Miss Aldridge Regrets | Louise Hare

The opening to Miss Aldridge Regrets plunges the reader straight into a murder in a way that is completely thrilling.

From this point on, the story doesn’t let up, bringing surprise after surprise in an enormously entertaining read.

Louise Hare’s skilful plotting had me exclaiming aloud as she casually dropped an event or twist into the narrative. It’s all done so effortlessly that I was taken aback and totally captivated.

Miss Aldridge Regrets deserves recognition every bit as much as the books from Golden Age crime writers like Agatha Christie because it’s so well written.

Drawn in… and thrown off the scent

Most of the action takes place on board ship with a few flashback moments. This is a claustrophobic, locked room-type story that completely ensnares the reader.

The narrative is so captivating because there is intrigue, an anonymous narrator as well as Lena’s first person account, and several sinuous diversions that both draw in the reader and throw them off the scent of what is really going on.

I thought it was wonderful and the final reveal completely took me by surprise.

A touch of film noir

The dialogue is absolutely spot on for the era. The settings are so glamorous that reading Miss Aldridge Regrets is akin to being plunged directly into the world of the 1930s, with a pitch perfect touch of the film noir about it.

Louise Hare has a very visual and auditory style of writing that is incredibly effective.

I thought it was wonderfully authentic through the references to social etiquette, the songs, clothes and food.

Indeed, one of the most important threads that runs through the novel – the racial identity of Lena – couldn’t have been better explored for the era.

A strong yet vulnerable heroine

Similarly, Louise Hare manages to educate her reader about social class, as well as race, with such subtlety and eloquence that Miss Aldridge Regrets is like holding up a mirror to the world.

Lena is a complex character, both strong and vulnerable. She makes the reader wonder exactly how they might respond, in her place, to the events that befall her.

From murder to family relationships, lovers to enemies, loyalty to deception… Lena’s story encapsulates them all in a whirlwind of exciting moments.

Miss Aldridge Regrets is a delicious read that is evocative of the 1930s and yet remains modern and fresh. Despite its darker themes of murder and prejudice, it’s completely filled with humanity and joy too. I thought it was brilliant.

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