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Preorder Blitz! A Deadly Endeavor by Jenny Adams #historicalmystery #jazzage #preorder #booksworthreading



Title: A Deadly Endeavor

 

Author: Jenny Adams

 

Genre: Historical Mystery

 

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

 

Book Blurb:

 

A serial killer is on the loose in Jazz Age Philadelphia in Jenny Adams’ debut historical mystery, perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn and Rhys Bowen.

 

Philadelphia, 1921. When Edie Shippen returns home after spending years in California recovering from Influenza, she’s shocked to discover that her childhood sweetheart is engaged to her twin sister. Heartbroken and adrift, Edie vows to begin living her life as a modern woman—and to hell with anyone who gets in her way. But as young women start to disappear from the city, her newfound independence begins to feel dangerous.

 

Gilbert Lawless returned home from the Great War a shell of his former self. He hides away in the office of Philadelphia’s Coroner, content to keep to himself until a gruesome series of corpses come into the morgue. And when his sister, Lizzie, goes missing, he risks his career to beg help from the one person Lizzie seemed to trust: her employer, Edie Shippen.

 

Fearing the worst, Edie and Gilbert desperately search for clues. It soon becomes clear that Lizzie’s disappearance is connected to the deaths rocking the City of Brotherly Love…and it’s only a matter of time until the killer strikes again.

 

With a lush Roaring Twenties setting and a wickedly smart sleuth to cheer for, A Deadly Endeavor is the perfect puzzling romp for fans of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

 

Excerpt:

 

Chapter 1


April 22, 1921

Philadelphia

 

Edie Shippen wanted to close her eyes and wake up a century from now, like Rip Van Winkle. Only prettier.

 

She rolled over and pressed her face against the pillow’s downy softness as laughter drifted up through the closed door to her childhood bedroom. In the ballroom downstairs, a string quartet warmed up their instruments, readying themselves for the crush of Philadel phia’s upper crust in one of the city’s most extravagant mansions—a sprawling stone castle far from factories and filth to the southeast.

 

Edie had once loved parties, loved slipping into a new dress and holding onto the promise of a dance card filled by a bevy of handsome men, ready to spin and flirt and whisper promises they never intended to keep. She loved the way she sparkled as brightly as the diamonds at her throat, the jewel of one of Philadelphia’s oldest families. But that had been before the influenza killed her mother and nearly took her too, before the three long years spent hidden away in her great-aunt’s house in Los Angeles, battling the swirling despair and painful headaches that lingered, ever ready to pull her under into darkness.

 

Torture. This party would be torture. Faint shadows glittered at the edges of her vision, threatening a migraine before morning. It was one of the reasons she was here, hiding in her bedroom like a petulant child while everyone who was anyone in Philadelphia arrived at her family’s Chestnut Hill estate to celebrate her twin sister’s engagement.

 

A soft knock interrupted Edie’s attempt to will the impending headache into non-existence. Probably someone sent to chide her into going downstairs. She ignored it and pressed her face further into the tear-damp pillow as a frustrated breath filled the air over her head.

 

“Miss,” Lizzie said, hovering. “Your hair.”

 

“I don’t care,” Edie said to the maid, her voice muffled even to her own ears through layers of linen and down. “Just leave me here to die. Please.”

 

“Can’t do that, Miss,” Lizzie said, the lilt in her voice turning the words to music. “I burned myself twice for those curls.” “And I’m sorry about that,” Edie replied through the pillow. “Pardon?”

 

Edie lifted her head, pouting up at the red-headed maid, dressed in the ridiculous livery her grandmother insisted upon. “I said,” she repeated, “That I’m deeply sorry you suffered on my account. But I cannot—will not—step foot downstairs this evening.”

 

Lizzie didn’t even bat an eyelash, just held out her hand. A small, amber brown glass bottle rested in her palm. “I’m under orders from your gran.”

 

Edie stared at her outstretched hand and the offered medicine. “Lizzie. I’m an adult. Not a child. I don’t need a nanny to boss me about.”

 

“I know that. I also know that it’s just a party, Miss Edie. Not an execution.” Lizzie’s hand stayed in the air between them, and finally, Edie sighed and took the bottle. She was the picture of compliance as Lizzie led her to the velvet stool in front of the vanity table and sank her toes into the plush carpets, deep enough to grow roots, as the maid pulled her brand-new party dress from the wardrobe and hung it on the valet stand.

 

“It may as well be an execution,” Edie grumbled, as opened the bottle. The liquid swirled inside, and she grimaced as she let three bitter drops of the tincture her latest doctor prescribed hit her tongue. Just three—enough to stave off the headache, but not enough to knock her senseless. “The execution of my hopes and dreams.”

 

Lizzie moved behind her, tsking over the state of Edie’s long waves, the glossy coal-black strands snarled together. “I know it can’t be easy. But—”

 

“But Frances is happy.” The dress’s delicate fabric shimmered under the glow of the electric bulb on the vanity table, pale green silk and gold lace. Aunt Mae had ordered it during Edie’s recovery, desperate to give her something to celebrate. Something to live for. She’d made Edie promise to wear it when that young man finally returned from Europe. Well. Edie supposed she would be keeping that promise tonight, even if this wasn’t what Aunt Mae had imagined.

 

Because Theo Pepper had proposed to Frances.

 

Theo. Edie’s Theo. The boy who had spent long, lazy afternoons painting Edie in slanted rays of sunlight, the young man who had made a hundred different promises to Edie as he marched off to war, was marrying her twin sister.

 

She knew that she had no right to be upset. While she’d been bundled off to her aunt’s home in Los Angeles to regain her strength, Theo had been fighting for his life—first in the trenches, and then from a hospital bed. Edie hadn’t returned his letters—what was she supposed to say? I’m so sorry you met the wrong end of a gun, darling, but can I take a moment to tell you how I dream of walking straight into the ocean and never returning? So she didn’t write. Not then, and not when he was discharged from the hospital, or when he decided to continue his medical studies in Vienna, long after his letters to her had dwindled to silence. And when he finally came home to Philadelphia, Edie’s perfect, beautiful sister was there, waiting.

 

Edie didn’t blame him for loving her. Frances was the best person she knew.

 

And Edie shouldn’t blame her for loving him. Theo was incredibly lovable.

 

The only person Edie could blame was herself.

 


A DEADLY ENDEAVOR Pre-Order Campaign

 

Thank you for supporting A DEADLY ENDEAVOR! 

 

If you live in the US and have pre-ordered a hard copy or digital version, or requested from your local library, please fill out this form to receive your gift, including: a signed bookplate, a special sticker, and bookmark! Supplies are limited, so be sure to pre-order ASAP. One order per address, please! 

 

 

A NOTE ABOUT SIGNED PRE-ORDERS:

Signed Pre-Orders are available via One More Page in Arlington, VA, and will automatically receive thank you gifts. You do not have to fill out this form! Orders placed via One More Page will receive the sticker, bookmark, and an exclusive foil art print! 

 

 

Thank you for your support! 

 

xo

Jenny

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 


Author Biography:

 

Jenny Adams has always had an overactive imagination. She turned her love of books and stories into a career as a librarian and author. She holds degrees in Medieval Studies and Library Science from The Ohio State University and Drexel University. She has studied fiction at Johns Hopkins University and is an alumna of Blue Stoop’s 2019 YA Novel Intensive and the 2021 Tin House YA Workshop, and was a 2021 PitchWars Mentor. Jenny currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and daughter, and can be found on Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram as @JAdamsWrites

 

Social Media Links:

 

 

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