It's July 1936 and Toronto is under a record-breaking heat wave. Charlotte Frayne is the junior associate in a two-person private investigation firm, owned by T. Gilmore. Two events set the book’s plot in motion: an anti-Semitic hate letter is delivered to Gilmore, who up to now has not acknowledged his religion, and Hilliard Taylor, a veteran of the First World War requests the firm’s assistance in uncovering what he believes is systematic embezzlement of the Paradise Café, which he owns and operates with three other men, all of whom were prisoners of war. The two events, although seemingly completely unrelated, come together in this wonderful novel that brings to life characters who are as real to the reader as those of the Murdoch series.
"The plotting of this slim novel is seamless. There’s only 240 pages but we solve not one but two mysteries and learn a great deal about the protagonist and the supporting characters in her life. Nothing is rushed or glossed over; the storyline climaxes in a short yet action-packed few pages, and our journey to that point wasn’t totally unpredictable, but enjoyable nonetheless."
"In contemporary fiction, the millennial-aged single woman is often a character through whom we identify our own paucity and miscalculations: the lack of children, money, stability or foresight providing a plot in which to flail. What a relief it is then to spend time with a protagonist who isn’t defined by the traditions she rejects – in the summer of 1936, no less."