Title: Murder between the Lines by Radha Vatsal
Kitty Weeks Mystery Series Book Two
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Historical, Mystery
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Intrepid journalist Kitty Weeks returns in the second book in this acclaimed WW1-era historical mystery series to investigate the death of a boarding school student.
When Kitty’s latest assignment for the New York Sentinel Ladies’ Page takes her to Westfield Hall, she expects to find an orderly establishment teaching French and dancing-but there’s more going on at the school than initially meets the eye.
Tragedy strikes when a student named Elspeth is found frozen to death in Central Park. The doctor’s proclaim that the girl’s sleepwalking was the cause, but Kitty isn’t so sure.
Determined to uncover the truth, Kitty must investigate a more chilling scenario-a murder that may involve Elspeth’s scientist father and a new invention by a man named Thomas Edison.
Murder between the Lines is the second intriguing installment in Radha Vatsal’s fantastic Kitty Weeks Mystery series.
Nineteen year old Capability “Kitty” Weeks is still writing articles for the Ladies Page of the New York Sentinel. During her interview for her latest assignment, she is delighted to meet a Elspeth Bright, a highly intelligent young woman who has dreams of pursuing a degree as a scientist after she completes her studies at Westfield Hall. Kitty agrees to meet Elspeth away from the school but their discussion is interrupted by a nosy neighbor. Before they can talk again, Kitty is stunned to discover Elspeth died under tragic circumstances. Suspicious Elspeth’s death was no accident, Kitty is quick to agree to the Brights’ request she look into what was troubling their daughter before her death.
Kitty is trying to make her way in the world at a time when women have very few rights. She continues to live with her father but she is growing a little weary of how overprotective he is as she tries to look into Elspeth’s death. She is also shaping her own opinions as she is exposed to the various issues of the time period, the most important of which is the Suffrage movement. Delighted that her editor Helena Busby is becoming a little more open to allowing her and her co-worker Jeannie Williams to cover more controversial (for the time period) topics for the Ladies Page, Kitty works on her assignments in between her investigation into Elspeth’s death.
Kitty’s investigation into Elspeth’s death takes her down some very unexpected avenues of inquiry. She is surprised to learn Elspeth was working on a project involving batteries and their use in submarine warfare. She is also rather curious about Elspeth’s relationship with her father’s former assistant Phillip Emerson. Was Elspeth’s death nothing more than a tragic accident related to her sleepwalking? Or is there a more sinister reason for her untimely death?
Set in late 1915 and early 1916, Murder between the Lines is an extremely clever mystery that is quite engrossing. Kitty is fantastic lead protagonist and Radha Vatsal’s impeccable research brings the time period vibrantly to life. The investigation into Elspeth’s puzzling death takes a very unexpected turn and Kitty discovers that life is not always black and white. A wonderful addition to the Kitty Weeks Mystery series that readers of amateur sleuths and history buffs are sure to enjoy.