New York City. 1916. Nineteen-year-old Kitty Weeks wakes up at 7:15 in the morning when her maid, Grace, draws back the curtains in her bedroom. She slips into her modern bathroom, showers in a tub complete with hand-shower and running hot and cold water. She brushes her teeth with toothpowder and then pads out her dressing room to choose her outfit for the day.
Kitty lives with her father, Julian Weeks, in the grand New Century Apartments on West End Avenue in Manhattan. He has the master bedroom; she’s converted the two back bedrooms into a suite for herself. The apartment boasts a living room, dining room, and study as well as kitchen and pantry, two maids’ rooms and a maids’ bathroom. The Weeks’ household includes two live-in staff—Grace, and their cook, Mrs. Codd. A daily also comes in to help.
After she dresses for the day, probably in a skirt with a matching jacket and a silk blouse paired with discrete pearl earrings, Kitty heads to the dining room to join her father for breakfast. He eats a hot meal—eggs, meat and coffee; she’s a bit of a health fiend, and enjoys Kellogg’s cornflakes. They both read the paper and discuss the news of the day. Then, a few minutes before nine, Kitty heads off to work—she’s a journalist who writes for the “Ladies’ Page” of the New York Sentinel.
Even though she has her own car, a sporty Stutz Bearcat, the Weekses’ chauffeur drives Kitty to the office in the family’s Packard because it’s difficult to park on Broadway. Kitty checks in with her boss, the indomitable Helena Busby, then settles in beside her co-worker, the shopgirl-turned-typist-turned-Ladies’-Page-assistant Jeannie Williams. Kitty only works until lunch, after which she leaves for home—or to secretly continue working on a case she might be investigating. In Murder Between the Lines, it’s the mysterious death of a sleepwalking boarding school student, Elspeth Bright; in A Front Page Affair, it’s the shooting of Hunter Cole, a society ne’er-do-well. Afterwards, she might go riding in Central Park, or visit her posh friend, Amanda Vanderwell. Kitty also enjoys trips to museums, going to the ‘movies’ to watch her favorite heroines on screen (with Grace to accompany her, naturally!), and she usually ends the day with dinner with father. From the description of her day-to-day activities you would never guess that there’s a huge war going on in Europe… and soon, as Kitty discovers, everything’s going to change…
You can read more about Kitty in Murder Between The Lines, the second book in the “Kitty Weeks” mystery series.
Intrepid journalist Kitty Weeks returns in the second book in this acclaimed WW1-era historical mystery series to investigate the death of a boarding school student.
When Kitty’s latest assignment for the New York Sentinel Ladies’ Page takes her to Westfield Hall, she expects to find an orderly establishment teaching French and dancing-but there’s more going on at the school than initially meets the eye.
Tragedy strikes when a student named Elspeth is found frozen to death in Central Park. The doctor’s proclaim that the girl’s sleepwalking was the cause, but Kitty isn’t so sure.
Determined to uncover the truth, Kitty must investigate a more chilling scenario-a murder that may involve Elspeth’s scientist father and a new invention by a man named Thomas Edison.
For fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Rhys Bowen, Murder Between the Lines combines true historical events with a thrilling mystery.
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Meet the author
Radha Vatsal is the author of A Front Page Affair, which was selected by Library Journal as Debut Mystery of the Month, and Murder Between the Lines (May 2017), the first two novels in the Kitty Weeks mystery series set in WWI-era New York. Vatsal studied women filmmakers and action-film heroines of silent cinema at Duke University, where she received her Ph.D. from the English Department. Her writing has appeared in the Smithsonian.com and the Atlantic.com. She is also co-editor of the Women Film Pioneers Project. She was born in Mumbai, India and lives in New York City. You can find her at www.radhavatsal.com
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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Murder Between The Lines. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends July 10, 2017. Good luck everyone!