A Book Club Thriller - The Jazz Files

Posted at 09:45am on 26th January 2016

I suggested we read The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith for our January meeting of the book club I lead, partly because I’d seen the film, Sufragette, starring Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, and greatly enjoyed it.  Fiona’s book, the first in the Poppy Denby investigates series, is set in the 1920’s and has a good deal to link it with the suffragette period.  Indeed, the whole premise of the story relies upon the events of the era.

And what a story it is; a real page turner!

Fiona’s descriptions of the fashions of the time reminded me of my childhood, when my cousins and I would dress up in outfits which must, surely, have been worn by our grandmother.  Sequins and feathers abounded, I seem to recall, though there was little in evidence of that in the life of Poppy Denby.  Born into an austere and probably impoverished religious family, such items would have been frowned upon I suspect.  Just as Poppy’s job as a young newspaper reporter would have brought frowns to her parents’ faces.

There were other reminders of the era, of a less pleasing variety.  The way women were treated, for instance, often shut away in mental institutions for the slightest misdemeanour.  It reminded me of the research I undertook some years ago, for a novel I was writing about abortion, when a girl might be locked away for being pregnant out of wedlock.  Never mind that a male must have played his part for such an event to occur!  Men ruled, as Fiona so vividly portrayed.  And still do in most cultures.

The quality of Fiona’s writing cannot be faulted.  Everyone in my book club enjoyed the book and felt that as a ‘light read’ – or an Agatha Christie style ‘romp’ as one person put it – it was an entirely appropriate choice for the period straddling Christmas.  I shall look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Your Comments:

Post a comment:

No HTML allowed. Web URLs will be auto-linked. Please stand by your comments; anonymous posting is permitted but not encouraged. Your email address will not be published, nor will it be distributed. Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the editor has approved them. They may also be removed without notice or explanation.

Related Posts

My Latest Book

Picked for a Purpose

Available in paperback from my books page
Buy Your Copy

Find the Real You...

Start Now
Take a FREE
Personality Test

BBC Radio Devon Interview

Listen to me chatting to Dave Fitzgerald about my latest release, Chosen, on BBC local radio.

Recently On Twitter

In Eswatini, Unicef train Rural Health Motivators to provide mothers like Sibongile with information and care befor… https://t.co/isU9dapcwa
tweeted by MelMenzies
on 18th December at 17:50
WARNING: I've just received the following email - must be a scam because I certainly haven't written to them. Why w… https://t.co/YyHEo5Th6b
tweeted by MelMenzies
on 14th December at 20:38
It's sad to see... https://t.co/rZ1bz4LHkV
tweeted by MelMenzies
on 14th December at 17:04
Follow Me on Twitter

Who's online?