Book Review

Murder on the SS Rosa

A Ginger Gold Mystery, #1

Lee Strauss

La Plume Press, May 2017

Kindle, 182 Pages

Also available in paperback

Genre(s) Cozy Historical Mystery

Source Author’s rep

Other books in this series

Murder at Hartigan House #2, Murder at Bray Manor #3, Murder at Feathers & Flair #4, Murder at the Mortuary #5 (Jan 2018), Murder at Kensington Park (TBA), Murder at St. George’s Church (TBA)

My Disclaimer:

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it’s about…

Mrs. Ginger Gold is a widow and quite the fashionista. She is also a Lady and along with her dog, Boss and her companion and friend, Haley Higgins, is on her way from New York to London to settle her recently deceased father’s estate. Haley was a nurse in the war and is going to London to attend medical school and become a doctor. They are sailing on the SS Rosa.

The captain of the Rosa is Captain Walsh. His wife, Mrs. Walsh is traveling with him. His mistress, Nancy Guildford, is also traveling with him. Ms. Guilford, an actress and total fashionista, travels with a companion, an older woman named Patty Applebaum.

When Captain Walsh is found dead before dinner, Ginger offers her sleuthing services to another passenger. Chief Inspector Basil Reed of Scotland Yard also is traveling on the Rosa. Though hesitant to accept her assistance, eventually he realizes Ginger’s too deeply involved not to let her help him solve the puzzle. Together they snoop out all the dark secrets in the nick of time.

Technical Tidbits…

The cover is wonderful. The elegance of the minimal elements on it makes it really worth looking at. The use of just two fonts that work so well together. The lovely female used as Ginger Gold off to the side on the golden oval. The picture of the ship that relates to this storyline. Then the clip art elements used on the side in a darker shade of the color of the text. Add that the color palette is so harmonious. It is just a wonderful cover for a cozy, historical mystery. I’ve looked at the other books in the series and they also use this format. The color palette and pictures change to match the story in the book. Wonderful choice!

The storyline is very good. There are enough secrets and twists and turns that it really holds your attention.

The characters are interesting. They have some really fun quirks. I love it that Ginger is always worried about what she will wear and is she going to be outdone by another woman. This time she’s simply blown away by the actress, Nancy Guilford with her Hollywood wardrobe. I’m sure we’ll see this funny trait in other books.

The pace felt rather leisurely, though it really moved along quite well. I think it was the tone and time that made it seem that way.

The tension was often relieved by little asides such as Boss problems like not leaving him in the stateroom all day. She also got distracted with her concern for Scout, her little friend from the crew. The tension also peaked with her run-in with the head chef, Chef Babineaux. That was scary, but it didn’t seem to lead anywhere.

And this is where you STOP if you don’t want to see any SPOILERS

The good, the bad, and the ugly…and how much it lit up my life… ✰✰✰✰

I loved the character of Ginger Gold. She’s a Lady, but she doesn’t use her title often. I’ll bet she won’t hesitate to use it in England if it’ll be useful, though. And her fascination for fashion and outdressing all the other women in her sphere. Too fun! I have to wonder if we’ll see Chief Inspector Basil Reed again. How long will she spend in England? Or will she return to America soon?

Ms. Strauss has a wonderful imagination. Going back to this time creates a treasure chest of stuff to work with. She has all the fashion she wants for Ginger since it was such a pivotal time for fashion with the establishment of the great fashion houses. The Golden Age and lots of rich people to rub elbows with on either shore. Haley Higgins is getting into medicine as a doctor, which is precocious, but not totally original. Once she has her training, she could be such a help to Ginger in her cases. And she always has Boss as a distraction if she needs him. Now that she’s met the Chief Inspector, she also has a connection to Scotland Yard, which I’m sure she’ll take advantage of.

And, of course, there is her title. She’s a lady. Her entre into society goes without saying. From the titles of the books, I’m guessing she stays in England. She has carte blanche to cut a swath through London’s upper crust and possibly find the next Mr./Lord. Hmmm. The possibilities…

857 wc

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