Women Sleuths in
Historical Mysteries

United States - New York, 1920

©1996-2013
womeninworldhistory.com

Free Love

by Annette Meyers

Poet Olivia Brown’s new life in her recently inherited brown stone house in Greenwich Village is shattered when she trips over a dead body whose face strongly resembles her own. When threats to her own life keep popping up, she joins forces with her lower level tenet, hard living private detective Harry Melville, to seek an end to this mounting terror. Who is the culprit, and why is he after her?

Olivia thrives in Greenwich Village which had become home to a fascinating mix of free spirits, eccentrics, writers, jazz musicians and social activists. Most are young, few with any money. Meyers has credibly created the Village atmosphere where intellectual life encouraged late night discussions in “tea” and “coffee” houses, along with excessive smoking and drinking in spite of Prohibition, and often done in defiance of it. The book’s title reflects this time of freedom when women chose lovers and abandoned them at will in great contrast to the mores of the Victorian age!

Period personalities appear in the plot such as Steven Lowell, the Providence Players, and the Hudson Dusters, the notorious Irish street gang whose members end up protecting Olivia more than once. Since Meyers’ character is loosely based on the poet Edna Vincent Millay, poetry related to the plot is interspersed throughout the book - a nice touch.

Meyers includes comments about the history behind the story. This is the first of her Olivia Brown series. They are nice companion books to the 1920s San Francisco Fremont Jones series by Dianne Day.

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