Murder in the City of Liberty

Murder in the City of Liberty

Hamish DeLuca and Regina "Reggie" Van Buren have a new case--and this one brings the war in Europe dangerously close to home.Determined to make a life for herself, Regina "Reggie" Van Buren bid goodbye to fine china and the man her parents expected her to marry and escaped to Boston. What she never expected to discover was that an unknown talent for sleuthing would develop...

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Title:Murder in the City of Liberty
Author:Rachel McMillan
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Murder in the City of Liberty Reviews

  • Jes Drew

    This novel was the epitome of historical romantic mysteries set in 30s Boston, with all the civil unrest, tension between the protagonists, and the underlying web binding crime and their pasts together.

    Reggie is her usual charming self- even as the loved ones of her former life jeopardize her independence. Hamich stands tall as a strong man despite his disability, and shines an honesty seldom seen in fiction. And Lucas stays in the shadows, a safe distance from his beloved cousin as he moves fu

    This novel was the epitome of historical romantic mysteries set in 30s Boston, with all the civil unrest, tension between the protagonists, and the underlying web binding crime and their pasts together.

    Reggie is her usual charming self- even as the loved ones of her former life jeopardize her independence. Hamich stands tall as a strong man despite his disability, and shines an honesty seldom seen in fiction. And Lucas stays in the shadows, a safe distance from his beloved cousin as he moves further into the world of crime- but still manages to charm himself into his status as a favorite character. And, of course, there is Nate, good old Nate- who doesn't deserve any of the antisemitism threatening Boston.

    The historical aspect itself is rife with tension revealing an evil that haunted that era, and tragically today as well. The author also does such a spectacular job at instilling the aura and lingo of the times, giving an atmospheric immersion of 1930s.

    The romance really rises in tension in this installment, with our characters having been partners for a couple years now (and Hamich being the only honest one in the relationship), but a side romance also rises.

    And the mystery takes a darker turn than I was expecting, knocking me off guard, but these deadly beliefs have deadly consequences.

    Anyway, if you enjoy historical novels, romantic novels, and/or mysteries, you will enjoy this expertly crafted story.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher, and the views and opinions are my own.

  • Rachel McMillan

    Hamish and Reggie are doing SUCH a good job of being *"just friends"

    We're back in Boston and it is all cobblestones and cannoli....

    And there's Nate, of course, and Luca too!

    ....and baseball.

    Spira, Spera!

    *actually they're doing a terrible job of it.

  • Amanda G. Stevens

    From my endorsement (which ended up on the front cover. Oh. My. Squee.): Rachel McMillan paints her portrait of 1940 Boston with brushes of poetry, humor, and care for historical detail. In this sequel she brings us home, not only to a city she clearly loves, but also to her winning cast of characters. Flavored with quipping nods to

    and imbued with insecurities and prejudices of the time and place,

    is an irresistible read.

    Other thoughts: LUCA. And Ray.

    From my endorsement (which ended up on the front cover. Oh. My. Squee.): Rachel McMillan paints her portrait of 1940 Boston with brushes of poetry, humor, and care for historical detail. In this sequel she brings us home, not only to a city she clearly loves, but also to her winning cast of characters. Flavored with quipping nods to

    and imbued with insecurities and prejudices of the time and place,

    is an irresistible read.

    Other thoughts: LUCA. And Ray. And a revelation at the end that promises great conflict between the cousins in Book 3. Looking forward to the fallout and, I trust, redemption.

  • Chautona Havig

    I first must say that for a book from a Christian publisher, the faith elements are either very thickly veiled OR missing. I'm not sure which.

    Murder in the City of Liberty is a well-written, engaging book with fabulous characters. I seriously had so much fun with them. You have no idea. Quirky, interesting, consistent but not predictable all the time. And, of course, my favorite. Flawed. Thanks to a character arc that is going through the series, I suspect there’ll be even more.

    And actually, thi

    I first must say that for a book from a Christian publisher, the faith elements are either very thickly veiled OR missing. I'm not sure which.

    Murder in the City of Liberty is a well-written, engaging book with fabulous characters. I seriously had so much fun with them. You have no idea. Quirky, interesting, consistent but not predictable all the time. And, of course, my favorite. Flawed. Thanks to a character arc that is going through the series, I suspect there’ll be even more.

    And actually, thinking about that. The character arc could explain the lightweight faith elements. If they don’t have much yet, maybe it’s because something is coming… An interesting thought.

    The mystery isn’t one you’ve never seen, but seriously, with the characters, the setting, etc—it made it seem new and fun.

    Though I haven’t read the first book, I didn’t have any trouble getting up to speed. Rachel McMillan did a fabulous job giving us the past without dumping it on us or giving us too many spoilers. It all feels like stuff we’d likely figure out early on reading the other book—okay, a couple of minor things we wouldn’t have known but nothing that will ruin those stories.

    I spent the entire book on tenterhooks about everything!

    It wasn’t that Murder in the City of Liberty was that suspenseful. Instead, it was more like it was that delightful. You just knew something fun would happen every now and then—something bad—something unexpected.

    With every element that a solid mystery needs—red herrings, fun detectives, means, motives, opportunities, and more than just the mystery driving it… this Van Buren and De Luca series promises to be a whole lot of fun.

    Meanwhile, I'm really glad that I asked for a review copy of this one and now I’m off to buy the first book. 🙂

  • Berit☀️✨

    Rachel McMillan has written an authentic and atmospheric Mystery steeped in history. 1940s Boston Hamish and Reggie are a couple years into running their detective agency. Their newest client is a well known black baseball player who is being messed with. The racism and the criminal element on the cobblestone streets of Boston is really brought to life with McMillan‘s words. Throw in some major romantic tension and this book really had a bit of everything. The perfect balance of mystery, histor

    Rachel McMillan has written an authentic and atmospheric Mystery steeped in history. 1940s Boston Hamish and Reggie are a couple years into running their detective agency. Their newest client is a well known black baseball player who is being messed with. The racism and the criminal element on the cobblestone streets of Boston is really brought to life with McMillan‘s words. Throw in some major romantic tension and this book really had a bit of everything. The perfect balance of mystery, history, and romance.

    This book really reminded me of the 1980s television show “Moonlighting”. Reggie was smart savvy and spunky and Hamish was shy and quirky. The sexual tension between them was palpable and I think that will be a fun storyline that will run throughout the series. The mystery was interesting but I think it was more of a social commentary on 1940s Boston especially when it came to racism and anti-Semitism. There was also that mobster/criminal element to the story that is expected I guess with a book with this setting and time. This was such an entertaining read and even though there were some dark spots it ultimately was full of hope. Perfect for anyone who loves a well told Mystery or romance that is fizzing with history! The book was a real gas!

  • Carole Jarvis

    Reviewed at The Power of Words:

    Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan is a wonderfully atmospheric novel filled with romance, historical detail, witty dialogue, and adventure. There’s a freshness to McMillan’s writing that I like, and I’ve never seen lead characters quite like Hamish and Reggie. In fact, it’s only in reflecting back that I realize how complex this story really is.

    First, there’s the setting, Boston of 1940. My favorite historical era is the Americ

    Reviewed at The Power of Words:

    Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan is a wonderfully atmospheric novel filled with romance, historical detail, witty dialogue, and adventure. There’s a freshness to McMillan’s writing that I like, and I’ve never seen lead characters quite like Hamish and Reggie. In fact, it’s only in reflecting back that I realize how complex this story really is.

    First, there’s the setting, Boston of 1940. My favorite historical era is the American Revolution, and Boston reflects much of our country’s fight for independence to this day. In McMillan’s hands, Boston comes alive so much so that it literally becomes a major character. But there’s also a realism as she shows its darker side, such as the criminal underworld. And some themes are just as prevalent today as they were then – racial tensions, corruption, and antisemitism.

    Another strength is the characters of Hamish DeLuca and Regina “Reggie” Van Buren – who, when it comes to historical mysteries, are in a class all by themselves. In spite of her high society background, or maybe because of it, the determined Reggie is striving for independence and making it on her own, yet is still drawn to certain elements of the society world. Hamish is an incredible, but flawed, leading man. How often does a hero wear glasses? Or suffer from mental illness? With Hamish, it’s panic attacks caused by an anxiety disorder – realistically portrayed because this is something with which McMillan has first-hand experience. What I like most is that Hamish is not defined by his disability, rather turning his weaknesses into strengths. I also loved the chemistry between Hamish and Reggie as their romance takes a step forward beyond the friend and coworker stage.

    Two extremely strong secondary characters really stand out. Nate, Hamish’s best friend, is a patient encourager who I liked and want to see more of. And then there’s Hamish’s cousin, Luca Valari. Is he good or bad, or maybe a little of both? I don’t know yet, but I’m intrigued. “Much of Luca’s life existed behind a kind of filter where shapes were blurred and lines were fuzzy and nothing ever quite added up.”

    Murder in the City of Liberty is the second book in this series, and while the author provides some background, I felt lost at times. Mob characters were difficult to keep up with. I highly recommend reading Murder at the Flamingo first, as I believe that would have given me a much better understanding.

    There’s lots to enjoy in Murder in the City of Liberty and I look forward to spending more time with these unique characters created by Rachel McMillan.

    I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

  • QNPoohBear

    For the last two years Hamish DeLuca and Reggie Van Buren have been solving small cases involving property and rental law and searching for missing pets. Now they are being consulted for a potentially huge case. A guy named Pete Kelly owns dockland by the waterfront he uses for a variety of purposes. A powerful architectural firm wants to buy the land and build affordable housing (but poorly constructed) on the site. Pete isn't interested in selling. When Reggie is nearly killed and Hamish spies

    For the last two years Hamish DeLuca and Reggie Van Buren have been solving small cases involving property and rental law and searching for missing pets. Now they are being consulted for a potentially huge case. A guy named Pete Kelly owns dockland by the waterfront he uses for a variety of purposes. A powerful architectural firm wants to buy the land and build affordable housing (but poorly constructed) on the site. Pete isn't interested in selling. When Reggie is nearly killed and Hamish spies an old nemesis of his cousin Luca's, he becomes suspicious that this scheme has his cousin's name all over it. Determined to stay out of his cousin's business, Hamish enjoys dancing with pretty Bernice Wong while pining for Reggie, who is still dating Vaughn Vanderlaan who works for the same firm interested in the waterfront. They pick up another case when Boston farm league player Errol Parker turns to Van Buren and DeLuca for help. He's been the target of some very nasty pranks and feels frightened because he believes the crimes are related to the color of his skin. He aims to be the first African-American baseball player for the Boston Red Sox but some people are not happy about it. Hamish has a nasty encounter with a group calling themselves the Christian Patriots are rallying and handing out hate-filled leaflets aimed at "protecting" America from a foreign war, Jews and other ethnic groups. Could they be trying to harm Errol or scare him away from baseball? Hamish and Reggie aim to find out. Meanwhile, Nate Reis is acting strangely and Hamish is concerned and Reggie can't make up her mind what to do about her feelings for Hamish vs. her feelings for Vaughn. Can she ever untangle any of this mess and get her happily ever after like in the pictures?

    I didn't care for this mystery as much as the previous one. This one doesn't have as much local color. I was eager to read this because I live in the current hometown of the Boston minor league baseball team but the team in the story is fictional and they play in Charlestown. Charlestown plays more of a role than the North End in this story. The main North End location is the docks. Mrs. Leoni makes very brief cameos but not enough of her cannoli and cookies make it into the novel. The end of the novel features the important erection of the Paul Revere statue in the Prado by the Old North Church.

    The mystery here seems a lot darker than the Flamingo mystery, especially given the fact the reader is privy to insider information Hamish doesn't know about his cousin. The Christian Patriots "alt-right" group was modeled after the Nazi Party and other Fascist groups of the time but uncomfortably and sadly sounded so much like certain groups today and even like a certain politician. That to me is more frightening that the mystery. The actual murder takes place WAY late in the book. I had a feeling it was going to be one of two characters, neither of which I wanted to die. The one that did was too awfully tragic to make the story enjoyable. There was also too much romantic drama for me. Like Reggie, I want my nice, neat happily ever after at the end of the story!

    I really appreciated how human these characters are. They're all three-dimensional with complicated thoughts and feelings. They make mistakes and more mistakes; feel guilt and have conflicted feelings about people close to them. Should Hamish love his cousin Luca who has always been kind to him but is involved in some shady business? Should the reader care for Luca, who seems to be a gangster but not mafia as I thought previously. (WHY WHY WHY does the Italian guy HAVE to be a gangster/mafia/villain type?) Thank goodness Hamish is such a great guy or I'd be very mad at the author. Hamish is such a dear. He's a wonderful beta hero who deserves a happily ever after ending. His anxiety and panic attacks seem better in Boston but not entirely cured and never will be. He's learned to live with his problem and Reggie is good for him because she recognizes the signs and helps Hamish take a break to calm down. Yet Hamish makes what he thinks is a huge mistake in this novel. He cares for and trusts his cousin Luca even though he knows Luca may not be worthy of his trust. I don't like Luca very much but at the end of the novel some information comes to light that explains why Luca is the way he is and what may have happened. Hamish is determined to maintain family ties and figure it out.

    Reggie still has a lot of growing up to do. She's very naive and looks at life as though it were a movie. She keeps waiting for some drama or some exciting moment when her life will change for the better. Reggie strings along two good men because she is waiting for a screenwriter to come and figure it out for her. I don't understand her worries about confessing her feelings to Hamish. Her feelings may be confused but I believe he would respect that, as much as he loves her, and give her the space she needs. I believe that is what he is doing and she doesn't know that. Even at the end, when I didn't agree with some of her decisions, I still felt compassion for her and liked her enough to want her to have that happy ending. Vaughn was rather a surprise. I kept waiting for him to do something nasty like Cal in the James Cameron movie

    but he's a decent man who loves Reggie but isn't the right fit for her. He doesn't deserve to be led on by Reggie. Reggie's mother reminded me too much of Mrs. DeWitt-Bukater and her father is kind of a helpless idiot. Yes I do want to see your fine things sold at auction. I'd like to see you get a job or stand in line at the soup kitchen because that's the reality for most people. I didn't like Reggie's decision but I probably would have done the same thing.

    Vaughn's best friend Dirk is a really awful person. He seems lazy but hides a cunning mind. He's more of a mastermind like Luca but doesn't get his hands dirty. He leaves that to Walt Brinker, a workingman and member of the Christian Patriots whom Hamish actively dislikes. Walt is a nasty man who repulses me. He stands for everything I abhor and would hate me as much as I hate him. I do not blame Hamish for losing his temper. Walt may be involved in more serious crimes and tied in some way to the major mystery. Pete Kelly is another new and unlikable character. He's also a member of this Christian Patriots group despite the fact he's Irish and only 1o0 years ago his people were hated as much as he hates newer immigrants like the Italians. His business seems a little shady and he leaves Reggie is a perilous position-possibly on purpose.

    Errol Parker is a good guy trying to make life better for African-Americans and show his nephew Toby that if he works hard he can get ahead. Errol is being harassed because either he's the best player on the team and others are jealous and/or simply because he's a black player on a white team trying to "better" himself joining the Major Leagues. He seems intelligent and doesn't deserve any of the things that happen. Toby is a bright boy with big dreams. He's outgrowing his mother's narrow world and eager to make himself known. I really like him and admire his tenacity.

    Nate is a little more likable and sympathetic now we know exactly what he does. He tries to keep his head down and stay out of drama but it's difficult. His story adds a little more complication to the mystery. I LOVE the ending to his story. I wasn't expecting that.

    Despite the darkness of this book, I'd be up for reading another one just because of the characters, including Boston. I give the author lots of credit for understanding the passion New Englanders have for their sports teams but it was very odd (she probably did this on purpose) to have the characters talking about going to see a Patriots game in 1940 and have them mean baseball. She shouldn't have chosen a real team name. Also, Boston had two baseball teams, the Red Sox and the Bees (formerly the Braves). Bonus points for tossing in all the reasons why locals love to attend their farm league team games over the major team games all the way in Boston. We're devastated they are leaving us and likely will get more expensive.

  • Maureen Timerman

    I was having a bit of a time to get into this story, but soon realized that this was the second book, and I did feel lost.

    While this story takes place just prior to WWII we meet prejudice and antisemitism head on, and there is a mystery and sparks flying, I’ll admit I had to fight my way through this book.

    I have a fondness for the Red Socks, and this baseball team led me there, but maybe I needed the first book to really get this book.

    I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Th

    I was having a bit of a time to get into this story, but soon realized that this was the second book, and I did feel lost.

    While this story takes place just prior to WWII we meet prejudice and antisemitism head on, and there is a mystery and sparks flying, I’ll admit I had to fight my way through this book.

    I have a fondness for the Red Socks, and this baseball team led me there, but maybe I needed the first book to really get this book.

    I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.

  • Nancy

    Historical fiction with a touch of crime is always appealing to me--and, this book' set in Boston, 1940 held a lot of promise for me. The two protagonists are compelling characters but the mystery takes a very distant second place to the romance. And, for me that was both boring and tedious.

    I wanted the modest, but dashing, hero to win the girl. And, I was prepared for him to have to earn his place before she came to her senses----but, all of the tension in the book seemed to be romantic, not pl

    Historical fiction with a touch of crime is always appealing to me--and, this book' set in Boston, 1940 held a lot of promise for me. The two protagonists are compelling characters but the mystery takes a very distant second place to the romance. And, for me that was both boring and tedious.

    I wanted the modest, but dashing, hero to win the girl. And, I was prepared for him to have to earn his place before she came to her senses----but, all of the tension in the book seemed to be romantic, not plot inspired. The criminal aspects of the book were convoluted enough (although secondary) that I was frequently confused---and, this book did not merit the reader getting confused about "who's on first."

    This is a series I wanted to enjoy. With characters crafted to earn our affection and interest. But, the author just didn't deliver enough story or depth of character to really engage me.

    Netgalley provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Ivonne Rovira

    Onetime socialite Regina “Reggie” Van Buren and shy lawyer Hamish DeLuca met in a previous book I haven’t read. But not having read the first in the series isn’t what kept me from enjoying this sequel in which the pair, now partners in a detective agency, look into some nasty pranks aimed at a baseball rising star.

    Set in Boston in 1940,

    features characters that made me think of the 1980s television show

    : DeLuca is the stolid Cybil Shepherd character, w

    Onetime socialite Regina “Reggie” Van Buren and shy lawyer Hamish DeLuca met in a previous book I haven’t read. But not having read the first in the series isn’t what kept me from enjoying this sequel in which the pair, now partners in a detective agency, look into some nasty pranks aimed at a baseball rising star.

    Set in Boston in 1940,

    features characters that made me think of the 1980s television show

    : DeLuca is the stolid Cybil Shepherd character, while Reggie’s the devil-may-care Bruce Willis stand-in. As on the show, there’s a sexual tension between the two characters, with the female reluctant to reciprocate the male’s love. How could such a set-up go wrong?

    Ask author Rachel McMillan. Somehow I could never get into this cozy mystery. Reggie seemed so foolhardy and thoughtless (her quest for “adventure” always seems to create trouble for DeLuca), and Deluca seems like such a sad sack that I have to admit that I couldn’t force myself to finish this book. Say what you like about the original

    , the actors made you care about the characters they played, Maddie Hayes and David Addison, and neither made stupid mistakes. I simply couldn’t make myself feel the same way about DeLuca and Reggie.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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