Thursday, June 16, 2022

#BookReview: Tomboy (Jane Benjamin #2) by @blantonstroud @shewritespress

Synopsis: It’s 1939. On the brink of World War II, Jane Benjamin wants to have it all. By day she hustles as a scruffy, tomboy cub reporter. By night she secretly struggles to raise her toddler sister, Elsie, and protect her from their mother. But Jane’s got a plan: she’ll become the San Francisco Prospect’s first gossip columnist and make enough money to care for Elsie.

Jane finagles her way to the women’s championship at Wimbledon, starring her hometown’s tennis phenom and cover girl Tommie O’Rourke. She plans to write her first column there. But then she witnesses Edith “Coach” Carlson, Tommie’s closest companion, drop dead in the stands of apparent heart attack, and her plan is thrown off track.

While sailing home on the RMS Queen Mary, Jane veers between competing instincts: Should she write a social bombshell column, personally damaging her new friend Tommie’s persona and career? Or should she work to uncover the truth of Coach’s death, which she now knows was a murder, and its connection to a larger conspiracy involving US participation in the coming war?

Putting away her menswear and donning first-class ballgowns, Jane discovers what upper-class status hides, protects, and destroys. Ultimately—like nations around the globe in 1939—she must choose what she’ll give up in order to do what’s right.


Rating: 5 Stars
My Review: Just breathtakingly amazing!  This wonderful story was compelling and intriguing and a wonderful mystery.  Jane is who I want to be when I grow up and she is the heroine we all wish we could be.  I loved how determined she was and man was she a take no prisoners tough as nails kind of gal.  The setting of the 1930's was perfect for this story and I just could not put it down.  The entire thing made you feel like you were along for the ride and will keep you reading until the last page. 


“Blanton-Stroud is a wonderful writer, and Jane is a compelling creation. . . . An intriguing and engaging mystery—readers will hope for more adventures starring the redoubtable hero.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Jane Benjamin’s the heroine we need, the heroine we wish we were—determined, tough as hell, utterly loveable. This propulsive novel was a lot of danged fun!”
—Elizabeth Gonzalez James, author of Mona at Sea

“Combining the feminist can-do of Phryne Fisher and the snarky commentary of Veronica Mars, Jane Benjamin is a boatload of fun.”
—Halley Sutton, author of The Lady Upstairs

“A spirited feminist noir that flips femme fatale and private dick archetypes on their heads, while pitting Jane's hungry ambition against her obligation to family.”
—Anita Felicelli, author of Chimerica

“Murder, deceit, and gender fluidity take to the high seas in a rollicking whodunnit.”
—Alia Volz, author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco

“1939’s Jane Benjamin is a quintessential heroine for now—gritty, gutsy, gender-bending, and driven to fulfill her journalistic ambitions in male-centric bars and smoke-filled San Francisco newsrooms. She’s one 
difficult girl you want in your corner and on your must-read pile.”
—Dorothy Rice, author of The Reluctant Artist and Gray is the New Black

“Mix Jo March and Tom Ripley, shake well, pour into a martini glass and take a big, brisk, bitter swig of Jane Benjamin. Like me, you’ll be deliriously intoxicated by 
Copy Boy’s bracing sequel.”
—Gretchen Cherington, author of Poetic License

“Riveting as 
Mare of Easttown, binge-worthy as The Queen’s GambitTomboy will keep you reading—obsessively—until the very last line.”
—Debra Thomas, author of Luz

“Chock-full of audacity and adventure, a suspenseful and layered novel.  From the squalor of Hooverville to the opulence of the Queen Mary, cub reporter Jane Benjamin grabs our hearts once again.”
—Ashley E. Sweeney, author of Answer Creek and Eliza Waite

“Crisp prose, snappy pace, exquisite period details and a resourceful, resilient, wonderfully flawed protagonist. Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy boat ride.”
—Mary Camarillo, author of The Lockhart Women

“A sharp and affecting novel of pain and love wrapped in a meticulously crafted mystery, Tomboy ascends to a breaking point that will leave you breathless.”
—Laurie Buchanan, author of The Sean McPherson novels

“The best kind of seat-of-your-pants protagonist to keep your heart racing as she gets herself into scrapes that threaten her safety, but clarify her morality.”
—Maren Cooper, author of A Better Next

About the Author

Shelley Blanton-Stroud grew up in California’s Central Valley, the daughter of Dust Bowl immigrants who made good on their ambition to get out of the field and into the city. She taught college writing for three decades and consults with writers in the energy industry. She codirects Stories on Stage Sacramento, where actors perform the stories of established and emerging authors, and she serves on the advisory board of 916 Ink, an arts-based creative writing nonprofit for children. She has also served on the Writers’ Advisory Board for the Belize Writers Conference. Tomboy is the second book in her Jane Benjamin series. Her debut novel, Copy Boy, was the first. Shelley and her husband live in Sacramento with an aging beagle and many photos of their out-of-state sons.

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