Before I start, I should probably warn you. I am going to eulogise about this book. Unashamedly, unreservedly, full-on rave about it.
Firstly, it is part of the Mirabelle Bevan series. If you are not yet familiar with Mirabelle, this is important because she is elusive, attractive, witty and sharp. She is the kind of woman that men are intimidated by and she utilises her wily charms to wheedle out the facts she needs from men she encounters. I want to be like her. Infact, scrap that-I want to BE her.
Set in London in 1952, London Calling is the second book in the Mirabelle series. When a beautiful debutante mysteriously vanishes from a jazz club, saxophonist Lindon Claremont is the number one suspect. A childhood friend of Vesta, Mirabelle's sidekick, the women are determined to find out the truth and clear Lindon's name. We are sucked into the underground music scene and exposed to alluring secret drinking dens and caddish jazz musicians. As a fan of this era, Sara Sheridan does a fantastic job of representing post war London as a buzzing city high on promise and hope.
Delightful old-fashioned mystery stories in the same vein as Agatha Christie's classic 'Miss Marple' books, the Mirabelle books are intriguing and beguiling whilst never drifting into uncomfortable violence or unnecessarily graphic scenes. London Calling does not disappoint, and I found myself wishing that it was longer-always a promising sign! Infact, I was devastated when I finished the book and immediately tweeted the author asking when the next book will be out (unfortunately, not until 2014).
Well written and thought provoking, heart wrenching and thoroughly entertaining, Sheridan's evocative writing style will appeal to both those interested in the 1950s and the 'cosy crime' genre. Vivid, likeable characters add to the appeal, complimented by a highly readable plot. Pure escapist reading which makes me nostalgic for a time I never knew.
Bravo Sara Sheridan, bravo Mirabelle Bevan. More!
With thanks to Polygon for providing me with a review copy of London Calling. You can find out more about Sara Sheridan by tweeting her, @sarasheridan.
Brighton Belle, the first Mirabelle Bevan book is free via iTunes at the time of writing. Try it!