Yesterday was my Instagram tour date, and now it’s time share my review 🙂
Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the free copy in exchange for my honest review.
A DANGEROUS DUET – Karen Odden (out now!)
This dazzling new Victorian mystery from USA Today bestselling author Karen Odden introduces readers to Nell Hallam, a determined young pianist who stumbles upon the operations of a notorious—and deadly—crime ring while illicitly working as the piano player in a Soho music hall. Perfect for readers of Tasha Alexander, Anne Perry, and Deanna Raybourn.
Nineteen-year-old Nell Hallam lives in a modest corner of Mayfair with her brother Matthew, an inspector at Scotland Yard. An exceptionally talented pianist, she aspires to attend the Royal Academy; but with tuition beyond their means, Nell sets out to earn the money herself—by playing piano in a popular Soho music hall. And the fact that she will have to disguise herself as a man and slip out at night to do it doesn’t deter her.
Spending evenings at the Octavian is like entering an alternate world, one of lively energy, fascinating performers, raucous patrons—and dark secrets. And when Nell stumbles upon the operations of an infamous crime ring working in the shadows of the music hall, she is drawn into a conspiracy that stretches the length of London. To further complicate matters, she has begun to fall for the hall owner’s charismatic son, Jack, who has secrets of his own.
The more Nell becomes a part of the Octavian’s world, the more she risks the relationships with the people she loves. And when another performer is left for dead in an alley as a warning, she realizes her future could be in jeopardy in more ways than one.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars!
If you’re a fan of historical fiction with some mystery elements, then this is the next book for you! A DANGEROUS DUET is set in Victorian England – which is a time period I know many readers are fond of – and Odden does an incredible job transporting the reader there. Absorbing and atmospheric, you’ll find yourself captivated with Nell’s story.
Nell is nineteen and a very talented pianist. She desperately wants to attend the Royal Academy, but she and her brother cannot afford to send her there. This is when she decides to take things into her own hands and get the money herself. Landing a job as a pianist at the Octavian music hall seems to be just what she needs, even if it means disguising herself as a man.
Nell is exposed to a world completely different than her own. She gets to interact with unusual and lively patrons, unique performers, and as with any part of society, dark secrets. With some performers being left for dead outside the music hall and others turning up dead, Nell quickly realizes that the Octavian may have ties to an infamous crime ring that could put her in harm’s way.
This book seemed to have a little bit of everything. Historical setting, mystery, deception, crime rings, family secrets, and a passion for music. Growing up I learned to play the piano (and took lessons for around 8 years), and I can still read music to this day, so this was fun for me to read! The plot has portions where it does heavily focus on her music and her passion for the piano, but I don’t see it being slow or overwhelming for those without a musical background.
Overall, I think this was very well written with relatable characters. The author set the scene perfectly and there’s just enough mystery to keep the pace up! I would definitely recommend this to those looking for a lighter mystery novel or to those that enjoy historical fiction.
About the Author:
KAREN ODDEN received her PhD in English literature from New York University and has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She currently serves as an assistant editor for the academic journal Victorian Literature and Culture. Her debut novel, A Lady in the Smoke, was a USA Today bestseller.
Where to Purchase a Copy: