It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.
Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
Sepetys follows her debut, Between Shades of Gray, with another taut and charged historical novel, though the setting the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950 is a world apart from that of her previous book. Living and working in a bookshop, 17-year-old Josie Moraine dreams of attending college anything to get away from her mother, a prostitute with Hollywood dreams and a knack for getting involved with the worst men. When Josie becomes involved in a high-profile murder investigation, she becomes even more entrenched in her circumstances. The sensual yet rigidly class-based setting is a real standout, and Sepetys has also built a stellar cast, which includes Willie, a strident but generous madam; Charlie Marlowe, the bookshop's owner; and a pair of potential love interests for Josie. Readers will find Josie irresistible from the get-go ("The only reason I'd lift my skirt is to pull out my pistol and plug you," she tells a guy early on) and will devour the sultry mix of mystery, historical detail, and romance. Ages 14 up.
I love this book so much...it is the perfect mix of drama and mystery. The book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I definitely recommend this book.
The perfect mix of mystery and lifestyle!!
Ruta Sepetys has me hooked! I just finished this book and I’ve now read all three of her books; this one, just like the other 2, was unique, but just as good. I was completely hooked. It was a mix of a romance, a murder mystery, and a girl trying to figure out her life (so relatable lol). So many different things going on at once and so many plot twists, I couldn’t put it down! Definitely recommend to anyone into mystery, but it’s just good book for anyone; You’ll love it!