Rachel McMillan. Murder at the Flamingo. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2018.
Book covers can capture the heart of a story or somehow give an entirely inaccurate impression. Fortunately for Rachel McMillan, her latest novel and its cover art are a perfect match!
Ms. McMillan kicks off the Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery series with Murder at the Flamingo. Hamish DeLuca suffers from anxiety, which puts him at a disadvantage in the courtroom. After a particularly embarrassing episode, Hamish leaves behind his hometown of Toronto to visit his cousin, Luca, in Boston. In spite of the Great Depression’s impact on the community, Luca’s new nightclub is the talk of the town, as the fashionable set looks for diversions and a glamorous night life. Reggie Van Buren has also escaped her family and found herself in Boston as Luca’s new secretary. Together, Luca, Hamish, and Reggie work together to prepare for the opening of the Flamingo, even as Hamish and Reggie realize that Luca’s glittery world covers over the darker side of Boston. When the club’s opening is interrupted by an unexpected murder, Reggie and Hamish show off their skills as amateur detectives, hoping to discover the truth behind the façade of the nightclub’s many patrons.
Ms. McMillan introduces readers to a delightful sleuthing duo, who feel both larger than life and as grounded as they come. Murder at the Flamingo captures the unique glamor and darkness of Great Depression-era Boston, while presenting a riveting storyline for readers to enjoy.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Murder at the Flamingo. While I do not normally read 1930’s era storylines, Ms. McMillan’s characters and storyline had me absolutely fascinated. Personally, I found the beginning of the book to be a bit slow and a few sections of the story to be overly descriptive. However, the rest of the novel is really interesting and the characters themselves are delightful. Hamish’s anxiety seems like a natural extension of his character, presenting itself in a believable way that fits well with the plotline development. Likewise, the duo of Hamish and Reggie is lively and well worth being featured in forthcoming novels of the series. I eagerly look forward to seeing what Ms. McMillan writes next!
Fans of Ms. McMillan’s previous works will definitely want to read Murder at the Flamingo. Readers who enjoy reading relatively light mysteries, especially in historical settings, will also find this book to be well worth reading. Personally, I appreciated that Ms. McMillan developed a murder mystery that did not seem gruesome and would be entirely appropriate to a general readership.
Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of Murder at the Flamingo! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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