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The Jazz Files

(Poppy Denby Investigates #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  234 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Introducing Poppy Denby, a young journalist in London during the Roaring Twenties, investigating crime in the highest social circles!

In 1920, twenty-two year old Poppy Denby moves from Northumberland to live with her paraplegic aunt in London. Aunt Dot, a suffragette who was injured in battles with the police in 1910, is a feisty and well-connected lady.

Poppy has always
Paperback, 319 pages
Published November 27th 2015 by Lion Fiction (first published September 17th 2015)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  234 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a new series and it left me wanting to read the next as soon as possible. It is 1920 and Poppy Denby is leaving Nortumbria for London, where she is planning to act as companion to her invalided aunt – former actress and militant suffragette – Dot Denby. However, when she arrives, Dot informs her that her friend, Grace, is all she needs and that it was, in fact, a ruse. She intends Poppy to have a career and so, with great excitement, Poppy decides to take advantage of the ...more
Paul Alkazraji
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing

It’s the summer of 1920. Charlie Chaplin is in London promoting ‘The Kid’. The Jazz Age is just picking up the tempo of its swing. So, put on your shift dress and get ready to do the ‘swirly-armed’ dance: technically not, as the author explains with a satisfying knowledge of historical detail, the Charleston.

It was the year that Agatha Christie’s first published novel ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ introduced readers to Poirot, Japp and Hastings. Read by the character Poppy in ‘The Jazz
Lisa Johnson
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Title: The Jazz Files (Poppy Denby Investigates #1)
Author: Fiona Veitch Smith
Pages: 319
Year: 2015
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Poppy Denby has received a letter from her disabled aunt, asking her to come live with her in London as a paid companion. Upon her arrival, Poppy learns that her aunt has no need for a companion, but wrote that letter just to appease Poppy’s father. Her real motive was to get Poppy to the big city of London to give her the opportunity for a career, which she knows her father
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Poppy Denby has travelled to London to make a new life for herself staying with her Aunt Dot - and her friend, Grace. They were both Suffragettes and Poppy, in spite of her conventional upbringing, wants a career.

Poppy worries that she has deceived her parents - with her Aunt's help - as they think she is going to be a companion to Dot. Poppy responds to an advertisement for an assistant to the editor of the Globe newspaper and gets the job. She is actually being employed to sort out all the
Carole Jarvis
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

The Jazz Files, a delightful historical mystery set in London during the early 1920s, simply sparkles. Fiona Veitch Smith has done a wonderful job blending characters, setting, and plot together in a way that pulls you into the story. The mystery is well-crafted and I enjoyed the historical element as well – politics, dress styles, and what the world was like for women at the time. I haven’t read a lot of fiction set during the Roaring
Mazzou B
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
An excellent mystery capturing the feeling of the time period. Only thing I didn't like about it was all the feministic stuff which unfortunately formed the basis for the story. However, the main characters were good for the most part. This book left me wishing to read the sequel!
Cleopatra  Pullen
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Being interested in women’s rights throughout history, this book which harks back to the 1920s and features Poppy Denby who works for The Daily Globe, initially as an office assistant, this book caught my eye. Unsurprisingly as it has a beautiful cover!

Poppy Denby moves from the north of England to stay with her aunt in London, a militant suffragette, and gets a job working at The Daily Globe. She has only just started when one of the other reporters dies in mysterious circumstances. With the
Maureen Timerman
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This book brings us to a time just after the first World War, and people, or rather woman fighting for some rights, and the men who a really oppose and want women put in there place, at any cost. The main character is Poppy Denby, who has come to stay with her Aunt Dot in London, having led a sheltered life up to now as the daughter of a Methodist minister, what a new life she is about to have.
We follow Poppy, and it seems like there is never a dull moment from the time she arrives until the end
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith is a marvellous historical novel and the first book in the Poppy Denby Investigates series. It is set in 1920 as Britain is recovering from WWI and then a flu epidemic. The 1920’s promises to be a glorious new decade but for some there are old crimes to solve.
With her heart set on being a reporter, Poppy Denby seems to just fall into amateur sleuthing. Her reporter’s nose spots when things are not quite right. She sets her sights on righting the wrongs of the
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

Introducing Poppy Denby, a young journalist in London during the Roaring Twenties, investigating crime in the highest social circles!

In 1920, twenty-two year old Poppy Denby moves from Northumberland to live with her paraplegic aunt in London. Aunt Dot, a suffragette who was injured in battles with the police in 1910, is a feisty and
Whispering Stories
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
**I received a free copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review**

Poppy Denby travels from her home in the North of England to live with her Aunt Dot in London, who has requested her help due to her now being disabled. However on arrival it becomes clear that this was all a ruse to get Poppy from under her parents’ feet, where Dot believes she would never flourish, and out into the big, wide world to follow her dream of being a journalist.

It’s not until a senior reporter at ‘The Globe’
Fiction Aficionado
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
As a fan of detective/mystery stories set in and around this era (eg. Christie, Sayers, Heyer) I was keen to check out this new offering in the genre, but I have come away slightly disappointed. The mystery was well plotted, but it wasn’t the sort of novel where I could say, “I couldn’t put it down.”

‘Jazz Files’ is the name given by The Globe’s editor, Rollo, to ‘any story that has a whiff of high society scandal, but can’t yet be proven.’ In this case wealthy peer, Lord Melvyn Dorchester, is
Tammy G.
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ohhh! A new series and an new author! Love at first read!
The Roaring Twenties, mystery, and young journalist.
The Jazz Files, Poppy Denby Investigates, is about a young lady in the 20's who moves to London to be with her paraplegic aunt. Poppy's (don't you just love her name) parents think she is going to help Aunt Dot and live with her as a sort of companion. Little do her parents know that Aunt Dot used that "companion thing" as a ruse because she wants Poppy to have a career and a go at life.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a mystery, a feminist historical novel, or just a good read
Recommended to Mari by: Facebook group
This is a great page-turner but not only that, it is a novel which to me says that the writer has 'come of age' in her fiction writing for adults. The period is well researched, with none of those slips of time which can happen when writing historical fiction. And the descriptions reveal how much work has gone into putting the characters into the right clothes, attitudes, and culture. And even the theatre connections are authentic, with the character of Lilian Bayliss who founded the Old Vic in ...more
S.C. Skillman
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly engaging detective novel set in the 1920's. I loved the main protagonist Poppy and enjoyed the descriptions of her life establishing herself as an investigative journalist in the offices of the Globe newspaper. Other characters were also brilliantly drawn; Poppy's actress friend Delilah, her boss Rollo; and the loathesome antagonists, Melvyn and Alfie Dorchester. The author draws a vivid picture of the struggle of the suffragettes, and conveys the challenges of being a woman in a ...more
Claire Huston
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

This is an entertaining mystery story set in a skillfully-evoked 1920s' London.

Overall I liked it, but I found the mystery less entertaining than the feminist struggles of the heroine. And, as it wasn't as gripping as I would have liked, I couldn't rate it higher.

I'd be interested in reading another installment, particularly as I imagine future mysteries/case files won't involve members of the heroine's family which I think will make for a more varied cast of characters.
Louis Brandt
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was gripping right from the first page. The characters were strong, the plot was well thought out and there were lots of twists and turns to keep you riveted. I look forward to reading the sequels in this series.
Charlie Hathaway
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I first came across this book in a book group where they were deciding which historical crime novel to read and I chose this one. The premise of the book interested me from the start as a historical crime based novel and as a massive Agatha Christie fan I could not resist picking this up!
The story is set in 1920 and follows a young woman called Poppy who moves from Morpeth in Northumberland to London to live with her crippled aunt and companion who were former members of the Women's Social and
Excellent Historical mystery from a British author (which is of course a real boon for me), set in the midst of the Jazz Age.

Methodist Pastor's daughter Poppy Denby comes to London after recieving a letter from her Aunt, who is secretly planning on helping her find a career.
At first she, but faces discrimination when she turns up at her interview for the role of a Manager.
They don't want a woman- a situation which the strong and independent niece of the former Suffragette Dorothy Denby is not
Feb 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fun-fluffy-reads
I liked this story. It had some interesting enjoyable aspects.

First off, the 20's are a favourite era of mine, but this book is set in England in the 20's which is the first time I've read a book in that era set outside the U.S. It really looks at this time period through a different lens, what with the First World War having only recently ended. The feel was a bit darker than the "American Roaring 20's" books I've read but I liked seeing the era from another viewpoint.

The plot of this book was
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a terrific read! I read it after I read 'The Kill Fee', not realising it was a series and finding only 'The Kill Fee' on the library shelves. Poppy is immensely likeable and Ms Smith has created an interesting, charming, sympathetic and varied group of characters to support her. The historical research (which the author has admitted to bending slightly to accommodate the storyline) is interesting and vivid, and Poppy is bright, funny, clever, ambitious and proves that she has a backbone ...more
Erin Holding
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Up until Monday, this book was the longest standing resident of my Tbr shelf. Having been gifted this 2 years ago, I really didn't think. It would be something I enjoyed. I am. Thoroughly ashamed to say that I most certainly did judge the book by its cover .
"The Jazz Files", I have since come to realise, is the first installment to #poppydenbyinvestigates series.
Anchored by a factual timeline and real events, a fictional neice of a suffragette becomes a journalist in 1920 which is still very
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the setting in 1920 (even if the author does admit that she played with some dates to help tell the story, but then - it’s fiction!), and the strong female characters in the book. The relationships and the storytelling are stronger than the mystery itself, but I’m looking forward to seeing where the series goes next ... and I enjoyed seeing how Poppy Denby’s faith (including a hint of struggles) form a part of her everyday life ... causing her to think about ...more
Sheila Howes
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was originally put off by the title as I'm not a fan of jazz music, however I'm so pleased I gave it a go as I really enjoyed it!

I quickly found out that the titular "Jazz Files" referred to potential scandalous stories for the newspaper rather than anything to do with the music. I loved all the references to the 20's and the whole plot around the suffragete movement.

I also adored the characters. Poppy has an amazing nose for getting into trouble!
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a fun little book. Yes, there was a murder and there was a fair amount of history covered. I know more about the 1920's in the U.S.A. than in England but there were enough parallels that I didn't feel lost. The funniest thing about this book was that it was *supposed* to be on my 2020 reading challenge but I finished it too soon. I have the sequel on hold at the library to substitute in its place.
Amelia Piratesx
Apr 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Surprises are there none.

You'll guess every twist as soon as it starts being set up. The prose is not great. The characters are stereotypes and one dimensional. Research into the period may have been extensive but introduced so clumsily that you don't want to know. Altogether a very disappointing read.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great start to a new series. Set in the early 1920s the story deals with women's sufferage, London in post WWI era, and the changing attitudes of the different social classes. I very much enjoyed the story and look forward to reading the next in the series.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
While it had its good moments, overall, I found The Jazz Files to be a disappointing read. The basis of the story is intriguing: young Poppy Denby, raised by strict Methodist parents, goes to live with her aunt Dot, a former actress and suffragette now wheelchair bound, under the assumption that she would work for her. However, her aunt has other ideas and encourages her to start her own career, so Poppy finds a job as an editorial assistant at a newspaper called the Globe. When the political ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Disappointing. Great premise: 1920s, female reporter investigating crimes against suffragettes. Unfortunately the execution was just not there. Characterization was thin and unrealistic. The idea that Poppy just walked into investigative journalism strains credibility. Mystery was rather meh.
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Poppy Denby Investigates (4 books)
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