Lola Woodby, widow and disgraced socialite, and her former
cook Berta Lundgren are still struggling to make their
detective agency prosperous. Lola's sister Lillian is
getting married in a few months, and due to circumstances,
Lola will be matron of honor. Providing that she makes the
right choices of caterer and florist, and takes care of
every pesky little detail, Lola's mother will welcome her
back in the bosom of their august family. Lola and Berta are
hard at work sampling pastries and other delicacies while
waiting for Lola's beau, Ralph Oliver, to pop the question.
The lady detectives have a job lined up to look into the
thefts of stolen linen carts -- well, one does have to pay
the bills, doesn't one? However Ralph, who is a PI, also
has work for them: to retrieve a stuffed rhinoceros head
that belongs to -- the oh so dashing! -- Lord Sundley. Lola
and Berta are on their way to Connecticut, pretending to be
hunting enthusiasts -- which will be murder on Lola's
T-straps! -- however the only hunting that takes place is
for a killer.
The Discreet Retrieval
Agency is such a brilliant series! GIN AND PANIC is
the third book, and possibly the best so far. Set during the
Probihition, Maia Chance's grasp of the era still amazes
me, as she uses the modern conveniences of the times for
creative detecting purposes, and for the reader's
entertainment as well. While Berta remains her practical and
efficient Swedish self, Lola's eccentricities and flights
of fancy save the day, cutting in on her nibbling and
gastronomic excesses. This time Lola is up to her
"highballs" while her precious Cedric, Lola's Pomeranian,
hardly leaves her side.
Ms. Chance's gloriously witty dialogues are absolutely
enchanting, and with all the razzle-dazzle of the swank
surroundings, fabulous secondary characters, and the myriad
historical tidbits, the authors still spins a very complex
whodunit, and she had me again, because while not missing a
word, I had no idea who had done what! And one must not
forget the dash of romance! GIN AND PANIC is a treat for
fans of the 1920s and a delightful cozy mystery for the
Former socialite Lola Woodby is now struggling to make ends
meet as a not-so-discreet private eye in Prohibtion-era New
York City, along with her stern Swedish sidekick, Berta.
When they’re offered a piece-of-cake job—retrieving a
rhinoceros trophy from the Connecticut mansion of big game
hunter Rudy Montgomery—it seems like a no-brainer. After
all, their client, Lord Sudley, promises them a handsome
paycheck, and the gin and tonics will be plentiful and free.
But no sooner do they arrive at Montgomery Hall than Rudy is
When the police arrive to examine the scene, they conclude
that Rudy had actually committed suicide. But Lord Sudley
can’t believe his friend would have done that, and there’s a
houseful of suspicious characters standing by. So Lord
Sudley ups the ante for Lola and Berta, and suddenly, their
easy retrieval job has turned into a murder investigation.
Armed with handbags stuffed with emergency chocolate, gin
flasks, and a Colt .25, Lola and Berta are swiftly embroiled
in a madcap puzzle of stolen diamonds, family secrets, a
clutch of gangsters, and plenty of suspects who know their
way around a safari rifle.
Gin and Panic is the next jaunty, compelling Discreet
Retrieval Agency mystery from beloved crime writer Maia Chance.