Sunday, July 30, 2017

Spirits United by Alice Duncan ****

It's 1924 and Daisy Gumm Majesty's fiance Detective Sam Rotondo has accompanied her to the Pasadena Public Library to resupply her family of voracious readers. This quotidian outing is interrupted by the discovery of a murdered librarian among the biographies.

In addition to being a delightful cozy mystery, Spirits United by Alice Duncan is a well researched historical novel. Of the many library books mentioned, I found the mention of the up and coming Virginia Wolff, Edith Wharton,  and Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb, three of the more interesting.

Daisy is interested in the next presidential election, as that will be her first presidential ballot.

Of the many fashion notes, including lots of different hats, was Daisy approval of all the 1920s fashion except the bust flatteners required by the popular straight-line styles.

Daisy was quite progressive for 1924.
"Sam didn't care much for Harold... a peach of a guy and one of my very best friends... Harold was a homosexual. It wasn't Harold's fault."
"I didn't like the notion of small animals sacrificing their lives so I could wear their fur."
"We knew what married folks did with each other. And I also knew ways to avoid pregnancy until we decided to have children."
There were many cars: Chevrolets, Hudsons, and even a Stutz Bearcat, plus washing machines with wringers, iodine antiseptics, mimeograph machines, and mascara.
"You see, that black strip is the mascara itself... You wet the brush, rub it on the black strip, and then apply the brush to your eyelashes."
This is a delightful cozy mystery with food by Daisy's Aunt Vi, an excellent cook, and the fashions by Daisy herself, an accomplished seamstress. An enjoyable read, highly recommended.

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