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A Matter of Love and Death

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances' life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it's thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder.

If a life is at risk, she should tell the police; but that would mean breaking her confidentiality clause and would cost her the job. And practi
Kindle Edition
Published November 29th 2017 by Bombshell Books
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  43 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Donna Maguire

I really enjoyed this book, it is a historical fiction so right up my street) and a cosy mystery so it also falls in the crime genre (again a book for me!) - I loved the setting and the description of 1930s Australia was great - it was easy to see that the book had been researched really well too.

I enjoyed the plot, it was very easy to read and I enjoyed the characters too - a great writing style and lovely fluidity. It is a nice and easy book to chill wit
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
All reviews can be found on my blog at

Oh I just LOVE that cover!! So retro and so in-keeping with the overall theme of the book. Set in the 1930's in Adelaide, Australia, Frances has the world and its wife upon her shoulders as she does everything she can to keep a roof over her mother and Uncle Sal's head. Seeing as her job as a switchboard operator requires keeping any information heard from the callers, extremely confidential, Frances finds herself in a
Vanessa Wild
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it
When telephonist Frances overhears a conversation plotting a murder, she finds herself in somewhat of a dilemma. Should she risk her job and reveal all to the police, or should she just keep quiet and pretend she never heard it?

This is a cosy style mystery but it's mostly a family/relationship drama, in my opinion. The mystery seems secondary to the characters, their lives and their interactions with each other. It amounts to the overheard telephone conversation at the beginning of the story and
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is very much what I would class as a cosy mystery.

I really enjoyed the era that the story is set in. It very much brought to life what living in that time would be like. The way people dress, how they lived and how the cinema and dances were all the rage.

There are quite a few likeable characters in the story. The main ones for me though were Frances and her Uncle Sal. The relationship between both made this novel even more worth while reading as it was really sweet to read. Jack is also gre
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful read! Very descriptive and paced just right. I loved following Jack, Frances & Bluey - I do hope there’s either a sequel or a spin-off book? I need to know what happens to them all! Love, murder & intrigue all set in Adelaide in an era I love - perfect
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Definitely more about love than death this is a gentle read with a good sense of period style in 30’s Adelaide with an interesting cast of characters. Frances lives with her mum, ‘Uncle’ Sal and then a new lodger arrives. She is a likeable but slightly naive girl who over hears an unsettling conversation in her job at the telephone exchange and thus we have the mystery element but it is when she encounters nightclub owner, Jack, singer Dolores and becomes involved with a whole new world that the ...more
Jessica Bronder
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It is 1931 and Francis works as a telephone operator. One day she over hears a conversation about a murder. But after seeing another operator being fired for talking about what was heard she is afraid to say anything. Initially she decides it is a bad line and to ignore it. But when she meets night club owner Jack, she thinks twice about the murder. It is during prohibition and Jack dances around illegal champagne so Francis thinks confiding in him will help whomever was to be murdered.

What foll
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a lovely story about Adelaide in the 1930s.
The characters are beautifully drawn.
Bit more romance than mystery.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Adelaide, Australia in the 1930’s and Frances works on the local telephone exchange. It is a relatively mundane job until one day she over hears a very suspicious conversation. What should she do? Tell someone and risk losing her job or just pretend that she never heard it?
A very easy going historical mystery which I enjoyed but it goes along a very sedate pace which at sometimes was a little too slow for my liking. However, the characters were likeable and the story enjoyable. Caron Albright c
Fiona Moreira
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A matter of love and Death.

Frances works at the telephone exchange In post war Adelaide when she meets dashing stranger Jack Sullivan. When her colleague is fired for listening into the calls that she connects and breaching confidentiality, Frances knows she has to be extra careful. She can’t afford to loose her job, she’s supporting her mother and uncle Sal, a retired entertainer, although the money from a new lodger from Melbourne helps.

But then Frances overhears a phone call that sounds like
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbc-reviews
It was definitely the cover that made me want to read this book, very appealing and retro. This follows the story of Francis who works a telephone operator in 1931. She is working full time; supporting her Mum and her adopted Uncle Sal and has a lot of pressure on her shoulders managing their finances.
One night walking home, she gets talking to Jack who she is initially wary of at first. However, through their lodger Phil, Francis soon gets drawn into Jack’s world and her eyes are opened to a wo
Sally Stackhouse
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set in Adelaide in 1931 Frances is a telephone operator who overhears a conversation that she can’t tell anybody about due to the confidentiality of her work.

This is a lovely novel, well written and descriptive of the early 1930s with people suffering from poverty, illness, death and labour shortages. The levels of social needs are shocking compared to some of the opulence that is also around.

The story is nicely paced with good characterisations.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. The blurb makes it sound like a historical murder investigation but I don't feel this is correct. To me it is more of a love story with a suspected murder thrown in, almost as if the author couldn't decide. I definitely feel a lot more could have been done with the murder part of the story. It felt more like it was a side part of the story and not the main story like the blurb paints it to be.

That being said there are lots of things I did like about t
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's safe to say that I have a love of historical fiction so of course then add in a mystery and I was in my element. I couldn't wait to start reading A Matter of Love and Death and see what trouble Frances would find herself in. First of all I have to mention the fabulous cover with the lovely colours and font it really is quite eye catching!

Caron Albright sets the scene wonderfully as the sights and sounds of this era are brought to life before my eyes. From the clothing, the shops that France
Stephen Crabbe
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novel first grabbed my attention because it is set in the Great Depression, in Adelaide. As a native of that city and an avid student of South Australian history, I had to read it.

The author’s portrait of the place rang true for me, the vernacular of my Adelaide parents and grandparents flowing from the mouths of her characters. Many a time did my mother’s hand guide me into Balfour’s, the bakery and tearoom famous for its frog-cakes, and I felt I was there again at the table with lead char
LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Frances works in a telephone exchange and is sole provider for her mum and her Uncle Sal but she is tested when she overhears a plan for the stick up. Should she break confidentiality to tell the police and risk losing her job or keep quiet?

So this is the second book in this week set in the 1930’s, which if you read the review for A Pearl For Her Mistress you will know is one of my favourite eras. It’s set in Adelaide in Australia in 1931 when the depression was in full swing with lots of unempl
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
France's really does find herself in a conundrum, over hearing a partial conversation as she woks in the phone exchange, but she doesn't know who to turn to or what to do with this information, as it is too vague to act upon. 
The story is set in Adelaide, and is beautifully written giving us an insight in tot he difficulties of the times, I did feel for France's predicament. She has a quiet life, and comes across older than her years while she is working and trying to help her mum at home to kee
Emma Pullar
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is not a genre I would usually read but I love Carmen's (that's her real name) writing style and I enjoyed The Case of the Missing Bride. A Matter of Love and Death is a historical fiction novel set in Australia and having lived in Australia (although not in that era, obviously) I can say it felt authentic. The author manages to transport the reader back in time effortlessly and I got a Downton Abbey vibe from it even though it is a totally different type of story. The dialogue was spot on, ...more
Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
This is not usually my genre, but the cover grabbed my attention and I wanted to give it a try. Not a lot of mystery, and the writing style was very abrupt. The scenes were very short and frequently broken up by section breaks that - for me - they interrupted the flow and did not lend the kind of depth I usually look for in any book, regardless of genre.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cute! Fun mystery with a bit of romance and plenty of interesting historical bits. Mostly about Australia, of course, but that's part of the allure. I loved Jack and Frances, and all the characters. Definitely worth a read.
Helen Howerton
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Keeps you turning the pages, that's for sure. Well researched, in a HM location we don't see much about (post-WWI Adelaide). The characters are especially detailed -- loved Uncle Sal! Hope to see more in this series.
Fiona Leitch
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! A fantastic and quite different setting for a romantic mystery - 1930s Adelaide. Francis is a relatable and sympathetic protagonist, and love interest Jack is dreamy - a little bit dangerous, older, more experienced...swoon!
I enjoyed all the period details and the mystery was gripping enough to keep me hooked. I’m a sucker for romance and so the ending was very satisfying!
Meredith Whitford
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A well written, enjoyable mystery set in the Adelaide of 1930s. Albright handles her plot and characters with expertise and imagination, creating a very good picture of a lovely town coping with the Depression. The crime element provides just enough menace, and danger for the heroine Frances and her friends, to lift this book above many others. Well done!
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Feb 17, 2019
Alexandra Devidal
rated it it was amazing
Jul 11, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2018
Carmen Radtke
rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2018
Jean Cross
rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2018
bev clarke
rated it really liked it
Jan 15, 2018
Rose Griffith
rated it it was ok
Aug 04, 2019
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