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A bookish 1920s Summer

Ah, August! Time of holidays and readings (well, at least in my emisphere). No better time to share titles and discover new favourite authors.

The Twenties are getting back in vogue, maybe unsurprisingly. I have seen many new titels popping up lately. Some I’ve read, some I plan to. So I thought I’d share in case some of you may fancy readign these stories too.

Most of the titles are stories set in the 1920s, but as usual, I’m willing to stray into the 1910s and 1930s too.

Come along for the ride!

Series and novel set in the 1920s

The Kopp Sisters

by Amy Stewart

Inspired by three real-life sisters who lived in New Jersey in the 1910s and 1920s, this series of mystery novels follow their eventful life. Constance, Norma and Fleurette were very different personalities, but all of them had a very personal few on life. Constance ended up working with the sheriff, which is where the series focuses on.
You can read my review of Miss Kopp Just Won0t Quit here.

Daisy Gumm Majesty Murder Mystery Series

by Alice Duncan

Daisy Gumm Majesty is a fraud… supposedly. She lives by pretending to be a medium and by enacting séances for the wealthy families of Pasadina. Besides, spiritualism is in vogue in the 1920s and she’s a clever young woman with an understanding of the human psychology and heart and this is what guides her when dealing with her clients. Her willingness to help often puts her in difficult situations, where people are in danger. Sometimes they die.
But is Daisy truly just a fraud? How is it that her crystal ball sometimes shows her things she doesn’t expect? Or that her supposedly invented spirit guide Rollo talks through the Ouija board words that she never intended him to?

Poppy Denby Investigates

by Fiona Veitch Smith

Poppy Denby arrives in London determined to make a life for herself. In the 1920s, female journalists are rare and they normally write only light comuns, often not signed with their names. But a paper is exactly where Poppy ends up, with a theatre colums. Still she has a great nose for sensational news and a great intuition that helps her figuring things out. Maybe that’s how she often ends up involved in murderes and how she finds the truth behind them.
You can read my review of The Death Beat here.

Vintage National Park Series

by Karen Barnett

This is one fo the few titles on this list which is not a mystery. Inspired by the real life and events of the Yosemite National Park in the 1920s, the series followes watercolorist Olivia Ratherford as she builds her new life as illustrator of the Park’s travel magazine.
Following Olivia’s discoveries and illustration, the series revolves around true events and traditions of the Park.

Black City Saint Series

by Richard Knaak

This series merges a 1920s setting with a great fantasy premice: Nick Medea slought the dragon a long time ago and ever since he guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate. But now an old evil treathens to break open that gate and Nick needs to turn into himself, seek the dragon that now lives in him and try to keep humanity from utter discruction.


I’ve noticed that the stories set in the 1920s and adjacent decades tend to belong to the mystery or the romance genre and most of them are part of a series. I’ve showcased whole series above, some of which I haven’t read yet. Here I want to showcase books that are actually on my (mountain) TBR and will be reading sometimes soon. Most of them are NetGalley ARCs and if you don’t know how NetGalley works: these files expire. NetGalley gives you a free e-copy of the book in excange of a review, but the file will expire after a set time, so you’d better get reading!
It sounds horrible – and to some extent it it – but I’ve discovered a few good books this way, books I’d have probably never read otherwise.
Give it a go, see if you like it.

Nobody’s Sweetheart Now by Maggie Robinson

This is the first in the Lady Adelaide Mystery series. Adeleide’s husband Rupert, a hero of La Somme, died in a car accident, but he certainly doesn’t disapperead into the night. On a dinner party, he turns up as a spirit, because apparently he needs to do a few good deeds if he wants into Heaven.
Unfortunately, a corpse also turns up at the dinner party and Addie seems to need to solve this one if she hopes for the best.

Looks like this is going to be a pairing lady+spirit companion… with an Anglo-Indian inspector in the mix.

Sounds like fun!

You can read my fool review here.

Treacherous Is the Night by Anna Lee Huber

Spirits seems to be popular in early XX century stories. Verity Kent, a WWI widow, was a believer of Spiritualism once. Things have changed after the war, but she is still involved with medium and séances, though she would maybe prefer otherwise.
At one of these séances, she meets a medium she would have prefer to left in her past, and when the medium turns up death, things go worse rather than better.

This is book two in the Verity Kent Mystery series.

I’m quite intrigued with this one.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stewart Turton

Another mystery with a fantastical twist. You won’t hear me complaining here!
Evelyn Hardcastle is killed at a party thrown by her parents. Aidan Bishop was there and he couldn’t save her that first time. Nor the second, nor the third. The killing happens again and again and the only way for Aidan to escape this terribel loop is to find the murderer. Every time, he wakes up in a different person and while he gathers info and clues, he hasn’t be able to solve the mystery yet.

Now, ho wawesome is this premice?

Book two will be out soon. No idea whether this is going to be a trilogy or a longer series.

The Vanishing of Dr Winter by L.B Hathaway

This is the only title here that isn’t a NetGalley ARC, but it is on my immediate TBR because it’s a gift, and I truly believe gifts need to be honoured.

Posie Parker is attempting to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Dr William Winter, a brillinat Cambridge professor. The disappearance happened a few years ago and lookinginto it will force Posie to face her own painful memories of the Great War.

Thsi is part of the Posie Parker Mystery series. You can read my review here.

Every time I look a bit closer to my TBR I become excited for the title which are in there… and depressed at the thought of how much time I’ll need to read them all. Time is a tyrant when it comes to reading and I am a slow reader (curse on me!). I don’t fancy to be able to read all of these this summer, but I’ll do a fair attempt at it.

If you like this period fiction, remember you can always join the 1920s Book Club (Facebook Group). We like to share news, promotions, new titles and authors… and we have the occasional activity going on. Come check us out!

NOTE: This blog contains affiliate links (including Amazon links) to the book I independently review. When you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for advertising the product (at no extra cost to you).

Pinteret pin. The title reads, "A 1920s bookish summer - Your next read set in the 1920s". It shows a sepia picture of a young Joan Crowford reading a book. She sits on a stool in what looks like a library.
Pinteret pin. The title reads, "A 1920s bookish summer - Discover your next read set in the 1920s". It shows a sepia picture of a young flapper languidly reclined on a couch while reading a book.


  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted August 13, 2018 at 19:44

    Thanks for sharing these, Sarah. I keep hearing about the Turton. I don’t usually go for that sort of premise, but I can’t help but be intrigued. And of course there’s the time and place context… I hope you’ll post a review when you get the chance.

    • Post Author
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 08:31

      I will definitely post about it when I read it. It may just take sometimes.
      It is a very unusual premise for a mystery, don’t you find? and so full of awesome possibilities.

  • Teagan R Geneviene
    Posted August 13, 2018 at 21:43

    Hi Sarah. Thanks for this fabulous list of recommendations. Marvelous titles and covers to lead me into the enticing descriptions. Hugs.

    • Post Author
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 08:33

      Happy you find it usefull, Teagan. I’m totally fascinated with the wealth of stories set in the 1920s that are popping up. It’s exciting to see an era that I love florishing so.

    Posted August 13, 2018 at 22:04

    An intriguing collection, Sarah, not least the covers, which all look excellent!

  • Sue Bursztynski
    Posted August 13, 2018 at 23:14

    Have you read Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher mystery series, set in 1920s Melbourne? Highly recommended, great fun.

    • Post Author
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 08:34

      Hi Sue! Yes, I’ve read a few of Miss Fisher’s mysteries. If you search her on my blog, you’ll find my reviews of the books I’ve read 🙂

  • Hilary
    Posted August 14, 2018 at 20:12

    Hi Sarah – that Turton storyline does sound intriguing … I never seem to have time to read fiction … but I used to love all the Agatha Christie et al Penguins that we used to have at home. Also yes the covers are fascinating to look at – the style is there and follows through – cheers and good luck to your reading – Hilary

    • Post Author
      Posted August 14, 2018 at 21:52

      Turton’s story indeed sounds intiguing. And I’ve heard that the hardbacks books are beautiful. I’m all hooked 😉

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