Chaos at Carnegie Hall
Feisty, inquisitive and not your typical spy, Fiona Figg manages to break the mold in her own unique and quirky way. Sent to America aboard a beautiful ship she is forced to not only have her own chaperone, Captain Clifford but why does her superior Captain Hall make her in charge of his niece to get her away from Billy Buck her boyfriend? The cruise is quite eventful as they all three meet the elite socialites from America, Mrs. Dorothy Parker and her husband, Mrs. Sanger, Anna Case the opera star and even more exciting when they finally get off the ship Thomas Edison. But the cruise is anything but dull as Fiona tries to have some quiet and alone time sitting outside in the cold night air reading tons of New York Newspapers to learn more about the social life in America, she witnesses what she thinks is someone being pushed overboard. When she finally reports it to the captain they do not find anyone missing from the ship, but she knows something is odd. Eliza the captain’s niece is flighty and just wants to have fun, the cast of characters are quite unique, opinionated but Mr. Schweiger is elusive, up to something and her last boyfriend Archie shows up as she is inspecting his quarters and learns about a plan that focuses on Bayer aspirin, TNT and Phenol. Her job was to find Frederick Fredricks and find out what his spy was up to when she meets him for cocktails. But first the luncheon she is invited to at the Algonquin Hotel and the diatribe that one woman yells out dealing with birth control and women’s votes. So, she and Eliza wind up joining the suffrage march. However, why was she and the rest of the women arrested?
Carnegie Hall was opulent and magnificent the way it is described but a simple evening turns deadly for one person. Misters Schweitzer and Thomas Edison were having an intense conversation along with Mr. Hoover. When is Schweitzer found dead and Fredrick Fredricks is holding the weapon and Fiona are arrested but why? Clifford comes to the rescue and gets her out, but Eliza seems to know more than a young teen about bangers and firecrackers, fingerprinting and waxing of the hands to find out if there are prints on the gun or anywhere else. Even telling Fiona to create a suspect list while Frederick is in a cell. Added in let’s not forget the documents that Fiona saw in Mr. Schweitzer’s briefcase in his room on the boat and the chemist has not turned. Far from it he was in the middle of executing the great phenol plot on behalf of Kaiser Wilhelm himself but why? Who wanted him dead? What about Anna Case, Mrs. Sanger, Fredricks, Thomas Edition, his wife or someone unknown or even Mrs. Parker?
Events escalade as there are three murders: one overboard on the ship, Anna Case the soprano at Carnegie Hall, and Hugo Schweitzer shot by someone close to Fiona. She learned that the gunshot was a banger or cracker, and the killer used a golden pillow to stifle the sound of the real shot. Plus, her ward or Eliza knew about a hidden tunnel making it possible to get from one side of the theater to the other in a matter of minutes. Archie’s scent and realizing the killer could have shot Schweitzer at any time he was alone in his box and then placed the banger to go off later. Plus, what Eliza shows her about the ashes and her forensic training who is she?
Then what about Mr. Edison did she summon Fredericks to his box? Whoever killed Schweitzer framed Fredericks. Why? Then more information comes to light when Fiona decides to question Mrs. Sanger and just who murdered Anna comes to light but was it really an accident? Phenol is at the heart of the murder of Schweitzer and why was he killed? He was a German spy and Archie was he a double agent? Whose side is anyone on?
When realizing the phenol is used for explosives and the extra was given or sold to Schweitzer for aspirin the plot thickens but the author has yet to connect all the dots.
What about Edison did he summon Fredericks to his box? Who was the person that told him to go there? Whoever killed Schweitzer framed Fredericks for the murder who knows how to do a Houdini. Eliza seems to be not who you think she might be and Fiona cannot understand why a young girl attending boarding school would know how to trail a spy, understand forensics and explosives.
But Poppy the dog steals the show and Clifford seems like he is there as a chaperone and not as a spy or like a babysitter for the dog.
When Fiona learns the hidden truth behind Eliza and who she really is you won’t believe what Eliza does and what Fiona does next. Learning more about her and just why she is there angers Fiona and when told the result just who killed anyone you won’t know until you read the next installment penned by author Kelly Oliver. Where will the wind up next? Where is Fredericks and how will Fiona deal with who Eliza really is? This is an open-ended novel and the suspects have yet to be caught as Captain Hall really blindsides Fiona and the end but what will happen on their next mission is unknown? Historical events, research into phenol, aspirin and explosives and a character that is quirky, unique and you must love her disguises, as Chaos at Carnegie Hall has many more concerts, many more outspoken suffragettes and many more surprises.
Fran Lewis Just reviews
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