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The Jazz Club Spy

de Roberta Rich

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2121,072,485 (4)3
Fiction. Mystery. Thriller. Historical Fiction. HTML:From the author of the "riveting" (Chicago Tribune) The Midwife of Venice, a fresh and sweeping historical novel following a Jewish woman attempting to bring justice to her family on the eve of World War II.
New York City, 1939: At the height of the Great Depression, a time when President Roosevelt is trying to keep America out of World War II, Giddy Brodsky is lucky to have a job as a cigarette girl at a Manhattan jazz club. Nevertheless, she dreams of establishing a cosmetics business and leaving the poverty-stricken Lower East Side tenements behind. She has lived there with her family ever since they fled Russia, forced to emigrate after a group of Cossacks burned down their village, and her memories continue to haunt her.

Giddy tries to focus on the future until, during an evening streetcar ride, she thinks she recognizes one of the Cossacks who changed her life forever. Determined to get answers, she enlists the help of Carter van der Zalm, the Chief Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island, who is hunting the same man. He suspects the Russian is involved in an assassination plot that will destroy American and Soviet relations, and he enlists Giddy to moonlight as a spy for him. But when she finally tracks down the man they're both seeking, she finds herself in the middle of a shocking political conspiracy that changes everything she once held true.

In the tradition of Lara Prescott's The Secrets We Kept and Kate Quinn's The Rose Code, The Jazz Club Spy is a glittering and gritty look at pre-WWII America, and the personal battle one woman wages between justice and forgiveness.
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I loved this book! Giddy Brodsky was a breath of fresh air. The book is set in New York City in 1939. WWII is raging already in Europe, but it's a long way away from the United States. Giddy is a cigarette girl in a speakeasy in New York when the book opens. Her and her surviving family had left Russia after a program had come to her village and killed her sister and baby brother. They were living in the lower East side, but that did not deter Giddy. She knew she was meant for bigger things, and her dream was to open her own creams and lotions store. She already has some wonderful recipes for creams, lotions and makeup, and surely, even in a depression, New York City would jump at the chance to purchase her wonderful items. In order to raise money for her dream, she signs up to spy for a customer from the club where she works at as a cigarette girl. He's blonde, tall, handsome and dresses like a dream. What can go wrong? Unfortunately, as Giddy finds out, lots can go wrong and does. But after each setback she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and heads into the fray again. She manages to get involved in some international spy and terrorist events, but just keeps on gong and pushes her way through. I love Giddy, and I want to read more. The author has not stated that there IS going to be a series out of this book, but if, by some chance there is, I will be there with bells on to read more adventures of Giddy Brodsky. ( )
  Romonko | Jan 4, 2024 |
The story is about Giddy Brodsky, a young Jewish girl who survived the Cossacks pogrom in one of the villages in Russia hidden in a cow carcass. Her baby brother was killed, and her sister's body was never found. Together with her parents, Giddy sailed to America to start a better life. One day she recognized a man she saw. His top finger was missing, she bit it back in Russia when he attacked her. He was the man that burned their house and killed her siblings, and she will do anything for revenge.

Working as cigarette girl in the Jazz Club, she approached one guy who she knew could help her. Carter, who worked for US Government, listened to her sad story, and promised to help. He hired Giddy as a spy to help the government to search for Cossack who was involved in an espionage plot in America. In the meantime, Giddy fell in love with a handsome government agent. The investigation was progressing, and her life situation was improving until everything started to fall apart. How she wished that none of this ever happened, but it was too late to abandon her mission. She must finish what she started.

I expected this story to be focused on the Jazz Club, and maybe some glamorous life but it was much more than that. The prolog opened with a heart wrenching Cossacks attack and their brutal actions on Russian people. In America, author vividly described nightclub life during 1930s and life of immigrants living in poverty. The plot was intriguing with a few twists that I didn't expect. I liked how Giddy clung fiercely to her ambitious plan of revenge which swept her up in a political conspiracy on the international scale.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this story of survival, betrayal, and revenge. ( )
  Maret-G | Nov 16, 2023 |
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Fiction. Mystery. Thriller. Historical Fiction. HTML:From the author of the "riveting" (Chicago Tribune) The Midwife of Venice, a fresh and sweeping historical novel following a Jewish woman attempting to bring justice to her family on the eve of World War II.
New York City, 1939: At the height of the Great Depression, a time when President Roosevelt is trying to keep America out of World War II, Giddy Brodsky is lucky to have a job as a cigarette girl at a Manhattan jazz club. Nevertheless, she dreams of establishing a cosmetics business and leaving the poverty-stricken Lower East Side tenements behind. She has lived there with her family ever since they fled Russia, forced to emigrate after a group of Cossacks burned down their village, and her memories continue to haunt her.

Giddy tries to focus on the future until, during an evening streetcar ride, she thinks she recognizes one of the Cossacks who changed her life forever. Determined to get answers, she enlists the help of Carter van der Zalm, the Chief Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island, who is hunting the same man. He suspects the Russian is involved in an assassination plot that will destroy American and Soviet relations, and he enlists Giddy to moonlight as a spy for him. But when she finally tracks down the man they're both seeking, she finds herself in the middle of a shocking political conspiracy that changes everything she once held true.

In the tradition of Lara Prescott's The Secrets We Kept and Kate Quinn's The Rose Code, The Jazz Club Spy is a glittering and gritty look at pre-WWII America, and the personal battle one woman wages between justice and forgiveness.

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