I hope you’re all keeping well. I feel like I haven’t posted here in some time, though it’s most likely just because I’ve been so busy. I spent the whole bank holiday weekend decorating and then have been none stop with work ever since. I really should have chosen a couple of audiobooks to read whilst I decorated but never mind. Just means I have some lovely books to catch up on.
Thank you to @HQstories and @LouRHare for this advanced copy of Miss Aldridge Regrets in return for an honest review. Miss Aldridge Regrets was published on 28th April 2022 and you can get a copy here.
Lena Aldridge hasn’t got much to look forward to. It’s London in 1936 and she’s working as a singer in a basement Soho club, earning very little and certain that life has passed her by. Her dreams of being on the stage may not be fulfilled.
Until she is approached about a role on Broadway. All expenses paid; first class none the less. It sounds too good to be true, but Lena’s married boyfriend has just dumped her and her best friend’s husband has just been murdered. What does she have to lose?
Once onboard the Queen Mary, bound for New York, things take a turn for the worst. Death has followed Lena on her voyage and she soon realises that she will have to put on a very different performance to that she had originally anticipated.
General Thoughts 🤔
Firstly I have to mention that I absolutely fell in love with the cover of this book; it’s gorgeous and immediately caught my eye. Secondly, I actually read the blurb for this book (which I don’t usually do) and was very much looking forward to a murder mystery full of glamour and intrigue.
Although I enjoyed the book overall, it was pleasant to read, I was just a touch disappointed. The story was a little long winded and I struggled to stay engaged with it by the time I was in the last third. I also felt that there was a missed opportunity to really go deep on the setting. I would have loved to have been able to really envisage what the ship looked like and what the suites felt like etc. In my mind they would be so opulent, but that was my expectation as opposed to what was presented to me.
I grew to really like Lena by the end of the book. I felt somewhat sorry for her in that she got swept along with something and couldn’t seem to get herself out of it. She was trying to keep up with a group of people that she probably felt inferior to and I imagine she must have considered herself to be slightly “less than”.
I struggled to connect with the Abernathy family. At some points I had to page flick to remind myself of who was who and what their relations were. I think a bit more background to the family would have been fantastic and helped with this.
Writing Style ✍️
As mentioned above, I felt like the storyline was dragged out a little too much. Don’t get me wrong, a slow paced tension build is fantastic, but I felt like the slow pace was there and the tension was missing. I think more setting description and a feeling of glamour would have been great with this book; the story and the characters were calling for it.
I liked how the author weaved in cultural references to the story. Lena being mixed race but passing as white was a really interesting slant on the story. She was able to mix with different circles onboard the Queen Mary and fit in with both. I thought that adding this into the book was a nice touch.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖
I suspect that I was starry eyed over the cover of this book and probably set my expectations a touch too high. It was a good murder mystery story and a laid back book so if you’re looking for something easy to read that will entertain you but not overwhelm you, this is a book for you.