Title: Who’s That Girl?
Series: Soho Noir: Book Two
Author: T.S. Hunter
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 95 Pages
Category: Murder Mystery
At a Glance: Who’s That Girl? has left me anticipating the next book in the Soho Noir series. These are cozy mysteries, engaging and briskly paced, offering up just enough clues and details to entertain my love of armchair sleuthing.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: A DEAD CABARET HOST. A BROKEN STILETTO AND A FEMME FATALE WITH A POINT TO PROVE.
It’s the summer of 1985 in London’s Soho, and Joe Stone is settling in in his new home at the heart of London’s developing gay scene.
When Danny Devraux—the compère they’ve hired to host their charity ball, The Frock Show—is found dead backstage, it falls to Joe and his friend Russell to figure out what happened.
All they have to go on is the broken-off heel of a stiletto found near the scene, and the briefest glimpse of a mystery woman fleeing the scene. But who was she?
Past secrets, bent coppers, drag queens and old lovers play their part in this noirish murder mystery.
Review: Fresh on the heels of his debut novella, Tainted Love, comes the second book in T.S. Hunter’s Soho Noir series, Who’s That Girl?, and the return of its protagonists Joe Stone and Russell Dixon…who just can’t seem to avoid a good murder mystery.
Events that occurred in the first novella have led to a deepening friendship between Joe and Russell. Joe now rents a room in Russell’s home where Joe and his boyfriend, Luc, are at times the subject of Russell’s private thoughts about a relationship of his own. Joe has influenced Russell quite a lot in their short acquaintance, helping Russell to realize that times are changing, and he in fact can have what—or who—he wants. The observations here are pointed and meant to direct the reader’s gaze not only to the generational gap between the two friends but the time-period in which the story is set as well—1985 wasn’t that long ago, in the grand scheme of things, and yet it’s these subtleties that give the series a historical sort of feel.
Bitter wounds and past hurts are at the heart of this installment and, as with book one, I was kept guessing as to the identity of the killer until that person was revealed. There was a heartbreaking element to Who’s That Girl? as well, which offers a touching and sentimental tone to the story. It’s a story of reckoning and healing and second chances. And if Russell helped that along by bending the law a bit, I didn’t mind in the slightest. Good comes from the bad rarely enough in real life that I will gladly accept it in my fiction.
Russell’s old nemesis Detective Skinner is back as well, despicable is his raison d’etre, and he’s as repugnant as ever. The tension and loathing between him and Russell is palpable, he serves as Russell’s foil in every way, and he does nothing more than manage to highlight his own incompetence in the process. There remains an arc of contention between them through these first two novellas, giving readers a definitive antagonist to root against. And one thing remains clear after each encounter: Skinner will not take Russell down again without a fight.
As with Tainted Love, Who’s That Girl? has left me anticipating the next book in the series. These are cozy mysteries, engaging and briskly paced, offering up just enough clues and details to entertain my love of armchair sleuthing. They are books for readers looking for a little intrigue where romance isn’t the focus, with the added benefit of characters I personally have enjoyed getting to know.
You can buy Who’s That Girl? here: