Murder at the Flamingo
A cozy mystery, an historic romance, a literary novel. Murder at the Flamingo is all three. Though no specific date is given, the setting is the late 30’s in historic Boston, MA. The roaring 20’s are past and WW II has not yet started – perhaps a tiny blip on some prognosticator's radar.
Both Reggie Van Buren and Hamish “Cicero” DeLuca had left home and arrive in Boston to be mentored by Luca Valari as he opens the newest dance hall in the city of Boston. He too is running from a past that he wants others to forget and to never discover.
The first half of the book is mostly focused on developing the characters and setting that will define the second half of the book. The reader will have reader will have gotten through more than half the book before finding Mary Finn, the cigarette girl, dead at the bottom of the basement stairs. From their Reggie and Hamish will take it upon themselves to put together the puzzle pieces together, much like classic murder mysteries that Reggie so enjoyed in the cinema of the day. Hamish would find similar encouragement in his favorite book, Hugo’s The Hunchback of Norte Dame.
At times the book was a slow read – especially in the first half as characters and settings are being developed. But the conclusion comes to a relatively satisfying conclusion, except for the uncertain relationship between the friendship and romance that Hamish and Reggie are developing. One might hope that McMillan might be persuaded to write a second or third novel based around the new company these two have developed as a result of their work together in discovering those involved in the murder of Mary Finn.
Sadly, for this reader, the role of faith coming from this book Christian Publisher Thomas Nelson is not to be seen other than in the historic views of and from the Old North Church of Paul Revere’s fame. On the other hand, the discussion questions included as an appendix will help the believer in examining his or her faith using the key story points of the book.
The book is recommended as a great cozy mystery, historic romance, or literary novel – not for inclusion in a church library.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.