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A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
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A Trace of Smoke

by Rebecca Cantrell

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2683363,279 (3.86)23
  1. 00
    The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: There's a sense of inevitability in these historical mysteries, which take place at the close (The Light in the Ruins) or just before (A Trace of Smoke) World War II and star female leads with personal ties to their investigations.
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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Not bad for a first novel.

Characters, timeline and city felt quite vividly real
  Eternal.Optimist | Aug 22, 2018 |
A very good Nook serial read for May! ( )
  Dianekeenoy | May 25, 2018 |
This book finished up on Barnes & Noble Readouts today. I really liked the premise: Hannah is a crime reporter in 1931 Berlin, investigating the death of her brother. However, there were a lot of elements that just didn’t make sense or seemed rushed or forced. I don’t think I will continue this series. ( )
  sprainedbrain | May 25, 2018 |
This is a very entertaining read gripping from first to last page. A descriptive evocative tale set in Berlin in 1931, where our heroine works as a reporter and discovers her homosexual brother is one of the many unclaimed dead. She decides to investigate and finds herself drawn increasingly into dangerous life threatening situation's, but also the love of Anton a five year old boy and Boris a wealthy banker.
Hannah is amusing clever resourceful and fearless and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. ( )
  Gudasnu | Feb 19, 2018 |
4.5 Stars

Set in Berlin in 1931, Hannah Vogel is a crime reporter whose articles appear under the name of Peter Weill. When looking for inspiration for crime features, she visits the Hall of the Unnamed Dead at Alexanderplatz police station to investigate recent bodies discovered on Berlin’s streets. While studying the photos she is shocked to discover on of them is of Ernst, her homosexual brother recently pulled from the Spree river. She knows she can't go to the police. She and Ernst have loaned their identity papers to Jewish friends who have tried to escape to America, and this will come to light if she identifies Ernst’s picture. So she sets out to investigate the death herself, and risks her own life trying to decipher Ernst’s unorthodox life as an openly gay man who works as a cross-dressing night club singer and has a string of influential lovers, many of them prominent Nazi's.

Her investigations are complicated by the arrival of a five-year-old orphan who claims that Hannah is his mother and that her dead brother was his father. He has the birth certificate to prove it too. It soon becomes clear that Anton’s appearance is connected to her brother’s killing. Ernst is never alive during the story, but he is one of the most vivid characters in the book. His thoughts and comments made him such a vital part of the book.

This was an absolutely fascinating piece of historical fiction, merging both historical and fictitious characters. It provides a compelling portrait of day-to-day German life as the Nazis began their rise to power. Rebecca Cantrell writes an excellent story for those who enjoy historical fiction of this period. It's a completely different type of book and I enjoyed it immensely. I'm going to see if I can pick up a copy of the next book, Night of the Long Knives.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765320444, Hardcover)

Even though hardened crime reporter Hannah Vogel knows all too well how tough it is to survive in 1931 Berlin, she is devastated when she sees a photograph of her brother’s body posted in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead. Ernst, a cross-dressing lounge singer at a seedy nightclub, had many secrets, a never-ending list of lovers, and plenty of opportunities to get into trouble.

Hannah delves into the city’s dark underbelly to flush out his murderer, but the late night arrival of a five-year-old orphan on her doorstep complicates matters. The endearing Anton claims that Hannah is his mother… and that her dead brother Ernst is his father.

As her investigations into Ernst’s murder and Anton's parentage uncover political intrigue and sex scandals in the top ranks of the rising Nazi party, Hannah fears not only for her own life, but for that of a small boy who has come to call her “mother.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:33 -0400)

"Hardened crime reporter Hannah Vogel knows all too well how tough it is to survive in 1931 Berlin. Still, she is devastated when she sees a photograph of her brother's body posted in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead." "Ernst, a cross-dressing lounge singer in a seedy nightclub, had many secrets, a never-ending list of lovers, and plenty of opportunities to get into trouble. While attempting to maintain her budding romance with a handsome upstanding banker, Hannah delves into the city's dark underbelly to flush out the murderer who stabbed her beloved brother in the heart." "The late-night arrival of a five-year-old orphan on her doorstep complicates matters. The endearing Anton claims that Hannah's dead brother is his father and that, impossibly, she is his mother.". "Now Hannah must find not only her brother's murderer but Anton's real parents, a task that seems impossible since all traces of his past have vanished. As her investigations uncover political intrigue and sex scandals in the top ranks of the rising Nazi party, Hannah fears not only for her own life, but for that of a small boy who calls her "Mother.""--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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