The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith

Light-Hearted Amateur Sleuthing

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith is a marvellous historical novel and the first book in the Poppy Denby Investigates series. It is set in 1920 as Britain is recovering from WWI and then a flu epidemic. The 1920’s promises to be a glorious new decade but for some there are old crimes to solve.

With her heart set on being a reporter, Poppy Denby seems to just fall into amateur sleuthing. Her reporter’s nose spots when things are not quite right. She sets her sights on righting the wrongs of the past. The Jazz Files is very reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.

The theme of the story surrounds the suffragettes. They were treated abominably and still seem to be being pursued. Historical details merge with fiction to produce a cracking story.

There are some difficult to read scenes set inside an asylum. Once committed it was nigh on impossible to get out. It was also a place to ‘lose’ unwanted female family members who were seen as a nuisance.

A female camaraderie runs throughout the novel. These women are strong characters and not easily put down as they have a will to survive.

Money seems to talk and to corrupt as characters try to change how history will view them.

The Jazz Files was a perfect afternoon’s reading. It would translate beautifully into television viewing – any producers out there please take note.

I am now going to move onto book two in the series.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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