I love a historical fiction piece with a murder mystery at its center. Wild Women and the Blues takes you on a journey through the glitz and glamour of the black and tan clubs of Chicago in the 1920’s. Honoree is a dancer trying to make ends meet and find fame on the stage in the shadow of prohibition. She gets to rub elbows with the prominent famous Black people of her time, including Louis Armstrong and Oscar Micheaux, but she also crosses paths with people on Al Capone’s payroll. When she witnesses a murder, she realizes that she may have stumbled into a dangerous web involving many of her friends. We see her try to find her way through it and become the 100+ year old woman she is today.
The story is told in alternating time periods where Sawyer, an aspiring filmmaker is trying to figure out what role Honoree plays in his life. Not only is she a potential star of his documentary on Micheaux, but it’s his grandmother that is paying for Miss Honoree’s nursing home stay. There is a big twist here as he unravels Honoree’s story.
I love how this one weaved the glamourous and sometimes dangerous history with the present day and that we weren’t just getting a snapshot of the time, but two mysteries to solve. Honoree was a bit of a challenging character in the modern viewpoint, but if you stick with it, it is easy to understand her motivations. Sawyer’s side stories about his career and Lula the nurse were a bit of a shrug for me, but I really enjoyed this story overall. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
This was one of those books I had to have as soon as it came out and then it sat on my shelf for a year. Arg! Tell me a book like that waiting for you…