Stephanie Morrill, author of the Ellie Sweet series, pens her first young adult mystery, set during the Jazz Age, a time of citywide corruption due to the gangsters and when women’s rights were changing.
In The Lost Girl of Astor Street, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail is convinced the police aren’t looking in the right place after the disappearance of her best friend, Lydia. Friends since childhood, motherless Piper begins her own investigation into Lydia’s disappearance. Both girls grew up in Chicago’s affluent neighborhoods under the expectations of what life that means.
Daughter of a well-known mobster attorney, Piper’s search for the truth takes her to some unsavory neighborhoods. But a handsome Italian policeman – Detective Mariano Cassano – is determined to keep her safe and find the answers to Lydia’s disappearance. As she discovers more about her father’s profession and connections in the city, she questions the detective’s family’s relationship with her father. Is she willing to risk her life to dig deeply enough to uncover the truth? Where do Mariano’s loyalties lie? Is his interest in her genuine?
Morrill delivers a gutsy, intelligent heroine, a twisting mystery plot, and descriptive historical details (the Roaring Twenties!). The faith element is light and the relationships are clean. The Lost Girl of Astor Street engages the reader from the beginning, keeping one’s attention until the very end. Piper embodies the changes that young women are facing in the Roaring 20s, changing freedoms and restrictions. With its descriptive narratives and well-developed characters, readers will clamor for more mysteries staring this intrepid amateur sleuth.
Recommended for public and school libraries for high school, young adults — and even adults who enjoy a historical mystery.
Carol R. Gehringer
–reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2017.
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.