Murder in the City of Liberty

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

With a war stirring across the pond, tensions are high in 1940s Boston. As sides are taken and lines are drawn, Hamish and Reggie must find out where they stand–both as individuals and together–and who to trust.

Returning to the Van Buren and DeLuca Mysteries is a bit like revisiting old friends. I love Hamish and Reggie and Nate and was so eager to read more about them. It was charming to see the friendship between Reggie and Hamish evolve over the course of the novel, as well as to learn of a budding romance for Nate. In Murder in the City of Liberty, we see the dynamic duo further grow into their independence in the fabulous and charming city of Boston. I adored the early ‘40s setting and reading about Reggie and Hamish’s fledgling detective business. Scattered throughout the novel are references to classic literature and film, as well as history tidbits that will keep you turning pages; hallmarks of Rachel McMillan’s writing style.

Yet the book is not all fun and games. The serious issues of racism and mental illness are dealt with openly in this novel. Again, we are given a look at Hamish’s anxiety and panic disorder. His mental illness is dealt with in an honest and open way that will give fellow sufferers like myself someone to relate to. At times, it seemed as if the mystery took a backseat to Hamish and Reggie’s romance. Still, it was heartbreaking to read of the hate crimes that were so prevalent in the early 20th century.

While Murder in the City of Liberty might not have been my favorite offering from McMillan, I still enjoyed the book and would recommend it to fans of vintage tales and cozy mysteries.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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Hamish DeLuca and Reggie Van Buren are back in action with their own private investigation firm. Just be warned that it helps to read Murder at the Flamingo to know what’s happened in the past. This isn’t meant as a stand-alone novel. While there is a murder (as the title implies) much of the story involves Hamish and Reggie sorting out their feelings for one another. 

I love the settings and characters. The author paints a fabulous backdrop with Boston in the late 1930’s/early 1940’s. Just before the US joins WWII, racial and political tensions create an interesting and historical window into this time period. Hamish will steal the reader’s heart as he struggles to overcome anxiety to forge his own way in life, similar to what Reggie is doing by making hard choices to leave the past behind while she finds her own identity. 

The mystery part wasn’t as intriguing as the setting and characters and played a secondary role for me, so the element of suspense wasn’t there. It wasn’t a fast-paced novel, yet I became completely immersed in Murder in the City Liberty. It definitely transports readers to a different time period where the characters come to life on every page. The characters have real flaws and struggles, making them vulnerable in a way that tugs on your heart strings.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I love Rachel's characters and how she brings their time period to life. The characters are super fun and unique. This was an enjoyable historical mystery.
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This took me a while to penetrate - the opening is trying to accomplish so much in a condensed number of pages that I did not understand what was being established - but soon we figure that the gangster is dear cousin of Hamish, one of  a pair of old fashioned detectives  still grappling with that courtly form of sexism between them that pervades those couples who pursue crimes on a semi-amateur basis - this is set in mid 19th century somehow. In the end the crime is so  convoluted about a property grab  and the author spends much time on the romantic entanglements of the couple who are really, of course, in love with each other that it becomes romance novel..-  and  I cannot recommend this for any reader other than those liking romance. The family ties and melodramatic injuries to loved ones is not truly convincing. Pleasant enough cosy ...
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This is a second book in a mystery series.   I did not have the benefit of reading the first book.   Like some other modern mystery series, the latter books must recount much of the action of the earlier books.   Like some of the recent mystery series I recently have read, the focus of the story is about the main characters and the mystery plays a secondary role.

The strength of the book is that it gives what feels like an authentic picture of Boston at a certain period.   The weakness of the book is that I did not find Regina van Buren, the main female character, very convincing.   I did not understand what makes her rebel against her society upbringing.    Hamish Luca the main male protagonist of the novel is somewhat more believable.   Still I found it hard to believe that a lawyer trained in Canada could easily practice law in the United States.
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Having devoured Rachel McMillan's first book featuring Hamish and Reggie, I was over the moon to get a chance to read an ARC from NetGalley. I devoured this sophomore novel as well.
We return to Boston, and encounter Hamish and Reggie trying to give their detective business a go. I don't want to spoil any plot points, but there are a number of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I love Hamish's anxiety-ridden character juxtaposed with Reggie's innate strength. These two are a dynamic duo of a kind I haven't encountered before, and they're a pleasure to follow through Boston's cobbled streets. I'm drawn in by McMillan's meticulous research of the era; I feel transported to a time and place gone by.
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Can’t say enough good things about this series. It’s charming, atmospheric, and very sweet without ever getting too sappy. 

The mystery was better in the first book than in this installment of the series, as the plot concerning the waterfront property felt unnecessarily convoluted and at times hard to follow, but the bigger picture storylines continue to impress and I enjoyed the nod to baseball in the story.
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I love old movies. In fact, if you give me a choice between a clean modern movie and an old movie, I will almost always choose the old movie. I don't know what it is about old movies but the actresses are classier, the actors are more handsome and debonair and the acting is so much better. Even though it is a new book,  Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan is written in the style of an old black and white movie. I even read it in black and white! And I don't mean just black words on a white page, but I actually pictured what was happening in black and white. If you've read and enjoyed the first book in the series, Murder at the Flamingo, then  you will definitely want to read this book. It picks up a couple years later and puts you right in the middle of Boston just before the United States joins World War II.  It has exciting moments, romantic moments, and moments that had me wondering if the book was going to end in the way I wanted it to. It was fantastic. So, if you are wanting to read a book that is like an old classic movie, try Murder in the City of Liberty. 

I recommend this book to anyone who loves old movies, the 1940s, baseball, mystery, romance and historical fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan is a story filled with accurate details and a nod to classic literature. The story does have a dead body in it and does move the story along, but, I believe, the plot is more a cultural nod to the social and racial tensions of the 1940's. America is on the brink of World War II, even though majority of the citizens want to ignore the rising terror. McMillan jumps into the plot and brings 1940's Boston to life. I really enjoy her attention to historical detail with her settings and bringing the conflicts to light. The romantic heat between Hamish and Reggie spark even hotter in this addition of their story. McMillan does wonderfully at creating a story that grips my attention and kept me glued to the page. I finished the whole novel in under one day. Wonderful story. I can't wait to see what troubles and romance come to Hamish and Reggie next. 

I received a complimentary copy of Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan from Thomas Nelson publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
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Rating: 3.5/5
Murder in the City of Liberty is set two years after the first book Murder at the Flamingo. Europe and Hamish’s homeland Canada are at war, but the US has yet to join. Although they were not yet in the trenches; racism and anti-Semitism was growing fast. 
This second book in the Van Buren and DeLuca series was more exciting than Murder at the Flamingo. It did rely on the past events and characters, so I would definitely recommend reading the series in order. 
Even though I wasn’t exactly captured by the mystery itself, there were several aspects that I did enjoy. Those include:
The baseball storyline, which added to the patriotic theme, that painted a vivid picture of 1940’s America.
The way McMillan was able to write a murder mystery centered around such atrocities without using a single racial slur, profanity or graphic descriptions of violence. 
And of course; my favourite character Hamish DeLuca, who is the epitome of a gentleman. 
Rachel McMillan is a talented writer who I would highly recommend.
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Historical fiction with a touch of crime is always appealing to me--and, this book' set in Boston, 1940 held a lot of promise for me.  The two protagonists are compelling characters but the mystery takes a very distant second place to the romance.  And, for me that was both boring and tedious.

I wanted the modest, but dashing, hero to win the girl.  And, I was prepared for him to have to earn his place before she came to her senses----but, all of the tension in the book seemed to be romantic, not plot inspired.  The criminal aspects of the book were convoluted enough (although secondary) that I was frequently confused---and, this book did not merit the reader getting confused about "who's on first."

This is a series I wanted to enjoy. With characters crafted to earn our affection and interest. But, the author just didn't deliver enough story or depth of character to really engage me.

Netgalley provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Here's what's strange about this book:  I found the mystery rather confusing with too many characters to keep track of, at times, I felt descriptions were over-written, and I was annoyed that the two main characters who were obviously in love couldn't read each other's emotions.  So, why am I still eager to read the next in the series?  I think it's the well-researched historical setting and that despite driving me crazy, the two main characters are delightful.  Do read the first in the series before you read this one.  You will need the backstory.
Review based on an ARC from NetGalley.
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This is the second in the series, and I did like it better than the first one. The characters were  fleshed out and made more believable. I especially liked her historically accurate assessment of life in Boston 1940s. The author has a good sense of time and place and the dialogue is entertaining.
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Where do I START? First off THANK YOU to the publisher for trusting me with an ARC of this phenomenal book.

As I went back in time to enjoy another ride with Hamish and Reggie, I couldn't help but to smile and feel that happy giddy vibe the 1st book gave me. Another hit full of mystery and wit and sweetness, Murder in the City of Liberty is a fantastic addition to the Van Buren DeLuca storyline. I loved everything from the cozyness of the mystery to the anxiety Hamish has to still deal with.. this will no doubtfully be a story to remember. =]
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Fast-paced ~ Richly-detailed ~ Stressful

tl;dr: Mystery in Boston touches on prejudice. 

This face-paced mystery novel set at the cusp of War War II tells about the American milieu. Boston was full of baseball, beautiful buildings, and antisemitism. This a great historic mystery, and I didn't quite know the perpetrator. Reggie, the main female character, makes this a great read. I will definitely add this Canadian author to my list of historic mystery favs. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Reading this book makes me feel as if I’d just watched an old pre-war 1940’s movie.  I was glad to read more of Reggie and Hamish’s story.  The author makes references to this in the book, but they could be modeled after Nick and Nora Charles in “The Thin Man” movies filmed  during that era.  The description fits this time period perfectly with the music, parties, and glamour.  The historical details enhance the story.  The dialogue between Reggie and Hamish is sparkling and helps define their characters.  There’s quite a mystery to be solved.  It was interesting and held my attention.  I’ve never er been quite sure if Reggie would end up marrying Hamish or Vaughn, but this book helped answer that question.  Hamish is a great fictional character.  I’m still warming up to Reggie, and hope to read more about them Iin another book in this series.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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Murder In the City of Liberty is a romantic historical mystery/thriller with very captivating characters and an awesome story line. The setting is in Boston at the start of World War ll. Rachel McMillan does an excellent job of weaving the separate plot lines into an extremely complex conspiracy. The story is fast paced and fun to read and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Murder in the City of Liberty is an astoundingly good historical thriller set in pre-WWII Boston.  Not only does it capture the feel of the time, it accurately captures the social unrest and ingrained bigotry that was common.  While it doesn’t pull punches when showing antisemitism, corruption, and the rise of pro-nationalistic fascist sentiment, the novel also shows the strength and determination of those wanting to bring forth positive change.  

Reggie and Hamish start with two seemingly unrelated cases - that of a boatman trying to prevent the building of apartments on his land (which is unsuitable for building), and that of Errol Parker a leading baseball player in the farm leagues who is suffering from harassment.  Rachel McMillan does an excellent job threading the separate plotlines together into a more complex conspiracy. If you like historical mysteries, you definitely should take the time to read Murder in the City of Liberty.

5 / 5

I received a copy of Murder in the City of Liberty from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.

-- Crittermom
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historical-fiction, historical-places-events, cozy-mystery, suspense 

I had some trouble getting into the 1940s mindset, but enjoyed all the twists and turns of the plot. It starts out with a bang and then kind of runs along like an old school rolley coaster with ups, downs, and variant speed. Lots of bad guys to boo and hiss at. The main characters are interesting and engaging even when I wanted to shake some sense into them! I didn't really appreciated it as much as the first one, but that's probably because of how I feel about hate crimes of any sort. 
All in all it's a good read! 
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing and this is my own opinion.
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I did enjoy this mystery even if it was sometimes hard to follow.
I liked the well researched historical setting, the descriptions of the social environment, and the cast of characters.
The mystery was good and it kept me guessing till the end.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
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