“Murder, She Encountered” by Peg Cochran is book number three in the Murder, She Reported series. It was released on December 3, 2019.
I have had the pleasure of reading book two in this series- “Murder, She Uncovered” and you can click here to read my thoughts on that book.
Murder… World’s Fair Style
Elizabeth “Biz” Adams is still finding herself in this world as we catch up with her roaming the popular World’s Fair hosted in NYC in 1939. This time my favorite newspaper photographer is closer to the action and danger than ever before. There is a murderer on the loose and even your pantyhose won’t safe you. In fact they could very well be used to kill you. Just ask the poor dead girl who was found with a pair choking the life out of her around her neck. Okay, obviously you cannot expect an answer but you get what I am saying here.
She’s got Leggs… who knew we didn’t always get to use them?
One of the things I love about historical fiction of any kind is the way in which I gain a greater appreciation for things that I absolutely do not appreciate in my everyday life.
A perfect example would be pantyhose. I used to laugh at those Leggs commercials with ladies doing unthinkable things in unthinkably uncomfortable control top pantyhose.
I have groaned and pouted over using clear nail polish to stop a run from making me look like I had been in a streetfight and never knew things could be far worse for me had I been born before nylon became a thing. Perhaps our struggles are not as bad as we think. Biz and her friends seemed to have had horrible trials with stockings and I envy them not.
Visiting the future while hanging out in the past
The World’s Fair actually sounded pretty neat. I loved seeing their take on what the future would hold. Unfortunately I don’t think it turned out nearly as great as they imagined. I am still waiting to buy this talking robot who compliments women that they were advertising. My husband would be totally free of me fishing for compliments and how can that be a bad thing?
Beyond the fair Liz was still living her pretty fabulous Park Avenue princess life. Full of galas and champagne and awful gelatin based foods like Perfection Salad prepared by her maid.
Mind you when I looked up Perfection Salad it seemed less like perfection and more like a living, possibly breathing, blob of imperfection.
It made me really appreciate the historical accuracy that the author puts into this series. People actually enjoyed this and some people still make it for special occasions even today. I am not one to judge anyones culinary choices, I am not even a picky eater, but this looks like a hard no to me. But again, I love that the author keeps it real.
Classism still stands…
Biz is really coming to the end of the road with her family situation and I really love seeing her grow as a person. She is still very much a young wealthy woman, quick to notice when someone is pretending to be rich while wearing worn down heels. She may be a working woman which is unheard of for people of her class but you can tell she smell a poor person from a block away.
This doesn’t keep her from venturing into some pretty dark places such as Hells Kitchen. Biz becomes brave enough to even brave such journeys on her own. She finds herself sitting in apartments with drunkards, worn furniture and threadbare bedspreads all to get a good scoop for her newspaper.
We also get to find out what challenges face Biz’s love life as she continues to date her police detective boyfriend, in spite of her parents disapproval. Normally I do not care for romances within cozy mysteries. I have no idea why they seem to go hand in hand with this genre. If I wanted to read a romance there is certainly no shortage of them on the market for me to explore. However this romance is not heavy handed or in your face and I greatly appreciate that. Her romance also touches upon the challenges of classism within the world of the haves and the have nots. And in the end I am rooting for love to win out above it all.
Murder, She Encountered serves up another solid entry into this lovable historical cozy mystery series. Biz Adams is back on the beat at the World’s Fair and not only is her account entertaining but also very informative.
The author never ceases to amaze me with her ability to convey the various elements of the 1930s era with great descriptions of clothing and the wonders of things we take for granted today such as nylon pantyhose. I really loved how those pantyhose were used as a murder weapon that eventually could tie everything together.
The mystery itself is a solid one and the conclusion was about as realistic as it could be. Biz is nobody’s superhero and I sincerely love that about her. Newspaper photography has never been so exciting as when I see it through her eyes.
Thank you to the publishers for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review.