Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Review: The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

I don't seek out books with unreliable narrators as I tend to like things a little more straightforward, but every once in a while, especially when it's very well done, it's a treat. And that was the case with The Other Typist.

In the 1920s in New York, Rose, a plain but self-sufficient orphan, is a typist at a police precinct. She likes her job, takes pride in her skills, and enjoys helping to put away the bad guys. One day Odalie starts as another typist. Odalie is beautiful, glamorous, and takes a shine to Rose. They become fast friends and under Odalie's influence, Rose starts to go to speakeasies, moves out of her Brooklyn boarding house into Odalie's fancy hotel suite, and get involved with Odalie's fast crowd. Then things go terribly wrong.

This book took a lot of twisty turns, especially at the end. It was a very cool mystery with a few fascinating reveals that I could have never predicted (but which were well set up; once you knew the ending you could see where there had been some earlier clues.) In fact, it was tricky to figure out exactly what happened, but in an intriguing way, not a frustrating way, and it led to some very interesting and passionate debates in my book club. It was a perfect book for a book club for precisely that reason. It also was a favorite, and many people commented that it was their favorite book club selection this year, by far (I agreed.) I enjoyed it thoroughly, and was almost tempted to reread it, to see the set-up in action. It was a lot of fun.

I bought this book at Barnes & Noble.

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