4 out of 4 stars
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In Chicago in the mid-1930s, Henrietta is working hard at a variety of jobs to support her mother and seven younger siblings. The money she brings in just never seems to be enough, so she is persuaded to work with her friend as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall. Not long after she starts working there, however, the floor matron is murdered and Henrietta's friend is one of the suspects.
Henrietta finds herself stuck smack-dab in the middle of the case despite knowing nothing of use. She even finds herself going undercover for Inspector Clive Howard, lured by the promise of twice the amount of money she made working as a taxi dancer. However, her new job is much more risque than dancing with strangers, and in her quest to impress the handsome inspector she finds herself in over her head.
A Girl Like You is Michelle Cox's debut fiction novel and is the first in the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series. Although it takes place in almost the same era as The Great Gatsby, don't expect extravagant parties and depression due to the fulfillment of the American dream. Cox writes only about the struggle and poverty of America's working class after the war, giving the book a completely different feel. However, her highly descriptive writing completely pulls you into the time period. In fact, her writing style was definitely my favorite part of the book, and was the element that really pulled everything together.
A Girl Like You is the perfect mix between Historical fiction, Romance, and murder mysteries. The characters are likable, if not a tiny bit stereotypical, and the story has perfect pacing. I only found a handful of errors throughout the entire book, and most of them were formatting and punctuation errors. They didn't detract from the book at all.
If I had to mention the book's weak points, they would definitely be the stereotypical characters and easily guessable plot. Also, some of the characters at Henrietta's new job are lesbians, and the author's descriptions of them bothered me more than anything else in the book. They were made out to be "disgusting" and their sexual harassment towards Henrietta was more detailed than that of the harassment from men. They were definitely not written in the best light, and I didn't see the need to villainize them even if lesbians were not readily accepted back in that time period.
Putting that aside, I really did enjoy the book and am looking forward to the next books in the series, although A Girl Like You was quite satisfying as a read-alone. I would like to give it 4 out of 4 stars and I would recommend it to fans of light mystery novels, historical novels, and romance. There are some mentions of sexual harassment and rape but nothing too explicit, so I would not recommend it to readers who are extremely sensitive to those situations.
A Girl Like You
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