Lydia has vanished.
Lydia, who’s never broken any rules, except falling in love with the wrong boy. Lydia, who’s been Piper’s best friend since they were children. Lydia, who never even said good-bye.
Convinced the police are looking in all the wrong places, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail begins her own investigation in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. With the reluctant help of a handsome young detective, Piper goes searching for answers in the dark underbelly of 1924 Chicago, determined to find Lydia at any cost.
When Piper discovers those answers might stem from the corruption strangling the city—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.
From the glitzy homes of the elite to the mob-run streets of 1920s Chicago, Stephanie Morrill’s jazz-age mystery shows just how far a girl will go to save her friend.
First of all, take a look at that cover. Drink it in. Gorgeous, isn’t it? Well, let me tell you that the story inside fully measures up to the glamour and elegance and intrigue that the cover promises. Just so ya’ll know before I go any further into this review, I was given an advance copy of The Lost Girl of Astor Street in exchange for my honest review. I didn’t know much about the story before I started reading, just that the cover was pretty and it was historical YA fiction and I kinda sorta knew the author from the writing blog that she co-runs. Oh, and A FREE BOOK. Always exciting, right?
Anyway, I started reading and got sucked in pretty quickly. And it ended up surprising me. For one thing, since The Lost Girl of Astor Street is a YA novel, I expected there’d be a love triangle (especially since there’s at least three available guys that Piper could’ve become involved with) and I determined I’d slog through it and focus on the other aspects of the story, but there wasn’t a love triangle at all. Huzzah! What I got instead was an adorable, swoony romance that complimented the mystery side of the story without overpowering it. (I like my romantic subplots to be sweet and to the point.)
I quite liked all the characters. Piper, of course, was determined and stubborn and actually quite inspiring since she’s the same age as me and doing so much with her life. I did think she cried a little too much, even considering the extreme circumstances swirling around her, but that could just be me. Lydia was a dear, as were Walter and Emma and Matthew. Mariano was the BEST, in my opinion. I even liked Nick. It was so fun to read a solid, interesting novel with immensely likable characters who were easy to fall in love with.
The setting of The Lost Girl of Astor Street was beautifully drawn, both the place and the time period. It’s always satisfying to start reading a historical novel and realize that the author has researched everything so well, and that’s what this book did for me. 1920’s Chicago was a fascinating place to ‘live in’ for several hours and as I read this on my Kindle, I kept checking to see how much I had left, not because I was bored, but because I didn’t want the story to end. Oh, and I enjoyed the Italian mafia angle to the story – I’ve always been fascinated by The Mob for some reason, so that was cool.
Overall, The Lost Girl of Astor Street was a thoroughly enjoyable read that I’d recommend to fans of Downton Abbey and period dramas in general (books, movies, and TV shows).