I know you want more vacation posts, and I promise to give you that, but duty calls and it's book review time!
San Francisco Secrets - Greg Messel
Noted novelist and newspaper editor Edgar Watson Howe once said. "A man who can keep a secret may be wise but he is not half as wise as a man with no secrets to keep." As the spring of 1958 arrives in San Francisco, it seems that baseball player turned private eye, Sam Slater and his fiancee, TWA stewardess Amelia Ryan, are surrounded by people who have secrets. A prominent doctor, John O'Dell is being blackmailed by someone who has discovered a dark secret from his past. When the private investigator trying to catch the blackmailer is murdered, Dr. O'Dell hires Sam Slater to try to pick up the pieces. Someone is playing for keeps and will do anything to protect their own secrets. Meanwhile, Amelia begins her new job as an international stewardess which takes her on adventures to New York City, London, Paris and Rome. In hot pursuit is a womanizing older pilot who has his sights set on Amelia. Their lives get even more complicated when a mysterious woman from Sam's past returns. Sam and Amelia's relationship will be tested as they work together to solve the mystery on the foggy streets of San Francisco.
Now, I didn't fully understand that this was the third book in a series until as I was reading it I realized that there are lots of things that are assumed that you know. I didn't know as I hadn't read the previous two, but with that being said, I didn't feel like I couldn't enjoy this story on its own. Basically, while I am a fan of reading previous books first, it's not a deal breaker if you didn't in this case.
The book centers around the relationship of Sam and Amelia- who while they have a life together, both live exciting lives given the era they live in. Sam is essentially a retired ball player who is now a private investigator and his fiance Amelia is a stewardess. So in my head, I read this book as a black and white movie and it was absolutely fitting. All is swimming along until Sam's past comes into his future and everything spins out of control. The entire book is based on the premise that we all have secrets, but how far are you willing to go to maintain that secret? Would you kill? Sam and Amelia wouldn't, even though it could potentially be devastating to their future, but others would. Sam presses on to unravel the thread of lies and cover ups. All the while this is going on, Sam and Amelia are trying to maintain their relationship despite the obstacles coming at them.
Overall? It's a good book. Is it on my favorites pile? No, but it is a solid crime mystery that is really well written. You can tell Greg lived and breathed the research for this book because he pulls of the era perfectly and you really feel like you're there. It was pretty impressive and I really enjoyed the old school era of the book. If you have a soft spot for nostalgia and an old fashioned mystery- do not hesitate to read this one!
Greg is incredibly busy doing interviews and other book reviews happening, so if you're interested to see what other reviewers are saying, or what Greg is saying about his book, click HERE to get links to everything and more.