I enjoyed reading The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith last January, in part because it was the first novel I cracked open after my daughter’s birth (the name Fiona was coincidence) and in part because the foray into 1920s London was a lot of fun. So I snatched up the opportunity to read Smith’s second installment of the Poppy Denby Investigates series, The Kill Fee.
Poppy’s career is moving along with a permanent “beat” covering arts and entertainment at The Daily Globe. But in true Poppy Denby form, she stumbles into a mystery involving Russian aristocracy, priceless treasures, assassins and more. Will she be able to identify the murderer and find the missing Faberge Egg before anyone else gets hurt?
Poppy remains a likeable, root-for-able heroine. She continues to learn along the road of her adventures. And she may be stumbling through the mysteries that arise, but she has the curiosity of a cat and the loyalty of a best friend.
The Kill Fee had a few more well-rounded antagonists than The Jazz Files, which definitely rounded out the plot a little better. I did love learning about the term “kill fee”, but I would have liked that interesting fact to have had a greater impact on the plot.
This installation has a good dose of Russian history, including the revolution that dethroned Tsar Nicholas II, that I found interesting and informative. I always like to learn something from historical fiction. I do wish there had been a healthier dose of 1920s London history along with it.
In all, The Kill Fee is an enjoyable escape into the jazz era of England. I’ll definitely pick up the next volume when it comes out!
I received a complimentary copy of The Kill Fee from Lion Fiction, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.