So when I first wanted to review the second novel, I wasn’t expecting to have the opportunity to listen to all three of the novels in this series! And thank you so much to Audiobookworm Promotions for hosting this blog tour, because now I got to see how Anna Blanc even came to be, and I get to see her conclusion. It’s going to be very interesting for me. Click on the banner the rest of the schedule and for more information on how to be a tour host with Audiobookworm Promotions!
The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
by Jennifer Kincheloe
Narrated by: Moira Quick
Series: Anna Blanc Mysteries #1
Publisher: Jennifer Kincheloe
Genre: Historical Fiction Mystery
It’s 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels, but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era’s rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. If the police find out, she’ll get fired; if her father finds out, he’ll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he’ll cancel the wedding. Midway into her investigation, the police chief’s son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity, and shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail. Anna must choose – either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.
Jennifer Kincheloe is a research scientist and writer of historical mysteries. Her novels take place in 1900s Los Angeles among the police matrons of the LAPD and combine, mystery, history, humor, and romance. THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK was nominated for a prestigious Lefty Award. Her debut novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF ANNA BLANC was a finalist in the Lefty Awards for Best Historical Mystery, The Colorado Author’s League Award for Best Genre Fiction, the Macavity Sue Feder Award for Historical Mystery, and is the WINNER of the Mystery & Mayhem Award for Historical Mystery and the Colorado Gold for Best mysteries. Her latest novel THE BODY IN GRIFFITH PARK, was released in July of 2019 and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.
Moira Quirk is an English actor who’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR (performed and recorded with LA Theatre Works), videogames (such as The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Star Wars: The Old Republic), commercials for worthwhile products, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”
Disclaimer: I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jennifer Kincheloe. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
So I actually listened to this novel after I listened to the second one. It just happened that way because I saw the second one available and then the series tour ended up being available later on. So I already had an idea of what happened with Anna in this one, but I didn’t know the details. It was great to finally get to see that, and I was thinking about the second book a lot while I was listening to this one.
But anyway, first I have to say that I’m so glad that Quick was able to continue narrating this series in the first two books. I think she makes the PERFECT Anna Blanc, to the point that I can’t imagine anyone else voicing her or playing her like Quick did. I don’t know what I was initially envisioning Anna to sound like or anything, but Quick is definitely Anna in my mind from now on. Her skills were just so on point and I think she did an amazing job all around. I even loved the singing that she did whenever Joe Singer would be singing some songs. It was just perfect for an audiobook for me.
Secondly, you can definitely see the amount of research that went into this novel to make it as historically accurate as possible, while also making us feel like we aren’t reading something out of a US History textbook. Kincheloe really gives this world a real feel, and I felt like I could honestly step into the pages (well in this case, into my Audible app) and be completely immersed in Anna’s world without feeling the least bit lost.
I was even irked at how much scrutiny Anna was because of the things she did – or even didn’t do – and I had to remember that this was the early 1900s! I almost forgot about that honestly, because I was just like “I could see Anna as a real person right now.” I just really enjoyed this one and I can’t wait for you to hear my thoughts on the second novel soon.