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HaBO: 1920s Heroine Loves Solving Mysteries

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This HaBO request is from Golder, who is trying to track down a series:

I’m looking for a book series I read as a teenager that I loved, but I’ve now totally forgotten about.

It was a romance with some mystery starring a young girl (I think she was 19 or 20) in the 1920s, who loved solving mysteries. In the first book she has a huge crush on a detective, who in typical well-meaning yet ignorant alpha male fashion was trying to discourage her from her crime solving ways, but ended up kissing her at end (??). As the series progressed, she ended up falling for the detective (possibly millionaire step brother?).

It lacked A-goes-into-B sex scenes, but my teenage self thought the love scenes were very hot.

Any idea who was the author of this series? I think I’d like to read them again.

The hero is a detective and may also be a millionaire and the heroine’s step brother. That’s quite the romance hero resume.


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  1. 1
    Kay says:

    Until you got to the stepbrother part that really sounded like the book series that the ABC show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is based on. It still could be, since I’ve not read the books! They’re by Kerry Greenwood. The first is called Cocaine Blues (sometimes Death by Misadventure in US/UK).

    Even if that’s not it, you should check out the TV series, it would probably be right up your alley!

  2. 2
    Katie D. says:

    Except for the time period, this sounds like Brenda Joyce’s (written as BD Joyce) Francesca Cahill series. The first book is Deadly Love.

  3. 3
    claudlaw says:

    Maybe the Iris Cooper mysteries by K.K. Beck? Was one of them set on a cruise ship, another in Hawaii? Because the alpha male in these wasn’t a detective per se, (he was a reporter, and not a millionaire), this probably isn’t the answer, but I loved these when I was a teenager.

  4. 4
    Olivia says:

    Totally know this off the top of my head, Katie D is right, it’s Brenda Joyce’s Francesca Cahill series. There’s very little explicit romance scenes, even at the end of the series.

  5. 5
    Golder says:

    Thank you, Katie D and Olivia. It’s definitely Brenda Joyce’s Cahill Series. Just found out the series has 9 books, but I think I only got to book 5. Should be fun rereading it. Thanks!

  6. 6
    cleo says:

    How did I miss this series? I loved girl detective stories growing up (Trixie Belden, Judy Bolton, Nancy Drew, etc).

  7. 7
    LauraL says:

    I knew this one! Loved this series. Happy reading, Golder.

  8. 8
    denise says:

    Sounds like a wonderful series… not related, but I still have all of my Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys… some date back to the 30s–bought them all at yard sales and flea markets.

  9. 9
    Heather J says:

    If you liked the description, and haven’t already read Laurie R Russell’s Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series–you should consider checking them out. Especially the first three books, they are wonderful.

  10. 10
    Andrea R. says:

    Heather J., love the Laurie King series! In case you missed it, there is an e-novella called, I think, The Marriage of Mary Russell about the actual wedding. It was really fun.

  11. 11
    Joanna says:

    This reminded me of the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn, so you might like those as well. Set in the 1920’s, an upper class British girl with no marriage prospects decides to go for independence and becomes a journalist. She ends up getting involved in mysteries and being attracted to a Scotland Yard detective whom she eventually marries as the series continues. They’re really delightful and felt very period appropriate.

  12. 12

    I second the Francesca Cahill series. The first book involved the kidnapping of one of Francesca’s neighbor’s kid. It takes place in 1902, so maybe the person who sent in the request transposed the last two digits?

    The hero in the first book is Rick Bragg, but Francesca ends up with his half brother Calder Hart. I don’t think this series has officially ended, but there hasn’t been a new book out in about 5 years.

  13. 13
    Ellie says:

    Haven’t read this series, but I will now! I will also second the book versions of Phryne Fisher (TV show is great too, but it’s best if you pretend that the show is Entirely Unrelated to the books as they are so different) and Daisy Dalrymple.

  14. 14
    Joy K says:

    Loved the Phryne Fisher series! I was unfamiliar with this era of Australian life and found it and the flashbacks to WWI experiences very intriguing. AND the clothes, the cocktails, sigh.

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