I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Murder Between the Lines is the second book in Radha Vatsal’s Kitty Weeks mystery series. These books take place during World War I- but before the United States has entered the war. Kitty is a young woman who works as a newspaper reporter for the Ladies’ Page of The New York Sentinel. She doesn’t intend to become a detective, but her dedication to discovering the truth compels her to pursue irregularities until victims receive the justice they deserve.
In this book, a routine story about a girls’ boarding school places Kitty back in investigator mode. At the school, Kitty meets a bright girl named Elspeth. They arrange to get together when Elspeth returns home for Christmas vacation. She is excited about something she wants to tell Kitty, but the next morning, Elspeth is found outside- dead. The death is labeled a tragic accident, a side effect of Elspeth’s childhood sleepwalking. Naturally, Kitty is suspicious, and as she probes deeper, she realizes that she has every reason to feel that way.
This was a satisfying book. Vatsal is a talented writer with an eye for period details. I was especially pleased with her “name-dropping” of the Automobile Girls books series at the beginning of the book; these titles are free on the Kindle, and I can imagine how these fun books would have displeased the stern headmistress of a girls’ school. But, I digress- another aspect of the book that I liked was the way in which Vatsal combined Kitty’s personal life with her sleuthing. In fact, it is Kitty’s relatively high position in society that grants her entrée to prominent people in the city.
I would recommend Murder Between the Lines. Reading the first book is not a requirement; this book functions well as a standalone. I’m not positive, but I’m fairly confident that the mystery from the first book is not spoiled in this book. I was not able to solve the mystery before the “big reveal”; hints are dropped, but many are red herrings. Kitty Weeks is a charming protagonist; she has a quiet charm and confidence that make her easy to like. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series!