Jazz Files By Fiona Veitch Smith

Reading this book was like stepping back into the “Roaring Twenties”! Twenty-two year old Poppy Denby is a sheltered obedient Methodist pastor’s daughter. The extent of her work and life experience is working in a charity store and food kitchen. Her wheelchair bound aunt, Dot, has requested Poppy to come and be her paid companion. Dot is quite a flashy, feisty lady. She was an actress and radical suffragette in her youth, and her condition and age has not lessened her passion for the cause.
Upon arrival Poppy finds that her aunt already has a dear friend and companion of many years. Grace is totally Dot’s opposite in every way, other than their shared commitment to the women’s movement. The whole job offer was a ruse to get Poppy out from under her parents and start a life and career of her own. She is hired at a local newspaper as the editor’s assistant. Her dream job was to become a journalist. After the death of one of the reporters, Poppy steps into his job. This exposes her to all sorts of danger and wickedness that is out of her experience level and innocence.
I like the way the author alternates between a mysterious events 7 years ago and Poppy’s adventures. It adds to the suspense of the story and made me wanted to hurry it along to learn more about what happened!
Historical fiction is one of my favorites. I have read only one other fiction book about this period. It is a time I did not know a great deal about other than generalities and specific events. Ms. Smith totally changed that! This book was entertaining but it is also packed with details about lifestyle, attitudes, and social issues. I got a fun read and a history lesson too!
I admired Poppy’s confidence and enthusiasm despite her sheltered life and being thrust into so many new situations. Bolstered by her aunt’s belief in her and her youthful zeal, she does not hesitate to face everything head on! The author brought to life the struggle of society to cope with so many changes in all areas. I was amazed at the expectations and roles of women. How strange to think of a time when a woman wanting to vote or have a career was considered almost immoral and unacceptable! All the characters are interesting and well developed. I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Smith’s books!
I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are my own.

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