A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal

May 4, 2016 2016, B, book rating, Cloak & Dagger Mystery Reading Challenge, Goodreads, NetGalley, Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge, New Release Challenge, Reading Challenges, reviews 4

a-front-page-affair-radha-vatsalA Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal
Series: Kitty Weeks Mystery series #1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting:New York City, 1915
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: May 3)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
336 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: New York City, 1915

The Lusitania has just been sunk, and headlines about a shooting at J.P. Morgan’s mansion and the Great War are splashed across the front page of every newspaper. Capability “Kitty” Weeks would love nothing more than to report on the news of the day, but she’s stuck writing about fashion and society gossip over on the Ladies’ Page―until a man is murdered at a high society picnic on her beat.

Determined to prove her worth as a journalist, Kitty finds herself plunged into the midst of a wartime conspiracy that threatens to derail the United States’ attempt to remain neutral―and to disrupt the privileged life she has always known.

Initial impressions

  • A very good story about a young woman who wants to be a serious journalist. And she’s excited when she gets entangled in a murder investigation!

The story

  • Capability “Kitty” Weeks who is 19 years old works for the Ladies page at the Sentinel newspaper in New York City. She dreams of being a “real” journalist, but women aren’t allowed in the newsroom.
  • She and her father have recently moved to NYC. Her father has always traveled all over the world and Kitty did that, too, until her father sent her to boarding school in Switzerland.
  • Kitty is sent to cover a society Fourth of July party for the newspaper. While she’s there one of the guests is murdered in the stables.
  • Because she was at the scene the newspaper has her working with a reporter to give color for the story. Kitty wants to do more though.

Pluses

  • I love Kitty’s first name–“Capability.” She usually uses the nickname “Kitty” instead, but her father still calls her Capability!
  • I like how realistically history is woven into the story. For example, the Lusitania sinking brings the United States closer to war. The author uses real events very cleverly to create action in her book.
  • Kitty was very close to her father in the past when she was a little girl, but now she doesn’t feel like she knows him. He doesn’t want to talk to her very much and even though he has supported her working at the newspaper it’s only part-time. The rest of the time he expects her to run the household. Kitty wonders about her father’s secretiveness and what he’s involved in.
  • Kitty’s father is wealthy, but it’s not the “old” wealth of New York. He’s not much interested in society. Even though Kitty has a few society friends she’s not really part of their world.
  • Kitty grows up a lot during the course of the book. She finds out she has to look below the surface for the truth about much of her life.
  • The mystery is well done and more complex than appears at first sight.

Minuses

  • Kitty has a lot of freedom. Her father doesn’t know where she is a lot of the time. As long as she’s home to supervise his meals he’s happy. I’m not sure this was the norm for young, single women at this time. It does work for the story, however.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I’m looking forward to the next book in this series!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Radha Vatsal grew up in Mumbai, India, and came to the United States to attend boarding school when she was sixteen. She has stayed here ever since. Her fascination with the 1910s began when she studied women filmmakers and action-film heroines of silent cinema at Duke University, where she earned her Ph.D. from the English Department. A Front Page Affair is her first novel. Radha lives in New York City.

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4 Responses to “A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal”

  1. Katherine

    I haven’t read this one but I think I would enjoy it! I love this time period and this blurb definitely caught my attention. Plus the cover is so eye catching! I’m glad this really worked for you. I can see where Kitty’s freedom would be questionable but I don’t think that would keep me from enjoying this one either. Definitely adding to the TBR.
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  2. Danya

    I’ve been very into historical fiction of all sub-genres lately, but some of those series are quite long and intimidating. Cue this book – hooray! A plucky young journalist who has to prove her mettle in a man’s world? I’m sold! If it is anything even remotely like Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (the TV show, which I’ve been watching on Netflix) then I’m sure I’ll love it. 🙂
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