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The Boy in the Red Dress

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The Boy in the Red Dress

Bookseller Recommendation

The Boy in the Red Dress

“With so much uncertainty, I like being able to make declarative statements so here’s one: The Boy in the Red Dress is my favorite YA of the year. No question. Veronica Mars meets Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Lambert’s debut is a fun, enchanting mystery set in 1930 New Orleans that follows Millie, who helps her aunt run The Cloak and Dagger, a queer speakeasy. On New Year’s Eve, when a young socialite is found dead in the club’s courtyard the police suspect the club’s headliner and Millie’s best friend, the titular character, Marion. And Millie is the only one willing to actually investigate what happened and clear her friend’s name. It was so easy to fall in love with every character, so fully-realized, each with their own hopes and dreams and flaws, that with every scene I found myself hoping each new suspect wasn’t the murderer. With all the glamour and grit of a Baz Luhrman film, Lambert’s novel kept me guessing, kept me luxuriating in the ballrooms and back alleys. I didn’t want to leave.”

Wellesley Books image Cassie, Wellesley Books


A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery in this rollicking romp of truth, lies, and troubled pasts.

New Year's Eve, 1929.

Millie is running the show at the Cloak & Dagger, a swinging speakeasy in the French Quarter, while her aunt is out of town. The new year is just around the corner, and all of New Orleans is out to celebrate, but even wealthy partiers' diamond earrings can't outshine the real star of the night: the boy in the red dress. Marion is the club's star performer and his fans are legion--if mostly underground.

When a young socialite wielding a photograph of Marion starts asking questions, Millie wonders if she's just another fan. But then her body is found crumpled in the courtyard, dead from an apparent fall off the club's balcony, and all signs point to Marion as the murderer. Millie knows he's innocent, but local detectives aren't so easily convinced.

As she chases clues that lead to cemeteries and dead ends, Millie's attention is divided between the wry and beautiful Olive, a waitress at the Cloak & Dagger, and Bennie, the charming bootlegger who's offered to help her solve the case. The clock is ticking for the fugitive Marion, but the truth of who the killer is might be closer than Millie thinks.

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