Title: A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal
Kitty Weeks Mystery Series Book One
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Historical (1915), Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
New York City, 1915
The Lusitania has just been sunk, and headlines about a shooting at J.P. Morgan’s mansion and the Great War are splashed across the front page of every newspaper. Capability “Kitty” Weeks would love nothing more than to report on the news of the day, but she’s stuck writing about fashion and society gossip over on the Ladies’ Page—until a man is murdered at a high society picnic on her beat.
Determined to prove her worth as a journalist, Kitty finds herself plunged into the midst of a wartime conspiracy that threatens to derail the United States’ attempt to remain neutral—and to disrupt the privileged life she has always known.
Radha Vatsal’s A Front Page Affair is the first book in highly anticipated series featuring rising journalism star Kitty Weeks.
A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal is a clever historical mystery starring an intrepid young reporter turned amateur sleuth. Set in 1915, this first installment in the Kitty Weeks Mystery series is an entertaining and educational debut that is quite riveting.
On her first independent assignment for the Ladies Page, Capability “Kitty” Weeks is sent to cover an Independence Day celebration hosted by Bessie Basshor. Excited to venture into the “real” world of reporting, Kitty is busy observing the partygoers and conducting informal interviews when news spreads that Hunter Cole, a fellow guest, has been murdered in the stables. Excited when she is asked to help cover the story for the newspaper, Kitty is soon embroiled in her own investigation into Hunter’s death after the police quickly make an arrest in the case.
The daughter of a wealthy businessman, Kitty is an intelligent nineteen year old who wants a little more from life than managing her father’s household. Her position at the newspaper allows her to balance her need for a career with her family obligations and although she only works part time, she takes her job seriously. She is a little immature and somewhat naive, but her natural curiosity leads her to continue digging into the circumstances surrounding Hunter’s murder. Headstrong and independent, Kitty jeopardizes her position at the newspaper when she ignores her Ladies’ Page assignments in order to pursue her investigation.
In addition to the mystery surrounding Hunter’s death, Kitty finds herself looking into her father’s business ventures after an unsettling visit from the Secret Service. Shaken by their accusations, she realizes she does not know him quite as well as she thought and after he refuses to answer her questions, she begins secretly digging into his recent activities. Although troubled by some of the information she uncovers, Kitty is determined to prove her father is innocent of any wrongdoing.
A Front Page Affair is an intriguing mystery with a cast of well-developed characters and a unique storyline. Radha Vatsal’s meticulous research brings both the time period and the setting vividly to life and these historic details add depth and authenticity to the overall story. The mystery aspect of the storyline is well written and it is nearly impossible to guess the killer’s identity or motive for the murder until the novel’s somewhat dramatic conclusion. An excellent first installment in the Kitty Weeks Mystery series that will leave readers impatiently awaiting Kitty’s next adventure.