out on the feeling the characters. I do like the characterization of Kitty, as it is a very realistic view of a young woman trying to find herself and her way. I see great potential for this character growing, and can see this series getting tighter. Often at times with the first book in the series, as well as being a debut, it shows a glimmer what is to come. I am sold and will be patiently waiting for the next book. Oh, and the other thing I found interesting – in a good way – there was no in your face love story/interest. We meet a young woman finding herself, and Vatsal sticks to that!