A mystery with a spunky heroine in 1907 Los Angeles, say no more! I found the setting particularly enjoyable because it took place at notable points of interest I was familiar with! I wanted to read The Secret Life Of Anna Blanc because Anna is my absolute favorite type of heroine – a girl who doesn’t fit into the social confines of her time because she has the determination and drive to be more than what society tells her she can be. Anna was a bored socialite who secretly landed a job handling women and children’s issues for the police department. Although she had to assume a new identity to work for the police so her father wouldn’t find out and disown her, she took the chance because she was excited to help solve crime and be a useful member of society.
Anna was largely ignored by her father and fiancé, mocked by her coworkers, and discredited by the public. For men with so much influence in her life, her father and fiance were hardly in the novel, which meant that Anna’s explanation of their oppression was displayed in other ways. I would have liked to see them more present so that Anna had to sneak around more than she did, but her entrances and exits were pretty funny! It was hard to read about how poorly Anna was treated by the men in her unit, and see them ridicule her brilliant ideas, especially since as a member of law enforcement, Anna was smart and a helpful addition to the force.
Anna was especially passionate about solving the Jack-the-Ripper style killings that targeted young women working in the brothels. Anna educated herself on medical conditions and causes of death to understand whether the women were being murdered or were, as the men believed, commiting suicide. Her ideas in that regard were clever and showed her value as a detective. As a character, Anna grew from a naive and love struck girl to a wise and worldly woman ready to be in a meaningful relationship. Her passion and drive made her the best thing about the novel.
This was a well written novel with a great story. I enjoyed this novel and am eager to continue reading about Anna’s next journey.