Review: To Write a Wrong, by Jen Turano

book coverOverview

Miss Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. Known for her ability to puzzle out plots, she prefers working behind the scenes for the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, staying well away from danger. However, Daphne soon finds herself in the thick of an attempted murder case she’s determined to solve.

Mr. Herman Henderson is also a mystery writer, but unlike the dashing heroes he pens, he lives a quiet life, determined to avoid the fate of his adventurous parents, who perished on an expedition when he was a child. But when he experiences numerous attempts on his life, he seeks out the services of the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency to uncover the culprit. All too soon, Herman finds himself stepping out of the safe haven of his world and into an adventure he never imagined.

As the list of suspects grows and sinister plots are directed Daphne’s way as well, Herman and Daphne must determine who they can trust and if they can risk the greatest adventure of all: love.

Review

Disclaimer: Although I received an advance electronic copy of this book from the publisher, the opinions below are my own.

Despite being a published mystery writer, Miss Daphne Beekman, aka Montague Moreland, does not care to venture out of her comfort zone. Prone to fainting, she prefers to stay invisible and letting her friends be the public faces of their investigation agency. But, with a major player out of town and having been the first person to meet their new client, Daphne finds herself on the front lines and needing her smelling salts. She is, however, determined to close the case and even visits Herman’s upstate estate where his grandmother is hosting a house party.

I’ve been a fan of Jen Turano for many years. But I felt I didn’t enjoy To Write a Wrong as much as her previous books. Turano has stated that this was a difficult book for her to write, due to the COVID situation in which we all found ourselves this past year, and I wonder if some of that seeped through. I also think I didn’t care much for Daphne. Don’t get me wrong; there were a couple of characters I didn’t like. This was more a case of indifference. It was only when a part of her past was revealed towards the end that I felt any emotion for her. My favorite character was Winston the one-eyed dog. His actions at the start of the book are surely familiar to many a canine owner, I’m sure. Sadly, he didn’t have a significant role.

While the novel is mostly light, there are a couple of dark moments. The secondary topic of the plot, after the case, is the status of women during the Gilded Age. While Daphne and her friends are forward thinking women, and some of the men around do treat them as equals, this is still a time when women are basically treated as property and second-class members of society. Daphne was forced to take on a pseudonym to appease her publishers, who didn’t think women should write mystery novels. But there are also the men who believe they can do what they like with a woman. While the R word isn’t mentioned, attempts of it are implied.

As for who wanted to murder Herman? The answer may well surprise you as much as it did me. It’s a running theme throughout the pages as Daphne and her cohort discuss the suspects, but Turano subtly and intriguingly misdirects readers. I came up with my own list of possibilities but hadn’t expected the twist.

The final book in the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency series is scheduled for release in January 2022. I do believe Jen Turano has left the best until last, for it focuses on Daphne’s intriguing companion, Eunice. To Disguise the Truth is already available for pre-order.

Rating

4/5

Product Information

Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)

Publication Date: 03 August 2021

Book Information

Excerpt

head shotAuthor Information

Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado. Jen Turano’s Website https://jenturano.com/

About Sally M

I'm all about books, history, rail trails, craft beer and wine, and dogs! I'm a Partner with Trades of Hope: my paid job empowers women around the world out of poverty, helping them raise their families, and rebuild their lives after abuse and human trafficking.
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