Again with the historical mysteries. I’m definitely in a bit of a rut, but they time periods the describe are fascinating! This one was a little later than my usual mysteries. Lately I’ve been all about the Victorian/Edwardian mysteries. This one is smack dab in between WWI and WWII in Britain. It’s also a miniature history of the BBC (which is my one of my favorite parts of England).
Radio Girls by Sarah Jane Stratford
Our intrepid heroine is an “American” (but really Canadian) who lucks out in a secretarial position at the relatively new BBC radio company. Still very much a man’s world, she is introduced as a minor secretary, but soon works her way into the “Talks” department which sounds like what the BBC is today. Run by one of the only female in senior positions, Maise (our heroine) soon finds her calling as a producer. The talks run the gamut from “women’s interest” to finally politics. While working with her new mentor, she becomes entangled in the intrigues leading up to WWII. I won’t spoil how, but it gets mighty interesting the higher up in position she goes.
She does run in to the normal nasty things a woman at the time runs into…..so called “gentlemen” who just want one thing, dismissive male bosses, the “morality” police of the time, and her own family issues as well.
I love reading about the history of women in the workplace. Just the crap they had to go through to do something they love really astounds me. It’s annoying that even today women still go through some of the same crap (Hi dismissive bosses!!). But reading about these types of women give me hope that one day we won’t be treated like children, but that we are meaningful to the society (and also get much more crap done).
For a little change of pace, I decided to tell you about one of my favorite authors. Deanna Raybourn writes historical mysteries with a bit of romance thrown in for fun. I got hooked on her books through the “Lady Julia” series. The first of which is “Silent in the Grave.”
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
For fans of Victorian era mysteries, these books are a must read. I think there are about 7 in the series so far, and I’m hoping for more. I heard her speak at Malice Domestic this past year, and she dropped the bombshell that a British television studio is adapting this for the small screen. Hopefully we’ll be able to get it over here in the good ol’ US of A, because I would be IN TO IT!
Her newest series follows strong, independent Victoria Speedwell. An adventurous woman who happens to study butterflies, she is thrown into a mystery head first and must work her way to the truth. A truth that is a bombshell of Victorian England. The first in that series, “A Curious Beginning”
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
Through a website that I found through my following of publishers on Twitter, I got to read the second in the series before it was even published! NetGalley.com is a site to request advanced copies of books. I read the second in the series, “A Perilous Undertaking” and came away an even bigger fan. The mystery in that book was even better! It definitely reminds me of ‘Miss Fisher’s Mysteries” and the character of Phryne Fisher. Doesn’t need a man in her life, and the men she does have in her life aren’t the be all, end all. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they are attractive men.
Not only being one of my favorite published authors, her twitter feed is super fun too! I feel like we’d be friends….she’s sarcastic, but seems genuinely nice as well. At the Malice convention, her panel with Christine Trent and other historical authors was my favorite of the convention. They were so funny and genuinely love the era they write about.
I seriously can’t wait for the next bunch of books in both her series!