Monday, December 26, 2016

Chicago in the 30s

Henrietta Von Harmon is young and desperately trying to help her widowed mother raise nine children in the 1930s. A Girl Like You, written by Michelle Cox, captures the difficult times Americans faced after the Depression.

To earn money, 17 she works as a 26 Girl at Poor Pete's, then she decides she can make more money as a taxi dancer at the Promenade. Although she knows her mother would be angry about her job, she takes it anyway and pretends to be working the third shift at the electric factory.

Taxi dancers are pretty girls who dance with men who come to the ballroom. The matron, Mama Leone, runs a tight ship so there is no hanky panky unless she gets a cut. Henrietta doesn't have any desire to be involved with that so she just dances and flirts with the men, encouraging them to buy drinks. One evening Henrietta meets a handsome, aloof man who asks her many questions. She is sure he is a cop, but he just laughs.

The next night Henrietta learns Mama Leone has been stabbed to death and who should be
investigating, but her dancing partner. He is Inspector Clive Howard and he tells her the Promenade is closed. Panicked by this news Henrietta is determined to find another job, when Inspector Howard asks her to work undercover for the police at a more unsavory club, The Marlowe. Not sure she wants to be that adventuresome, Henrietta decides to audition as an usherette at the Club and gets the job.

Throughout the book there is a strong sense of foreboding and the reader fears for Henrietta, especially as she blindly decides she want to be a"white feather" girl without really know what the game is.

This is the first in the series by Michelle Cox and I hope the next book is as exciting.

Do you want to hold this book in your hands or in your e-reader?  Click here for that!

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