#bookreview: Murder for the Modern Girl #HistoricalNovelSociety

This is a wonderful historical paranormal fantasy that I reviewed for the August edition of Historical Novels Review, the magazine of The Historical Novel Society.

In 1928 Chicago, young Ruby is the daughter of the state’s attorney and popular at parties, but she also knows dangerous secrets—because Ruby is a mind reader. When her abilities put men in her path who prey on and murder women, Ruby takes matters into her own hands. Guy has talents of another kind, and his brilliance and abilities just may uncover Ruby’s hidden life. However, Guy has secrets of his own. When the two of them meet, sparks fly, and they become a powerful and gifted team. They soon begin investigating a crime that is close to Ruby’s heart.

This unique novel combines gangland Chicago of the late 1920s with young adult and paranormal fiction. Ruby, the witty flapper who also reads minds, explodes off the page. Her gift and cunning take her from respectable society to back-alley bars, and from the best gatherings to the best poison. With the ability to pull the thoughts right out of a murderer, she is a young vigilante, determined to make things right. Guy has talents of his own, and he is looking for answers as to where they came from. He brings caution to Ruby’s bravado, and she pulls him out of the shadows. These two characters are brilliantly crafted, and they instantly pull the reader in. The plot is thrilling and engaging, and the touches of romance are beautifully balanced. This is a fun and original historical paranormal thriller that will have readers begging for a sequel.

My rating is 4.6 stars, rounded up to five on sites without a half-star option.

I received a free copy of this book from Holiday House via the Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Kendall Kulper is an author and artist living in Cambridge, MA. She writes historical fantasy for young adult readers and has published three novels, beginning with Salt & Storm (YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, Junior Library Guild Selection) and Drift & Dagger (JLG Selection), and a novella, Saltwater Heart. Her latest novel, Murder for the Modern Girl (JLG Selection), is currently available, and her next novel, A Starlet’s Secret to a Sensational Afterlife, will be published in 2023.Since 2018, she has hand-crafted unique, custom embroidered pieces for clients around the world. She graduated from Harvard University with an honors degree in History & Literature in 2008 and lives with her husband, two daughters, and much-Instagrammed dog, Abby.

Kendall’s Social Media: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


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