Monday, November 16, 2020

Book Review: "The Boy in the Red Dress" by Kristin Lambert

The Boy in the Red Dress is a fun, unique, and compelling story about living your life on your own terms—and trying to protect your friends.

It’s New Year’s Eve in New Orleans in 1929. Millie is running her aunt’s speakeasy while she is out of town. Everyone has come to the Cloak and Dagger to see Marion Leslie perform. This “boy in the red dress” is a consummate performer and Millie’s best friend.

That night, though, a young socialite is showing people an old picture of Marion and asking questions. Seeing her has truly upset Marion, as it reminds him of an earlier, horrible time in his life. But he’s also angry that this woman has shown up and he wants her to leave.

Before the clock strikes midnight, the woman is found dead outside the club. It appears she was pushed off a balcony, and her friends immediately accuse Marion of her murder. But Millie knows he couldn’t possibly be guilty, even if the police want nothing more than to accuse a boy who dresses as a woman to be punished.

Determined to clear his name, Millie starts her own investigation. She uncovers secrets, blackmail, illicit love affairs, and people bent on keeping her from the truth, but she doesn’t care. She’ll stop at nothing to figure out what happened, even if it puts her in danger.

As she mounts her own investigation, she has to deal with her own conflicted feelings between Olive, a young waitress at the club, and Bennie, the handsome bootlegger. But romance has to take a back seat until she finds the real killer.

I enjoyed this book tremendously. Despite the time period, I love how the book never made a big deal about anyone’s sexuality or how they choose to live. Millie is a conflicted teenage girl unsure of what her heart wants, but she will fight to protect anyone who tries to hurt someone she cares about.

This was a great story, so well-told and poignant at times. I loved these characters and would love to see another book with them!

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