A Trace of Smoke (Hannah Vogel #1)
You also rarely find such a strong female character as Hannah Vogel. A 30 year old crime reporter who has to write under a male pseudonym for her work to be taken seriously.
The story opens with her weekly visit to Police Headquarters where the Hall of the Unnamed Dead carries on its walls photos of unidentified bodies. Much to her ho...more
Unfortunately the writer's skills aren't on a par with her imagination. The prose is plodding, with an emphasis on "tell" rather than "show." The narrator, the crime-reporter sister, relates everything,...more
In A Trace of Smoke, Rebecca Cantrell uses a slightly earlier period of 1931 Berlin as...more
Cantrell’s book is a venture into a genre blending of mystery and historical fiction – a blend I find near irresistible. In a word, the author has taken up where CABARET left off. Historically, we see a Germ...more
In A Trace of Smoke, Hannah Vogel investigates the murder of her beloved younger brother, Ernst. In the process, she finds herself caught up in the deadly drama of Berlin's gay and...more
Berlin in 1931 was a dangerous place, a city in transition. In the 1920s, as Germany's economy began to stabilize, a permissive and vibrant cultural scene had flourished, but as Hitler and the Nazi party became more visible and powerful, there was a retrenchment of "traditional" German values of home and hearth.
A Trace of Smoke takes place during this time of fluid identities and cultural conflict. It is a noir mystery with unexpected depth.
Rebecca Vogel is a crime reporter for a conservative ne...more
It's a well-researched, fast moving tale set against the backdrop of pre-WWII Germany. Cantrell does a great job of detailing daily life during the Nazi's rise to power, the fear and hardship that was felt by all but the most wealthy of German citizens. She also deals with the difficult subject of homosexuality and the hypocrisy surrounding it under Hitler's regime with great tact and subtlety. The plo...more
Hannah's friend Fritz Waldheim is the policeman on duty, though, so she tries not to show it....more
Hannah is a 33 year old woman. She works for a paper under a male pseudonym. She is the eldest of 3 siblings, the youngest, Ernst, being homosexual.
She meets a love interest, but he is not a prominent figure in the book. She meets...more
This is a great historical mystery. I especially liked the contrasts between the s...more
For the time Hannah was an unusual woman, she did what she wanted and ended up taking on some powerful men. I wasn't sure how she could stay ahead of them, but she did, sometimes just barely. The way that things were so intertwined I had a hard time trying to guess what was going to happen and who the bad guy was.
Anton managed to ch...more
Set in 1931 Berlin A Trace of Smoke is a skillfully written mystery/thriller with a literary sensibility. I was hooked on the first page. This richly de...more