Welcome to my turn on the clue hunt. Good luck making it away still sane (crazy rubs off ;P). Just to whet your appetits, here’s my review of this wonderful book. Read on, because after that I have an exclusive interview with Stephanie Morrill herself!
This book is action-packed. I read it in one day, which used to be normal for me but is now a bit of a rare occasion. First of all, this book takes place in the roaring 20s in Chicago. That alone has me intrigued. It features an girl who strains against the constraints of the expectations for woman at that time. While cliché, I didn’t mind it.
As usual, Stephanie Morrill succeeded to draw me in with her excellent writing and enticing characters.This was Stephanie Morrill’s first attempt at historical fiction and mystery and I think she did wonderfully. The fast-paced plot kept me guessing until the very end. Each character was so complex and the world around them felt very real.
I loved the exploration of the various mafias and the dark underbelly of a beloved American city. I think that, at least for me, mafias are rarely explored in YA and this definitely made the story stand out among the many books I’ve read.
The romance in this was very sweet and very shippable. While it seemed strange that two of the major female characters both had two men keen on them, I am glad it didn’t turn into a full blown love triangle.
This story was so twisty and every time I thought I knew how it would end Stephanie Morrill would throw a curveball my way. The relationships were all so complex, and you never really knew who to trust. Stephanie Morrill was born to write this kind of story and that showed in the complexity and originality of her story and her concise lyrical prose. She definitely knew what she was doing and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
CONTENT GUIDE –
Sexual – kissing, mentions of prostitutes, brothels, and affairs. Innuendos.
Cussing – implied, once or twice (ex. he muttered an expletive)
Violence – violence death, psychologically messed up person
Drinking/drugs – some mild drinking
(I know y’all are just here for this part. no judgement :D)
(my questions are bold, her answers are normal) (font not real life :P)
Hi, Stephanie! Welcome to my blog. Obviously we need to cover our bases first, so: tea or coffee?
I say, why choose? I’m a coffee girl, but every afternoon I have tea time with my kids when they get home from school.
What’s your preferred writing snack?
I wish I could say fruit or something real wholesome, but I’d be lying. Anything chocolate, preferably if it’s attached to peanut butter in some way.
You just released a new book into the world! Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yes! The Lost Girl of Astor Street is a 1920s mystery set in Chicago. The main character, Piper, has a best friend who goes missing from their affluent neighborhood, and she knows her friend never would have run away. She throws herself into search efforts, and finds more than she bargained for. It has a Veronica Mars meets 1920s feel.
That sounds great! Could you share a snippet from it that you’re a little bit proud of?
Sure! This is the scene where Piper learns that her best friend has been reported missing:
“Excuse me? Are you Miss Piper Sail?”
I turn toward the unfamiliar baritone and find myself face to face with the two detectives Jeremiah pointed out to me minutes ago. “Yes, I am.”
The older man is several steps up on the stairway, as if he were leading the way to the school doors. But the younger one stands on the same step as me. Both tip their hats, and the younger one speaks. “I’m Detective Cassano, and this is Detective O’Malley. Could we have a minute of your time to ask a few questions?”
What could they possibly…? “Of course. About what?”
As if their heads are connected, both detectives look to Jeremiah.
“I don’t mind if he hears.” I straighten my shoulders, remind myself of the truth. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“Of course not, Miss,” says Detective Cassano. “We’re here in service of the LeVine family.”
My surroundings dim with two exceptions—the grave expression on the detective’s face, and the way my heart seems intent to fly right out of my chest. “The LeVine family?”
“Dr. Charles LeVine?”
“Yes, I know. I’m best friends with their daughter.”
“That’s why we’re here. We hoped you could provide insight to her whereabouts.”
Oh, Lydia. What have you done?
“H-her whereabouts?” I swallow to steady my voice. “How do you mean?”
My stomach turns to ice as both detectives sweep their hats off their heads.
“I apologize to have to tell you, Miss Sail. We thought you would know by now.” Detective Cassano’s words are measured, as if being selected carefully. “Lydia LeVine has been reported missing.”
That’s really good! Could you share a little bit about your writing process? Plotter and Panster?
I used to be a total pantser. I felt like plotting was a waste of my time, suffocated my story, and I always thought of a better idea when I was writing anyway. Now that I understand a lot more about story structure, I’ve become more of a plotter. With The Lost Girl of Astor Street, I had a general idea of how everything was going to go down, but it took several drafts to really get it right and make it work. I’ve joked with a writing friend that my style seems to be that I write the first draft, realize that I didn’t do it right, and then rewrite the whole thing. Sometimes that feels way truer than I’d like!
Other than the Lost Girl of Astor Street, what are you currently working on?
I’m in the middle of edits for another book that is set in the same story world as Piper’s and has some overlap, but is a separate story. I have ideas for another Piper book, and I’ve done a tiny bit of writing on it, but I really want to make sure that it’s the right kind of sequel.
For those of us who haven’t read your books, could you share a little about them?
Sure. The Lost Girl of Astor Street is (so far) my only YA historical mystery. My previous titles are two different contemporary YA series, and you could learn more about them here. You can also grab one of my novellas for free when you sign up for my author newsletter.
Lastly, where can we find you on social media?
(for those of you who didn’t come for my review or for this amazing interview, you will find the clue below, bold and red)
I write books about girls who are on adventures to discover their unique place in the world. I would love to get to know you and learn about the adventure YOU are on. You can use the contact form on my site to chat with me about my books, ask me questions, or just to say hello!
AND here’s a list of all the other awesome blogs included in the hunt, in case you get lost or you want to start at the beginning:
Clue 1: Stephanie’s Morrill’s Blog
Clue 2: Some Books Are
Clue 3: Gabriella Slade
Clue 4: Page by Page, Book by Book
Clue 5: Pens and Scrolls
Clue 6: Singing Librarian Books
Clue 7: Heather Manning
Clue 8: Annie Louise Twitchell
Clue 9: Noveling Novelties
Clue 10: Kaitee Hart
Clue 11: Classics and Craziness
Clue 12: Zerina Blossom
Clue 13: Rebecca Morgan
Clue 14: Keturah’s Korner
Clue 15: That Book Gal
Clue 16: Anna Schaeffer
Clue 17: Hadley Grace
Clue 18: Lydia Howe
Clue 19: Ramblings by Bethany
Clue 20: Matilda Sjöholm
Clue 21: Lydia Carns
Clue 22: Broken Birdsong
Clue 23 & Clue 24: The Ink Loft
Clue 25: Roseanna M. White