Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare: A review
The title of this book was guaranteed to get my attention. I used to be Miss Aldridge long ago. (Actually, long, long ago now, in what seems like another lifetime.) Ah, well, time marches on and so do I, so I read the book about this Miss Aldridge, and here's what I learned about her.
Lena Aldridge had hoped for a brilliant career in the theater but when we meet her she is reduced to being a nightclub singer. We are in London in 1936, so, fraught and disappointing times to begin with. Her married lover has just dumped Lena and she's wondering if anything is ever going to go her way.
Then, to make matters worse, her best friend's husband is murdered and her world truly seems to be falling apart. When a stranger unaccountably offers her a chance at a starring role on Broadway and a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary to take her there, she jumps at the chance without questioning her good fortune.
But then bad luck seems to have followed her on board when a fellow passenger is murdered in a strikingly similar manner to her friend's husband. Suspicion falls on her since she has now been in the vicinity of two murders during a short period of time. How can she extricate herself from this mess and maybe solve a murder in the process?
This was the first entry in what is dubbed the "Canary Club" mysteries, the Canary Club being the nightclub at which Lena performs. So it seems that more murders will follow, more chances for the nightclub singer to play detective. It was not a bad start. Lena is a sympathetic character and, of course, the late 1930s in London and in New York were interesting times, to put it mildly. There's plenty of material for drama there. It remains to be seen what Louise Hare will make of it.