Monday, November 25, 2013

GIVEAWAY: "The Diviners", a creepy 1920s New York mystery that's the cat's pajamas

I am skipping Monday Man Candy today, but for good reason; I have a giveaway! The nice people and Little, Brown asked me if I wouldn't be interested in Libba Bray's "The Diviners", a deliciously scary murder mystery set in New York in 1926. I was skeptical at first but boy, am I glad I reserved judgment. I've read about 300 pages in three days and I cannot put this thing down.



It's the perfect fun but dark enough reading to kind of cleanse my palate after crying over "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion. Because somehow I don't find murdered Polish girls on the Bowery that sad (?).

Here's the story:

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It's 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. 
Evie worries he'll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfurl in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened...

It's kind of a perfect fit for my odd tastes. The interest in New York in earlier decades is obvious, but here's where I embarrass myself: for my thirteenth birthday, I asked my mother if I could have a seance at the house with my friends. She wisely said no and I had a dinner party instead.

So far, I can say it's gripping stuff. Sometimes, Libba Bray hits us over the head with certain things--is it necessary to keep calling the women in the nightclub flappers?--but overall, the writing's pretty solid. She does a wonderful job of juggling all her characters, fleshing them out, holding onto all threads of the story. Plus, all the stuff about tarot cards and doomsday cults is really fascinating. I read the book with one hand Googling on my phone.

Interested? You have all week to enter my giveaway for your very own copy. Ready, set, go!


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4 comments:

  1. Looks interesting. I just finished The Gods of Gotham, a mystery set in NYC in the 1840s.

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  2. Fav NY Landmark is the statue of Liberty- although the Rockettes/Radio City Music Hall is a close 2nd.

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  3. I'm fairly new to New York, so I haven't figured out my favorites, but I can go old school for favorite mystery-- Encyclopedia Brown! Ok ok, not a novel, so-- the Count of Monte Cristo.

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  4. Love this giveaway Desiree. :) good luck to all. xo

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Thanks so much for your comments!