The Lost Girl of Astor Street
When Piper Sail’s best friend, Lydia, goes missing in 1920s Chicago, Piper refuses to leave the investigation entirely in the hands of the local police, despite their protests otherwise. Eventually aided by the young and handsome detective Mariano, Piper sets off to break society’s expectations of a lady and uncover the truth, even when it leads back to her own neighborhood.
After a slower start, albeit with a twist, this is a fairly quick read with plenty of intrigue to draw the reader along. Rich in period details, we get a glimpse of the darker side of 1920s Chicago, with gangsters and rebellion against Prohibition, along with a taste of finer society. Piper is fabulously headstrong, but not overtly so, and makes for a dedicated heroine in search of her best friend. The people around Piper—parents, friends, detectives—tend to coddle and treat her as much younger than I think she’s intended to be—a young woman with spirit and the capacity to fall in love. I definitely had characters I was rooting for over others because of this, and I was not disappointed in the end. My main critique would be that at some moments the writing feels a touch too contemporary, which may simply be a matter of taste. Overall, an entertaining young adult read that will keep you guessing.