If you’ve been paying any attention to my posts to this blog this semester, you’ll know that mystery novels, even those of a historical nature, are a bit of a departure from my usual reading. A couple of years ago, however, a budding novelist contacted me after reading my dissertation. It turns out she was writing a book featuring a female socialite who does a little sleuthing in Los Angeles. The amateur sleuth, Anna Blanc, ends up encountering some bad eggs in the novel, including a madam, and the author wanted to verify some details about prostitution in Los Angeles in the early twentieth century.
Well, research–particularly research on prostitution in Los Angeles–is kind of my thing. So, we had several email exchanges, and I did my best to answer any questions. Now, that budding novelist is the published author Jennifer Kincheloe, and the book, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, is available for purchase.
The book is an enjoyable one. Anna Blanc, the title character, is a fun and spunky young woman that I, at least, was rooting for through the entire book. (I’m not the only reader who finds comparisons between Anna Blanc and Phryne Fisher.) Kincheloe is clearly a fan of early twentieth-century fashion, and so she paints a vivid picture not only of Anna Blanc, but also the clothes everyone else is wearing too. Historical Los Angeles is also a fun place to visit.
So, check out the book. I had the privilege of reading an early draft of it, and I’m looking forward to reading the finished product. I got my signed copy in the mail today, and so I’ll be taking a little break from the hiking memoirs–at least until I zip through The Secret Life of Anna Blanc.