Reviews

Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare @HQStories @LouRHare @jecca_boyce #MissAldridgeRegrets #LouiseHare #TheClqrt #BookReview #BookBlog

HQ Stories 28th April 2022

Book Description

A dazzling murder mystery from the acclaimed author of This Lovely City.

London, 1936. The Queen Mary

Lena Aldridge is fleeing from danger and heading to New York for her fresh start.

But someone is making manoeuvres behind the scenes, and Lena has been cast in the leading role.

All the players are assembled and there’s only one thing on their mind…

An exquisite 1930s historical murder mystery, with an unforgettable leading lady, set upon a dramatic Atlantic crossing on board the Queen Mary.

Explores class, race and pre-WWII politics whilst packing a huge emotional punch.

Patricia Highsmith meets Agatha Christie meets Nella Larsen’s Passing.

My Thoughts

Firstly huge thanks to Becca at HQ for sending me a proof copy of this book – I may have made a very cheeky request… but read that blurb! Doesn’t this book sound amazing? And if like me you read This Lovely City (review here) then you will know what a superb writer Louise Hare is and what an anticipated book this one is!

Miss Aldridge Regrets is the story of Lena, a nightclub cabaret singer shooting for the stars, with nothing to keep her in London it takes little to persuade her to leave it all behind for the glittering lights of Broadway. Charlie Bacon is a mysterious character, he claims a link with Lena’s late father, the promise of a favour from an old acquaintance is all it takes to get Lena on The Queen Mary sailing toward a new life. That and the murder of her friend’s husband…who wanted to divorce her and who happens to own the London nightclub in which Lena works…

Aboard the ship Charlie is intent that Lena uses the time to network, with the influential and rich Parker / Abernathy family whose table Charlie has managed to squeeze him and Lena on to. What follows is an intriguing murder mystery beginning with the death of one of Lena’s fellow passengers, it looks like murder and terrifyingly for Lena it looks remarkably similar to the death of her aforementioned boss, How could that be?

Told in a then and now format I enjoyed this tale a lot. After a slow start the pace picked up a lot in the second half of the book and I found myself flying through whilst enjoying some sun in the garden. There is much for Lena to regret as it increasingly begins to look like someone is out to get her in this locked room mystery.

With themes of race, wealth and family this well written piece of historical fiction packs a lot between the pages, Lena is an impressive main character, grieving her black father and with no knowledge of her white mother, her pale skin allows her to ‘pass’ to choose between one part of her self in favour of another, but in America she will have to pick sides and for success one side is more promising than the other…

Out now this is a big publication from the mighty HQ Stories and trust me it does not disappoint, if you enjoyed This Lovely City then you won’t be disappointed by this new story. Also for fans of The Vanishing Half or Passing, but Agatha Christie fans, crime fiction aficionados and sofa sleuths will also like this book

About the Author

Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing form Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including This Lovely City and Miss Aldridge Regrets.

Her debut novel, This Lovely City, was featured on the inaugural BBC TWO TV book club show, Between the Covers, and was shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize. Louise was selected for the Observer Top 10 Best Debut Novelists list in 2020, securing her place as an author to watch.

Miss Aldridge Regrets is her second novel.

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