I received this book for free from Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn
Series: Julia Kydd #1
Published by Lake Union Publishing
Genres: Adult, Historical, Mystery
Read in: July 2019
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads
Source: Lake Union Publishing
Add to: Goodreads
In 1920s New York, the price of a woman’s independence can be exorbitant—even fatal.
In 1924 Manhattan, women’s suffrage is old news. For sophisticated booklover Julia Kydd, life’s too short for politics. With her cropped hair and penchant for independent living, Julia wants only to launch her own new private press. But as a woman, Julia must fight for what’s hers—including the inheritance her estranged half brother, Philip, has challenged, putting her aspirations in jeopardy.
When her friend’s sister, Naomi Rankin, dies suddenly of an apparent suicide, Julia is shocked at the wealthy family’s indifference toward the ardent suffragist’s death. Naomi chose poverty and hardship over a submissive marriage and a husband’s control of her money. Now, her death suggests the struggle was more than she could bear.
Julia, however, is skeptical. Doubtful of her suspicions, Philip proposes a glib wager: if Julia can prove Naomi was in fact murdered, he’ll drop his claims to her wealth. Julia soon discovers Naomi’s life was as turbulent and enigmatic as her death. And as she gets closer to the truth, Julia sees there’s much more at stake than her inheritance… - via GoodReads
I agreed to read Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn because it is set in the 1920s in the United States and frankly there just is not enough of this time period in my opinion. The fact that it was a mystery as well only added to the appeal.
I’m not going to lie, it took me longer than I would have liked to get into Relative Fortunes. It was a very slow start and there were a lot of small references that I just didn’t understand. I feel like the reader would really need to know more about the 1920s to understand some of the references BUT it didn’t effect my understanding of the story. I just didn’t want to stop to look up references.
Then there was Philip. Man was that guy just downright annoying. I know that’s how we’re supposed to feel about him but I hate hating on any character in a book, even the love to hate characters. And boy did I hate Philip. I can’t really get into much about him without giving away key points in the story.
I really did enjoy this book. I know up until that line it sounds like I didn’t but the previous paragraphs are my only two complaints. Once I was in the story, I was in. I finished half of the book in two days when the first half took me over a week. Julia had grown on me during the first half and I found her to be a fantastic heroine throughout the course of the book.
The case Julia was trying to solve was pretty intricate and the timing of everything was perfect. I honestly did not have this one figured out at ALL. If you’ve read any of my other mystery reviews you know that I love nothing more than a mystery that I can’t solve before the reveal. Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn did that for me. I hadn’t figured out the motive or the culprit until Julia revealed all.
I saw that this was the first in what will now be a series and even though book two won’t release until 2020, it is definitely on my list of books to look forward to!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 GoodReads