A murder mystery set in the late 1920s New Orleans with POC and LGBTQ representation. No, this is NOT. A. DRILL!!
It’s New Year’s Eve and Millie’s FINALLY been left in charge of her aunt’s speakeasy, the Cloak and Dagger for a night. She wants to show everyone she’s capable of managing things herself, but things go from bad to worse very quickly when a young rich girl is found dead, and her best friend Marion is the prime suspect. Millie knows that Marion couldn’t have killed the girl, even if she was waving around his picture before the show and asking too many questions. She also knows the police won’t hesitate to throw a boy like Marion behind bars, and that she needs to save him before they do.
The race to find the real killer and hide Marion from the police is Millie’s biggest priority but it gets complicated when Millie’s mom comes to live with her and her aunt again. Let’s just say they were never the best of pals, and being abandoned did nothing to improve Millie’s feelings. And that’s not to mention her love life. Who will win Millie’s heart: the witty and beautiful waitress Olive, or the charming, handsome bootlegger Bennie?
Mystery and historical fiction are my two absolute favourite genres. Combining them while weaving diversity, romance, and a complicated mother-daughter relationship into the story is no easy feat but Kristin Lambert makes it look it is. Millie is a sarcastic, spunky, and rash main character and she propels the story forward while her family and friends yell warnings from behind. There’s never a dull moment, and hilarious scenes at every corner.
The Boy in The Red Dress gets a 9/10, because although it was one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had in a long time, the mystery’s final result was a bit disappointing, and there was nothing deep about the novel that would have me thinking about it a long time after I’ve put it down. Strongly recommend if you enjoy the mystery and historical fiction genres!!