Thursday, August 11, 2011

30 Days Hath September by Jamie Scarratt

Publisher:                   Blue Feather Books

Red Wolverton couldn't be more different in 1927 if she tried.  She's a female private investigator, dresses like a man and has female lovers.  That last one got her into trouble when she had a fling with a member of Boston's Brahmin society and was caught by the woman's fiancée. Now her reputation has been trashed among the people who can afford to hire her and Red will take any job just so that she can pay her bills.  She certainly can't afford to hire Evadne Davenport, a wealthy widow who is looking for adventure and a chance to be rebellious, but Red agrees to let Evadne work as her secretary on a trial basis.  A stalker case for a man who thinks he's being chased by a monster turns into murder and the women become partners more than employer and employee.  With the way Red is constantly beaten up and nearly killed, she needs someone to cover her back instead of taking dictation. Red isn't sure whether all of the people trying to kill her are connected to the original case or not.  Evadne isn't sure if she's taken on more than she can handle.  They need to stay alive to answer those questions and a mysterious creature is making that difficult.

By choosing to set the story in the 1920s, Scarratt creates a different feeling and environment for this book.  It's almost a throwback to the old murder mysteries popular in the movies in the 1930s and 40s.  It's a strong story that has twists to keep the reader guessing.  What is peculiar or unusual about this book is that Scarratt has a very nice period piece developing and then throws supernatural creatures into the plot.  What was a mystery is suddenly speculative fiction.  It doesn't ruin the story, but does seem odd.  The book could have stood on its own without that factor, but it does make the story even more different.

30 Days Hath September is an interesting story to read.  It seems to lend itself easily to a sequel.  It would be interesting to see how Red and Evadne develop.

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