Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014, 8:36 am
Who is Odalie Lazar? Intrigue, dark humor and mistaken identitity in this bathtub gin-fueled noir mystery will keep you guessing until the very end!
When it comes to reading mysteries, my tastes usually lean towards darker stories that have a little bit of humor (I love a good Hitchcock film!). The Other Typist, debut novel of Suzanne Rindell, was a perfect fit for my tastes. The first half of the book can be best described as a "romp" through the smoke-filled speakeasies of 1923 New York. The ordinary Ms. Rose Baker spends her days as a typist in a dingy police precinct and her nights at an equally dingy boarding house. Her life seems pretty standard, until Odalie arrives.
This book, told from Rose's point of view, perfectly captures the excitement and intrigue of the early 1920s. It is fun to follow along with her as she comes out of her shell with Odalie, when having a good time meant sneaking around to underground parties, dancing the night away and evading the law. However, an early twist in the plot reveals that Rose is telling us her story from the confines of an asylum. So who do we believe as several threads begin to unravel?
As a special note, the audiobook version is performed by actress Gretchen Mol. If you're a fan of the era, you may know her from Boardwalk Empire, Sweet and Lowdown or Cradle Will Rock. She lends just the right lilt of humor and ferocity to Rose; her narration is spot on!