I've been on a bit of a book kick recently.
I've been tearing through titles, reading a book about every 2-3 days.
Some have been good, some have been eh. One was so compelling that even though I didn't want to read it, I couldn't stop myself.
Then there is Second Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy.
It wasn't great but it wasn't terrible either. Mary Handley is our heroine. She is spunky, sassy, and determined to make her own way in the world. Which would be awesome if it wasn't 1888, a time when women were expected to have children, say little, and think even less.
Mary is a sweatshop worker in Manhattan who has a unquenchable thirst for solving mysteries. She is quick-witted and intelligent, but often gets herself into trouble. Through a series of events, Mary lands herself a job as an independent detective on a highly publicized murder case.
On its own, I think the plot is great, The premise of the story, with Mary as the main character, is wonderful. However, Levy uses historically famous characters that dampen the story, and make it seem fantastically impossible. It is quite a stretch for me to believe that a 1st generation Irish American sweatshop worker goes from nothing to rubbing elbows with Thomas Edison, Nikola Telsa, and JP Morgan. It's very Forest Gumpish - I'm not a fan.
I believe that this first book is one in a series and I would be interested in reading another Mary Handley mystery - to see where Levy can take her and whether he can do justice to this fabulous woman he has created.
Disclaimer: though I received this book for free through the program, Blogging for Books, all opinions and views expressed are my own.