Review of The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith: A Mystery Set in the "Roaring Twenties"

Leah Courtney
The Jazz Files is the first is what I think is going to be a great new series about Poppy Denby, a girl living in London in the 1920s. I quickly fell in love with Poppy and thoroughly enjoyed this mystery, so I'm looking forward to the others.

Review of a mystery novel series

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Poppy Denby moves to London from her small country town at the request of her aunt- a once famous actress and an infamous suffragette in the a time when women were certainly treated as less than men. Poppy thinks she's coming to help care for her aunt who was injured some time ago in a suffragette demonstration. But when she gets to London, she finds out that her aunt really brought her there to be able to find a career and be a "working woman."

Although Poppy is a little hesitant at first, knowing her staunch Methodist parents would object, she's also tired of the same routine and the suffering the country has known from World War 1. She begins looking for a job and- in a strange turn of events- finds herself as a reporter for a major newspaper investigating murders and blackmailing and plots involving the suffragettes that her aunt has been a part of.

Poppy is a very compelling and likable character. She's young and inexperienced in many ways, but she's also adventurous and falls into her new opportunities with enthusiasm. There is a large cast of other characters that are being developed at the same time, and they are also very well-described so that I felt as if I were getting to know them all as Poppy did.

The mystery theme of the book was extremely interesting. This was one I wanted to keep reading and reading and not put down. If I had all the time in the world to read, I probably could have read it in one sitting. It was that interesting.

I loved the setting of The Jazz Files as well. The Roaring Twenties has always been an interesting time period. At the end of the book author Fiona Veitch Smith talks about the places, events, and characters in the book that are based on real life and the ones she's made up.

Just as a disclaimer because I often review Christian fiction: This book is published by Kregel and Poppy is coming to terms with some things spiritually throughout the book. But there is reference to an intimate relationship between two women. There is nothing remotely inappropriate, and the relationship is only hinted at. But it's there- just in case that would bother some readers.

I personally loved this first Poppy Denby novel, and I'm very excited to read more in the series. I give this one 5 stars and a PG rating for content. You can find the book on Kregel here and on Amazon here.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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