Title: The Curious Case of Florence Winters (Florence Winters #1)
Author: May Bridges
Published on: 12th March 2021
Genre: Cozy Mystery (Historical)
The Curious Case of Florence Winters is the first book in a brand new historical cozy mystery series by May Bridges and features a young woman named Florence Winters. The story is set in New York – it’s the 1920s – the era of elite socialites, pretty dresses (Chanel and others) and Women’s rights movements.
Florence Winters is 23, tall, skinny and unmarried. She lives in Ohio with her parents. When her father’s sister Aunt Julie writes to Flo’s parents, asking them to send Flo to New York as her companion, they readily agree. Aunt Julie is a widow and Flo is under the impression the lady needs some help in managing the house. But when Flo reaches New York, she realizes her aunt only wanted a companion. By chance, Florence stumbles upon a secret meeting in the middle of the night – a handful of elite women meet in Aunt Julie’s house; reason unknown (to Flo).
One of the elites disappears and Aunt Julie becomes the main suspect. Flo’s curiosity is piqued, she wants to prove her aunt’s innocence and bring the real perp to justice.
As a first in the series, the spotlight is on setting and character introduction. As this is a historical cozy, gowns, dances and palatial mansions galore! Florence is a fan of Agatha Christie’s novels – this was a nice touch to the story; An amateur sleuth drawing inspiration from a crime author. Somehow, I felt the character introduction could have been better. Some more details on Aunt Julie’s “secret meetings” and maybe Florence ending up being a part of the ‘secret society’ would have made this story interesting.
The crime – missing person – does not happen until the latter half of the story. This certainly means less time to gather clues and possibly, an abrupt ending. I really loved the sleuthing part – as an amateur, Florence finds her way through clubs and race courses. The character portrayal was okay, I certainly hope it gets better in the next book.
Overall, The Curious Case of Florence Winters looks like a promising historical cozy debut. Niggles aside, I am looking forward to reading the next book.