Feb 01, 12
Read in August, 2010
If you want to get a feel for pre World War II Germany, this is your book. A Trace of Smoke takes place in 1931 Berlin, the Nazi's are just starting to make their presence known and the people of Berlin are still recovering from the shortages and lose of the first war. Great writing and a wonderful mystery taking you from the burlesque houses of Berlin, to the lakes and posh clubs of the rich, from the anti-Semitism of Nazi rule to the compassion that still exited in those not afraid to stand up.
Hannah Vogal is a crime reporter. As such, she routinely checks out the photographs of the bodies in the hall of the Unnamed Dead. When she sees the picture of her brother a cross dressing lounge singer, she finds her feet frozen in place. Unable to tell the local police, she must investigate his death on her own. Then a 5 year old boy, named Anton, shows up at her door claiming her brother as his father and calling her mother.
What to do? Treading lightly through the back allies of Berlin and the dance hall her brother worked, which is frequented by some high ranking Nazi's, who would rather it not get out they are patrons, Hannah must find Anton’s true parents, while keeping them both safe and find the murderer of her brother, all while trying to hang onto her job and nurture a relationship with a new man in her life.