Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Book Review: The Silver Gun by L. A. Chandlar (Art Deco Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good characters and mystery
Cons: Beginning and ending could be tighter
The Bottom Line:
New historical
Gets off to promising start
Travel back today

Journey Back to 1930’s New York

I claim to enjoy historical fiction and historical mysteries, but I rarely venture outside of a few authors in this sub-genre, so when The Silver Gun crossed my path, I had to give it a chance.  This is the first book in a series set in New York City in 1936, and it was a good debut.

Lane Sanders has been working for New York’s ninety-ninth mayor as his personal assistant for six months.  This is the first time a woman has held this position, just one of the things that Mayor Fiorello “Fio” La Guardia has done to shake up the city.  He’s also working hard to end corruption and fight gangsters, something that has made him plenty of enemies.

So when Lane is accosted by someone at the scene of a fire and given a message for her boss, she assumes it is in retaliation for one of his anti-corruption policies.  But as events proceed, Lane begins to wonder if she is indeed the target instead.  Might her vague memories of her life with her parents hold the key to what is happening now?

The book is good overall.  I got caught up in the story, and wanted to know how everything was going to turn out.  Most of the story was told from Lane’s first person point of view, but the passages that are from a different character’s third person point of view enhance the story and help build the suspense.  The climax definitely kept me turning pages.

Unfortunately, the pacing wasn’t good throughout.  Early on, the author introduced a bit too much, making it hard to get into the story.  I suspected that everything would come into play later on, and it did.  Likewise, the ending wandered a bit, setting up threads that will be followed in the next book.  Neither are necessarily bad, but tighter writing would have helped resolve these problems for me.

Fortunately, we have strong characters all the way through.  They are quite varied, and some of them are a hoot.  I’m not familiar with the time period, so I can’t say with certainty who are real and who are fictional beyond a few obvious ones, although I have my suspicions.  Either way, they blend together on the page perfectly, allowing us to get lost in the time.

And yes, those looking to get a look at life in 1936 will do so.  This isn’t the typical picture we get of life during the Great Depression, but instead, a look at the lives of those who are doing their best to fight against the Great Depression instead of just survive it.  It’s a refreshing change for the time period for sure.

The Silver Gun is a good debut that promises much more to come.  It’s obvious we’ve just scratched the surface of Lane’s story, and anyone who enjoys a good historical mystery will be glad they’ve picked this book up.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book as part of a blog tour.  Check out the other stops today.

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  1. Hi Mark! Thanks so much for writing a great and thorough review. I'm really glad you enjoyed the characters, getting lost in the time, and the different take on the Thirties. I was so inspired by that spirit, we don't hear enough about it. And I read your review about this week's TV shows - and was laughing because I watch a lot of the same shows and I felt THE SAME WAY about Roger in Lethal Weapon. What is the DEAL?! So tired of his buffoonery and the whiney way his marriage is going. Same page on you with Survivor - but I was excited to see Chris and his arrogance go. I HOPE Devou's wife in Flash gets some justice - he's so awful! And Big Bang, love the whole gang and Sheldon's growth. I'd like to see more Kwipke soon:-). Well thank you for a great read this morning, for taking the time and effort to review The Silver Gun, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your week! All the best- Laurie

  2. Thank you for your honest review on "The Silver Gun" by L. A. Chandlar and for being part of the book tour.

    I'd love the opportunity to read this book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. Great review! I love finding new series. This one sounds promising!

  4. Enjoyed the review. Love to find new series to read!! ljbonkoski@yahoo.com

  5. I love the sound of this one and the time period but too bad about the beginning and end. I hope that's just beginning troubles and the next book will be a bit steadier.