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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Murder Between The Lines by Radha Vatsal

Part of a series which I did not know about, this book was a good stand alone one which did not detract from its story or the series.

Set at the very end of 1915 and going into January of 1916 it depicts an era of change in America like it was all around the world especially for women. We have Kitty Weeks employed as a journalist, but in her father's eyes it is more or less a hobby. He wanted her to do this job without pay as she did not need the money at all and for Kitty it was more about asserting herself as an independent woman more than anything else. There was no vote for women as yet, the suffrage movement was just picking up and the position of women in public life was almost nil.

Kitty's assignment is Westfield Hall a prestigious school for girls, forward thinking for their times and supportive of girls higher education. A student found frozen to death supposedly whilst sleep walking makes an enquiry necessary but Kitty is not sure that all is what it seems. There seems to be a cover up from several people including most strangely the girl's parents themselves. That Elspeth was herself of a scientific bent of mind and was trying to disprove a theory re batteries involving the Navy Yard and the new ships being built were all pointers to Kitty that a conspiracy was afoot. Big names are involved with lucrative contracts involved and Kitty puts her investigative journalistic skills to play to uncover what actually happened. A second death under very mysterious circumstances adds to the intensity of the story.

Apart from the actual mystery, the story highlighted American politics in the White House of the time. President Wilson was in the White House and he did not seem progressive at all! there were strong women lobbying for women's rights but they would have a long way to go before they were successful. These stories added much interest to the book.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Sourcebooks, Landmark.