Review: Come Hell or Highball (Discreet Retrieval Agency #1) by Maia Chance

Genre: Detective Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5.0 stars

Main Takeaway: A perfect introduction to this prohibition-era, female-powered detective agency, with plenty of murder, suspense, and romance to propel you to the second novel.

When New York socialite Lola Woodby’s cheating and hedonistic husband dies of a heart attack, Lola assumes she will inherit his fortune. All Alfie leaves Lola, however, is immense debt. So when one of Alfie’s mistresses offers to hire Lola to retrieve a secret film reel from the house of Lola and Alfie’s friends, she and her Swedish cook, Berta, accept. However, Lola and Berta quickly find themselves in over their heads when the owner of the film is found murdered and Lola the prime suspect. Which of Lola’s friends was so desperate to get their hands on the film? Can the two women retrieve the stolen film reel and catch the murderer before Lola takes the fall?

Though this is the first novel in The Discreet Retrieval Agency series, it was the second one I read. *cue the booknerd horror screams*

I know, I know. It just happened. And from now on I’m going in order. I promise.

Everything I loved about the last book in the series, Naughty On Ice, Come Hell or Highball upheld. The prohibition-era murder mystery, the Christie-esque suspense-building and last chapter reveal, the plot twists, the two strong female detective leads.

However, what Come Hell of Highball did really well was take the reader back into the age of film noir. Lola and Berta dig deep into the film industry, meet glamorous stars with suspicious pasts, and spark up dramatic and dangerous love affairs. The P.I. Ralph, especially, who always has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and handling an investigative emergency with the ease of style of Humphrey Bogart, does not disappoint.

If you love a quick and cozy detective fiction, historical mystery, female leads, and noir, try out Come Hell or Highball! I devoured this book in one day and loved every second. The Discreet Retrieval Agency series is my new favorite, underrated series.

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