Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Relative Fortunes (Julia Kydd #1)” as Want to Read:
Relative Fortunes (Julia Kydd #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Relative Fortunes

(Julia Kydd #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,847 ratings  ·  198 reviews
In 1920s New York, the price of a woman’s independence can be exorbitant—even fatal.

In 1924 Manhattan, women’s suffrage is old news. For sophisticated booklover Julia Kydd, life’s too short for politics. With her cropped hair and penchant for independent living, Julia wants only to launch her own new private press. But as a woman, Julia must fight for what’s hers—including
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing (first published July 1st 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Relative Fortunes, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Paulette You can go to your "My Books" page and click the "X" on the far right to remove it completely from your shelves. To prevent this from happening in the…moreYou can go to your "My Books" page and click the "X" on the far right to remove it completely from your shelves. To prevent this from happening in the future, you can change your settings in your Kindle.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,847 ratings  ·  198 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Dee Arr
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author Marlowe Benn book, “Relative Fortunes,” is a breath of fresh air amid the countless books that hit the market on a daily basis. While I hesitated, deliberating between this and a few other Kindle First books, I eventually chose this as my second choice of the month. Happily, it is the better of the two reads.

Ms. Benn displays a wonderful talent for stringing the right words together, and the novel is an endless stream of descriptive passages. Add to that the distinct characters that walk
Karen Levay
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I gave this three stars because for about the first half of the book I thought this book would never get going and almost stopped reading it. But eventually I got caught up in the story. I’ll probably read future books of the series now that the probable recurring characters have been established.
I’m giving it a 3 because it frustrated me so much. I wanted to hear more of the beginnings of the Equal Rights Amendment and all the other social injustices that were brought up. I had no picture in my mind of what the main characters looked like. I will read the next in the series as it ended how I thought it should.
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
In Relative Fortunes, we meet Julia Kydd, a woman who is just shy of 25 but wise beyond her years. Julia encounters an acquaintance named Glennis who discovers her progressive sister has died..supposedly under some rather mysterious circumstances. Despite Julia's hesitation, she soon becomes engrossed in a very complicated plot. The book was very historically accurate; it was centered around the early 1920's when women had yet to vote. I felt as though the book was a bit plodding at times but ov ...more
This started slow but ended strong. Full RTC 3.5 stars
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in Manhattan in a time of suffragists and prohibition, bootleggers and soap-box orators, Julia Kydd, a bibliophile and modern woman, finds herself in a situation that requires her to solve the mystery concerning the suspicious death of her friend's sister. As she delves into Naomi's life and death, she sees parallels between her situation in which her estranged brother controls her fortune, and Naomi's, whose brother forced her into dire circumstances by controlling her inheritance.

I loved
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Relative Fortunes was my Amazon First Reads pick for July, and overall I enjoyed it! The story line itself started out pretty slowly, but the intrigue and the mystery picked up significantly in the second half and I finished that bit off in a single evening. There were definitely some twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.

I think the more interesting aspect of the book was actually the historical context and social backdrop. I learned a lot about women's rights in 1924 and so
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Little Bird Publicity and Amazon Publishing for the free book.

Julia is about to lose her inheritance due to a stipulation in her father's will. Her brother offers her a deal she can't refuse. He tells her that if she can prove that a local suffragette's death was a murder, and not a suicide, he will give her back her share of the inheritance. Thus begins Julia Kydd's investigation into what happened to Naomi Rankin.

I will preface this review with the fact that I am not much of a histor
Morgan Nebistinsky
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dana Kashubeck
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down!! Especially at the end. The characters were wonderful and even though I totally thought I knew what had happened, there were twists that I totally did not see coming. I cannot wait to see what Julia gets into next!!
My opinions about Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn went back and forth quite a bit. I downloaded the sample and enjoyed that enough to buy the ebook. I liked the book more or less but wouldn’t read another one, as this is apparently the first in what will be known as the Julia Kydd series.

Julia Kydd is an heiress living abroad in London. She is about to turn 25 and come into her full inheritance. Her brother Philip, the trustee of the will, has summoned her to New York City. He is contesting t
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One concept here struck me, only because it is a pet peeve of mine and I've never seen an author address it. I’m not even sure if the author is aware of what she highlighted in this passage. But it is the insistence of women for their rights without responsibility. I've seen it over and over again, and we see it here in Chapter 21.

"I work to suit myself, not you or anyone else. That’s the glory of a private press. I can print what I like, how I like, without pandering to the tastes of oafish buy
Jennifer Robb
Jul 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Jennifer by: Amazon First Reads
I'm kind of sorry I wasted a First Reads pick on this book. I'll tolerate some things I don't like for the sake of a plot (murder in a mystery or thriller etc.) but I won't tolerate fortune telling, contacting spirits and the like--and that comes up in the first chapter of this book so I was done.

The part I did read reminded me of when I used to read Grace Livingston Hill novels--in that I had to remember it was set at a time when women had fewer rights and opportunities than we do in today's wo
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

The title of this one is certainly a play on the words “relative” and “fortunes” and just how they relate to each other – with a heaping helping of the corruption of the old saying about where there’s a will, there’s a way – not that that doesn’t also apply.

But in the case of this story, the version of that cliche that I’m thinking of is the one that goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a relative” or even a bunch of relatives, all with their hands out for
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Very much a story of two halves this one. One half was engrossing and atmospheric and the other was disjointed and felt very thrown together and almost bolted on to the tale.

First off, the good bit. Julia's life has been rather charmed, admittedly she has lost both her father and her mother but she has enough wealth to live her own life and is even dabbling in her own printing imprint - Capriole is very much a dabble at this point in time, no matter what Julia seems to think. As her 25th Birthd
Ryley (Ryley Reads)

This was a book I was so excited to get into - 1920s Manhattan, the suffrage movement, it all sounded right up my alley! Unfortunately, the execution was a little lacking for my tastes and I had to DNF this one.

Thanks so much to Little Bird Publicity for sending me an eARC for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

This book follows Julia Kydd, a young woman who returns to New York after the death of her estranged father and the contestation of his will by her half-brother, Phil

Julia's a couple weeks away from turning twenty-five. She's been living in England for the past five years and has a married boyfriend, David, there. We didn't get much background on her. The info we got on her ex-boyfriend was pointless and did nothing for the story. I'm not sure what to make of her. She was likely motivated to investigate the death of Naomi so she could get her inheritance more so than to find out the truth.

I like her old school acquaintance, Glennis Rankin. She's the opposite
Julie D.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've read this year! It's almost hard to believe that this is the debut novel for this author. The story takes you on twists and turns that have you captivated from the very first page.

Set in the 1920's in New York, the story takes us through what it's like to be living during this time. The story focuses on Julia, who is in Manhattan to meet with her brother and finalize her inheritance as she will soon be turning 25. She barely knows her half-brother who is older than her
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of period murder mysteries, fans of mystery series
I found this new heroine refreshing and likeable. Julia Kydd is a young woman in 1924, in a world still reeling from The Great War. Julia is a Londoner in Manhattan to settle the matter of her inheritance. She's modern without being brazen, independent (insofar as she can be, with her half-brother controlling her inheritance), and can see no reason that a girl shouldn't pursue a career rather than a husband.

There's an interesting cast of characters, from her old schoolmate, Manhattan socialite G
Stephanie (Once Upon a Chapter)
This review was originally posted on Once Upon a ChapterI received this book for free from Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I agreed to read Relative Fortunes by Marlowe Benn because it is set in the 1920s in the United States and frankly there just is not enough of this time period in my opinion. The fact that it was a mystery as well only added to the appeal.

I'm not going to lie, it took me longer th
Jocelyn Nielson
This was a tough one to get through. There were times, okay almost 75% of the book where I felt I was forcing myself to read on. Around chapter 13, I was debating on whether to just give up on the book or not so, finally, I compromised and went to the end of the book to see if it would be worth it. With just enough interest in the ending and the big plot reveals, I went back to Ch. 13 to finish the book. I still had to push through most of the book to get to those reveals though, and, honestly, ...more
Sarah Sabin
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gifted, arcs
"There it was. The final piece to the grisly puzzle. Julia’s heart was throbbing as if she’d scaled a steep rock face. She’d finally reached the truth, shaking but triumphant—if one could call anything about her task triumphant." Marlowe Benn, p. 275

Somewhere in New York City, a well-known suffragette is found dead in her apartment--an apparent, though suspicious suicide. When Julia Kydd is forced to concede her inheritance to her brother, Philip, she proposes a wager: if she can prove Naomi Ran
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.5 stars

There was a lot to like in this series debut. Main character Julia Kydd is a strong and intelligent woman. The early 20s was a time of much social change, particularly in the rights of women since it was early days after women in the U.S. and England won the right to vote.

The characters are distinct and appealing (or despicable, in some cases). There is some great historical background about the early days of feminism and societal constraints against women. In particular, women's financ
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Julia Kydd is in America for one reason only: to get her half of her father's fortune. She hasn't ever really gotten to know her half-brother Philip, he's much older than she is, but she doesn't really like him. He seems to take great pleasure in making her crazy for absolutely no reason.
When her (sort of) friend's sister dies, the role of women in the 1920s comes into stark relief for Julia. Naomi Rankin's family seems to be more concerned about covering up her death than figuring out what was
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm glad I stuck out the first half of the book, because I really enjoyed the second half. Julia Kydd turns out to be an interesting character and the story turns out to be a whodunnit. Kydd has traveled from London to New York at her brother's behest because of their father's will. On the journey, she connects with an acquaintance from her school days. Once in New York, she is unexpectedly drawn into the family drama of her acquaintance. She is also trying to sort out personal drama. The two be ...more
Kara Prem
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up
In 1924 Julia returns to New York to handle an issue with her inheritance (which she is supposed to receive when she turns 25). She's been living in London and has plans to go into printing, but she needs the money from her inheritance in order to get her business started. Her twit of a half brother has come up with a ridiculous reasoning to exclude her from what she is owed. I felt for Julia, living in a restrictive patronistic society, but she was so unlikeable after a while, I couldn't care l ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

Relative Fortunes is an intriguing murder mystery set in 1920’s New York with a feisty protagonist and a strong emphasis on the women’s movement - set shortly after women had won the vote but were still highly controlled by fathers, husbands, and brothers - and on the class divide of that time.

It’s well written, descriptive and detailed, and although it does start quite slowly it soon picks up with many plot twists and turns. The history of book publishing woven throug
Catherine Siemann
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delight from start to finish. Sometimes spiky, sometimes shallow, always intelligent Julia Kydd has a problem. She's come from London to New York to confront her half-brother, who is making it more difficult than it should be to get her hands on her inheritance. Without it, Julia will be forced to give up her freedom, not to mention the small fine-edition press she's founded, and to *horrors* settle down and marry, just when the 1920s are giving women a taste of freedom.

When her school friend
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
With Relative Fortunes, the first book in Marlowe Benn’s Julia Kydd series, I think it’s safe to say ‘it’s me, not the book’. Although I love a good historical crime, I am extremely picky about such reads, and in this case this one wasn’t quite for me.

Relative Fortunes is a book that takes a long time to start, much longer than I would have liked. With my mysteries, I like it when things start to come together much sooner than they did in this one, and there were plenty of points where I did con
D. Starr
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dysfunctional Families and Murder
For mature audiences.

No memorable harsh language
Sexual situations are essential to the furthering of the plot.
Interesting details about special edition books, bibliophiles, and book collectors.

Plot: Julia has always expected to receive her share of her father's fortune, but due to vague language her 1/2 brother contests the will and may well end up getting it all. Meanwhile an acquaintance has apparently committed suicide - but the circumstances don't add up. Ju
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Marlowe Benn holds a master’s degree in the book arts from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in the history of books from the University of California, Berkeley. Relative Fortunes is her debut novel.
Pseudonym of author Megan Benton.
“[The suffragette] is a woman who has stupidly carried her envy of certain of the superficial privileges of men to such a point that it takes on the character of an obsession. . . . What these virtuous beldames actually desire in their hearts is . . . that the franchise of dalliance be extended to themselves.—H. L. Mencken, 1922” 0 likes
More quotes…