review: The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

typist

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell is yet another example of a stunning debut author of 2013. This year has not disappointed me, and I cannot wait for more. But, onto the review…

1920s New York City. Mobsters. The Charleston. Speakeasies. Glitz and glam. Rose Baker does not fit in this culture. Rose Baker is an observer, and the self-proclaimed moral barometer of the orphange where she was raised and the police precint where she is employed. She adores her boss the honorable Chief of Police, and abhores her gossipy roommate Helen. Her life is her job. That is, until the day a stunning woman walks into the precint to interview for the job of typist. Rose takes an unnatural interest in the raven-haired Odalie Lazare, and through no act of her own, somehow becomes the new girl’s best friend and roommate.

But Odalie is perfect for the era. She knows how to talk to men, how to order a drink, to smoke a cigarette. She is a modern girl. But she is no typist. In fact, she is no good at her job, and Rose constantly corrects it for her dear friend. But the job keeps her close to the goings-on of the police department which comes in handy for a woman whose real profession is less than legal during the time of the Volstead Act. These two women could not be more dissimilar.

The relationship between these two women is story alone, but Rindell added mystery and intrigue, and all at once the pace picks up and the reader is breathless and screams No, you have the wrong person! And then the reader’s breathing slows and wonders…do they?

This is an incredible novel with twists and turns at the end, but don’t worry…getting to the end is no chore. It is fun. Rindell’s writing is descriptive and delicious. You can hear, smell, and taste the city and all of the pleasures the women imbibe. I adored the details of the era, though I wish the author would have spent more time on the historical details and the backstories of the mobs and speakeasies. Oh well, that’s for another book I suppose. (Any recommendations??)

Recommended for:
Women. I think women would really enjoy this story of two incongruous women, and love the action of the glamorous fashions, drinks, and fun described.

Read-alikes:
Gatsby.

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