Chicago, 1927 is a positutely marvelous place to find parties if you’re a flapper like Ruby. It’s also a city rampant with crime, corruption, and murder.
But Ruby can explain every single one of her murders. Honest.
In a time and place where women are always vulnerable, Ruby has found an unlikely niche for herself doling out vigilante justice between parties with a variety of poisons that have left a trail of unsolved crimes in her wake. She isn’t particularly worried about being caught. Not when her father, the state’s attorney, is the only one with a good head on his shoulders in Chicago’s law enforcement.
Which is why it’s not entirely surprising when someone targets Ruby and her father.
Luckily, Ruby isn’t just a pretty face or a vigilante. She’s her father’s protege as much as anything with her own keen eye for the law. One she’s ready to use to find whoever hurt her father. Unluckily, Ruby realizes that her brand of justice isn’t quite as anonymous as she thought after an encounter with a bland morgue technician in an alley.
Guy hasn’t used his real name–or his real face–for a long time. How can he when he’s working so hard to hide from his shameful past? Working in the morgue might be the break Guy needs to understand his strange shapeshifting ability. Until an exuberant flapper upends his careful plans.
Together this unlikely duo will have their hands full trying to fight corruption, find the would-be assassin, and keep themselves out of prison in Murder for the Modern Girl (2022) by Kendall Kulper.
Murder for the Modern Girl alternates between Ruby and Guy’s first person narrations. All characters are assumed white.
Kulper delivers jazz age vibes and surprising fantasy elements in this story where Ruby uses her ability as a mind reader to deliver justice while Guy struggles to understand his own strange power–elements that are never fully explained or integrated into the story although they are key to the plot. Readers dive right into the fast-paced story with minimal backstory for either protagonist as the action keeps coming. Readers questioning Ruby’s motives may have a hard time getting on board with her status as a vigilante and, essentially, a serial killer but it is an arc that’s fully explored throughout the novel and does end with Ruby turning her back on her life of crime to fight for justice through more conventional means.
Filled with slang, speakeasies, and fabulous dresses, Murder for the Modern Girl is an inventive mystery filled feminist justice and more adventure than you can shake a stick at.
Possible Pairings: Blood and Moonlight by Erin Beaty, Born of Illusions by Teri A, Brown, A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson, Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz, Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok