Minotaur Books, 2017
Crime Fiction (Cozy); 304 pgs
Source: E-Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley
Former socialite Lola Woodby, not-so-discreet private eye in Prohibtion-era New York City, along with her grim Swedish sidekick, Berta, take on a piece-of-cake job: retrieving a rhinoceros trophy from the Connecticut mansion of big game hunter Rudy Montgomery. After all, their client, Lord Sudley, promises them a handsome paycheck, and the gin and tonics will be free. But no sooner do they arrive at Montgomery Hall than Rudy is shot dead with a houseful of suspicious characters standing by. Lord Sudley ups the ante, and Lola and Berta take the case. Armed with handbags stuffed with emergency chocolate, gin flasks, and a Colt .25, Lola and Berta are swiftly embroiled in a madcap puzzle of stolen diamonds, family secrets, a clutch of gangsters, and a flapper who knows her way around a safari rifle.
Gin and Panic is my first foray with the Discreet Retrieval Agency cozy mysteries, although the third book in the actual series. I admit to not being sure what to think when I first started reading Gin and Panic. Retrieving a rhinoceros head for a client wasn’t the most appealing start. However, the more I read, the more I invested in the novel I became. Lola and Berta are quite the private eye pair. Set in the roaring twenties, it is easy to see how these two women fit into it—no one taking them seriously enough, which only gives them more of an advantage.
The mystery itself was twisty and fun. Just when you think it is going to go one way, it goes another. While I wasn’t surprised by the outcome, I sure had a good time getting there.
It was hard not to laugh my way through this one what with the humor and rather eccentric characters. This mystery had a bit of everything: murder, theft, gangsters, socialites, a con artist radio talk show hosts, romance, and two heroines I couldn’t help but cheer for.
You can learn more about Maia Chance and her books on the author's website. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
© 2017, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.