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It's A Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod, Murder

By Rosemary Martin

     Bebe Bennett is a sweet girl from Richmond, Virginia, who is thrilled with her new life in New York. She works as a secretary to sexy talent scout, Bradley Williams of Rip City Records, gets to schmooze with the stars, and shares an apartment with Texan stewardess Darlene. With everything British in vogue, thanks to the Beatles, Rip City are keen to sign up chart-topping Philip Royal and the Beefeaters. Bebe and Darlene are all set for their dates with lead singer, Philip, and another band member, and hasten off in their mod finery to meet the rockers at the Legends hotel. But Philip has sung his last song, and Bebe and Darlene are the first to find him dead in his room. With Darlene as chief suspect, it is up to Bebe to try and find out whodunit before anybody else gets killed.

     This breathless evocation of New York in the 60s is a lot of fun. There is the murder mystery to enjoy, of course, and this has plenty of twists and turns to make it absorbing. But there is also the time and the place, and with Bebe as narrator these both come to life. It is a reminder of the fashions of the time - Jackie Onassis suits, Mary Quant cosmetics and beehive hairdos - but also the different outlook on life that people had. Bebe wants to have fun, but her main concern is getting married, and her dreams are very innocent and suitable to the period. Her main aim is getting married and having a baby, then presumably leaving her job, which is a means to this end. It is details like these that evoke the times even more than the music, clothes and slang expressions. This book is evocative for anybody who can remember the period, quite a social history lesson for anybody who cannot, and highly enjoyable for everybody. I'll certainly be looking out for the next book in this new series.

The Book

Signet (Penguin Group USA)
5 April 2005
Historical Crime [1964, New York]
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005