Book Review – A Fatal Finale
This week on the blog I review this wonderful book.
It is New York in 1899. Diva Ella Shane is an opera singer famous for playing ‘trouser roles’ – playing the male leads.
When the Juliet to her Romeo drinks real poison at the end of a performance, at first everyone believes it’s an accident. However, after a dashing duke comes all the way from England with unanswered questions, Ella starts to suspect foul play.
This book has been amazing from start to finish. A brilliant balance of real mystery combined with one of the best developments of friendship in fiction I’ve seen since Jane Eyre met Mr. Rochester. Not to mention truly stunning description and turns of phrase, as well as rich historical details interwoven into the story.
The star performer – pun intended – in this novel is of course the character of Ella. Ms. Shane is a breath of fresh air on every page, from her determination to be herself and live the life of music that she loves, from the witty remarks that had be laughing out loud. The author does well in speaking of Ella’s hard upbringing and that she is ‘between two worlds’ sitting somewhere in between the aristocratic and common realms of society. Kalb also offers a unique insight into faith and a character from a multi-faith background.
An important aspect of the book is also the author’s treatment of women in the era and the issues they faced. Ella adds a clear and true voice to this and the issues – such as a woman’s place in society and the expectation of family, rather than any kind of career – are authentically and sensitively explored.
It feels very apt for me to be reviewing this book on International Women’s Day and the topics are no less pertinent today.
This book does contain a very real mystery, but this book is also more than a mystery. It is also a very touching story of friendship of two people who are equally matched and a brilliant insight into late Victorian era New York at the turn of the century. The friendship and affection for her cousin Tommy and his relationship is also delightful.
This book has everything – there’s even a parrot who does very well at stealing the spotlight. This has leapt straight into one of my favourite indie reads and I recommend everyone adds it to their reading pile immediately! You can check out ‘A Fatal Finale’ by hitting the buttons below.
I’m excited to read Kalb’s next book, ‘A Fatal First Night’, which comes out on the 27th April. Thankfully I don’t have too long to wait! In fact my birthday is right around then so I may be dropping a couple of not-so subtle hints to have the sequel as a birthday present.
Till next time,
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