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100 Pages A Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews

I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way.  I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.

Stanley & Hazel

Stanley & Hazel - Jo Schaffer

Murder Most Foul Square for Halloween Bingo!


St. Louis, 1934- the Great Depression has created a rift, sending most people into a spiral of poverty and accentuating the few rich families of Lindell Boulevard.  The upcoming famed Veiled Prophet Ball is supposed to be a celebration for everyone in the city, but has morphed into a debutante ball where the mysterious prophet chooses his Queen of Love and Beauty.  Hazel Malloy is one of the future debutantes of Lindell Boulevard. Her best friend Sandra's sister was queen last year.  Hazel would much rather go out on the town and watch the latest movie.  It is at the theatre that she meets Stanley, a budding news reporter whose family has been hit by the depression.  Stanley is the leader of the Knights, a group that is trying to help impoverished families.  Stanley insists on walking Hazel home after the movie when they stumble upon a masked man and a murder.  When they see that the woman murdered is Sandra's sister Evelyn, Stanley and Hazel feel compelled to dig deeper and uncover a plot connecting the families of Lindell, the Veiled Prophet and the radical new leader in Germany.
Stanley and Hazel is an adventurous, fast-paced historical murder mystery.  There is a lot going on in this book and it did take a bit of reading to introduce everyone and set the scene.  I really enjoyed Stanley and Hazel's characters and dynamic together.  Stanley is determined to do good with the station he was given and has an immense drive. Hazel is adventurous, intelligent and able to see outside of her world.  The time period of this book made everything more interesting.  The writing was excellent in transporting me to 1930's St. Louis with the differences between the classes of people, the gangs, the baseball games, the movies and manner of speech.  The mystery was excellent; a lot of different elements were incorporated, with different players, danger and unseen forces as well as the ominous rise to power of Hitler overseas. While one mystery is solved at the end, the bigger mystery of the Veiled Prophet remains to be solved in the next book.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.