THE OTHER TYPIST by Suzanne Rindell

I stumbled across this first novel and decided to give it a read because it’s published by Amy Einhorn, Putnam Books. Einhorn has published some of my favorite reads including The Help by Stockton, The Weird Sisters by Brown, The Postmistress by Blake, and Liane Moriarity’s The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot. Needless to say, I was expecting a lot from this one. Sadly, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

Rose Baker is a typist for the police department in the early 1920s in New York City. She hears confessions ranging from bootlegging to murder and everything in between, but when she’s not typing she still considered the weaker sex, good for making coffee and filing. Prohibition has increased the workload, so a new typist, Odalie Lazarre, is hired.

Rose grew up in an orphanage raised by nuns, and is completely enchanted with the beautiful, flirtatious Odalie. They become “bosom friends,” and eventually Rose moves out of her shared room into Odalie’s apartment. Odalie has quite the past, but Rose looks the other way, her Puritan upbringing being pushed to the limit as Odalie takes her to speakeasies and summer parties.

Rose is the most unreliable of narrators, so it’s hard to know exactly what is going on but it seems like all parties and fun until it’s not and someone is accused of murder. Fans of Gatsby-esque settings and psychological mysteries like those of Patricia Highsmith will love this.

2/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE OTHER TYPIST by Suzanne Rindell. Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (May 7, 2013). ISBN 978-0399161469. 368p.

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