Author: Roberta Rich
Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Nov. 21, 2023
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Simon & Schuster Canada
Book Rating: 8.5/10
A riveting historical thriller about a Jewish cigarette girl in 1930s New York who finds the soldier who burned down her Russian village years earlier only to be swept up in a political conspiracy on the eve of World War II—from the #1 bestselling author of The Midwife of Venice .
New York, 1939
Giddy Brodsky knows she’s lucky to have a job as a cigarette girl at a Manhattan jazz club, but she dreams of opening her own beauty shop and lifting her family out of poverty. The Brodskys have lived cheek to jowl in the Lower East Side tenements since they came to America nineteen years ago, fleeing a deadly pogrom in their Russian village. But they continue to face prejudice, especially with the rise of the fascist organization the American Bund.
Yet Giddy is focused on the future—until she recognizes one of the Cossacks who irrevocably changed her life and the past comes flooding back. Determined to get justice, she enlists the help of Carter van der Zalm, a regular at the jazz club who also happens to be the director with the Department of Immigration at Ellis Island. When Carter discloses that the Cossack is an “undesirable” and may be of interest to the government, Giddy agrees to moonlight as a spy for him.
Not everyone is who they appear to be, and after a shocking betrayal, Giddy finds herself embroiled in a political conspiracy that could bring America into the war in Europe.
From the gritty tenements to the glittering jazz clubs of 1930s New York, The Jazz Club Spy is a thrilling historical novel about a brash young woman who must use all her wits to save the ones she loves.
Compelling, vivid, and absorbing!
The Jazz Club Spy is a rich, engaging tale set in NYC during 1939 that takes you into the life of Giddy Brodsky, a young woman who, after immigrating to America with her family after surviving a pogrom in her Russian village, finds herself dreaming of opening a cosmetics store, working as a cigarette girl at a jazz club, and suddenly moonlighting as a spy when she accidentally bumps into the cossack who brutalized her family, and she gets mixed up with the Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island whom she goes to for help.
The prose is evocative and expressive. The characters are independent, spirited, and brave. And the plot is a mysterious tale of life, loss, love, self-discovery, war, politics, secrets, friendship, determination, poverty, family, betrayal, and espionage.
Overall, I found The Jazz Club Spy to be an intriguing, absorbing, atmospheric tale by Rich that did a lovely job of blending historical events, intense emotion, and thought-provoking suspense.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.