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The Boy in the Red Dress
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The Boy in the Red Dress

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  909 ratings  ·  233 reviews
A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery in this rollicking romp of truth, lies, and troubled pasts.

New Year's Eve, 1929.

Millie is running the show at the Cloak & Dagger, a swinging speakeasy in the French Quarter, while her aunt is out of town. The new year is just around the corner, and all of New Orleans is out to celebrate, but even w
Hardcover, 362 pages
Published May 12th 2020 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  909 ratings  ·  233 reviews

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Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a deeply fun, YA Miss Fischer-esque queer New Orleans murder mystery this is!
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
From the author's twitter:

"Quick facts about THE BOY IN THE RED DRESS:

🏳️‍🌈MC Millie is bi (hello bi love triangle!)
🏳️‍🌈Her BFF Marion is gay & performs in drag
🏳️‍🌈Her aunt is a lesbian in a committed relationship w/ a woman
🏳️‍🌈They all work in a queer-friendly speakeasy
🏳️‍🌈A few people are straight I guess?"
Kristin Lambert

Caidyn (he/him/his)
CW: homophobia, parental abandonment, being gay seen as a mental illness, involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, and murder

Y'all, this book was so good! I can't believe this is a debut, but I need it for my personal shelf since I read an e-copy through my library.

This book is set in 1929 where we follow Millie. She works at her aunt's speakeasy, which is hella queer, after her mom left her there to run off with a guy. Her aunt is most likely gay and is in a long-term relationship with a woman.
Larry H
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Boy in the Red Dress is a fun, unique, and compelling story about living your life on your own terms—and trying to protect your friends.

It’s New Year’s Eve in New Orleans in 1929. Millie is running her aunt’s speakeasy while she is out of town. Everyone has come to the Cloak and Dagger to see Marion Leslie perform. This “boy in the red dress” is a consummate performer and Millie’s best friend.

That night, though, a young socialite is showing people an old picture of Marion and asking ques
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

This book was such a wild ride and I loved it! It has absolutely everything you'd want from an #ownvoices queer historical murder mystery set against the backdrop of a queer-friendly speakeasy in 1920's New Orleans. (If fireworks didn't go off in your mind at least five times reading that sentence, I'm not sure we can be friends.) With a headstrong bisexual amateur sleuth at the helm, this story kept me in its grips from start to finish.

From disguises and half-baked schemes to code-bust
McKelle George
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I forking love this book. Superb mystery in a setting that you basically smell on the pages. Speakeasies, drag, a sharp-witted heroine, and a twisty mystery. A++++
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
this was an excellent #ownvoices queer historical! loved the New Orleans setting, and the mystery really kept me guessing at every turn.
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, lgbtq
Did you like the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue? Do you want a fabulous lgbtqia+ cast of characters who are not defined by their labels mixed with a dash of murder mystery??? How could you say no to that??

After a murder occurs at their speakeasy in New Orleans, Millie is determined to dive into the case and protect her friend Marion; the prime suspect.

This book was simply just a whole lot of fun. I didn’t suspect the suspects, our protagonist Millie was wonderful in guiding us through thi
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
I really enjoyed this! I am just an absolute sucker for a historical murder mystery but I don't know that I've read many that have queer characters where we aren't reminded every chapter about bigoted people's thoughts. It was kind of nice to not have a whole book of slurs towards the reps in here. I was NOT expecting the end so lots of guessing the whole way through.

Rep: f/f romance, bi or pansexual, male dressed as female
This was such a delightful surprise with strooooong Iron Cast vibes but not paranormal and of course super queer. If you're into Prohibition fiction this is a really fun one. ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excuse me! They said "Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries", and if that doesn't have me scrambling to the buy button nothing will. *fingers crossed* ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Thanks to my Mum for typing this up for me.
Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review.
This book had all the elements that I love but sadly it didn't execute any of them to the standard I'd hoped for.
This story follows the main character, Millie, who sets out to clear her best friends name after he is accused of murdering a girl from his past. Set in the early 30's, and mainly taking place in a speakeasy owned by her Aunt, Millie attempts to inv
Kristin Lambert
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Welcome to the Cloak and Dagger club! Please come in -- the password is “hijinks.” Okay good, now that you’re here, I can tell you a secret about the good old Cloak. This is one of those places where you feel like you just belong, because whatever brand of weird and wonderful you are slides right in alongside ours. If you haven’t found a place like that in real life yet, feel free to come back and visit us any time you want. While you’re here, let me tell you about the people I love. First, ther ...more
Anna Birch
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Do you love Veronica Mars? New Orleans? Drag queens? Good. This is the book for you.

Take it with you on a trip to New Orleans (or New York, or London, or your grandma's house, idc TAKE IT WITH YOU) and get ready for a fully immersive historical mystery in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

I can't wait to read the final version!
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An historical mystery, set in 1929-1930 New Orleans, with a wonderfully, casually queer cast of characters. Despite the homophobic attitudes of some of the supporting characters, the main characters live their lives as they please, with most of the action centred on a speakeasy/night club, the Cloak and Dagger, where the boy of the title sings nightly to a queer audience.
Millie Donovan, the PoV, is prickly and finds it hard to trust others thanks to years spent in a difficult relationship with h
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic queer debut that kept me guessing at every twist and turn.
New Year’s Eve, 1929, and everyone at the Cloak & Dagger speakeasy in New Orleans’ French Quarter is there for one thing: Marion, the boy in the red dress. Especially the beautiful socialite showing his picture and asking questions. Marion’s performance is interrupted by this young lady’s murder and the ensuing investigation pins Marion as the killer. But Marion’s best friend, Millie, knows he’s no killer and decides to solve the case herself.

I was really intrigued by the concept of this book an
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review launching Friday
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is really great audio book, it keep me guessing but I kind of figured it out just moments before the mc did but I had fun time beause of the characters I really love them. And I have finsh it in one day (close to 12 hours with breaks in btween)
Kate (GirlReading)
4.5* Kickass teen girls solving mysteries throughout history is one of my favourite 'tropes' and this knocked it out of the park in ALL areas. This was truly the perfect whodunit murder mystery.

- Kristin Lambert did such a wonderful job of painting a picture of the 1930's New Orleans setting. It was captivating, immersive and exciting and the queer-friendly speakeasy at which most of the characters work was wonderful to read about.
- I truly fell in love with the ease of which I got to know and
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, lgbtqiap
If a murder mystery set in a queer speakeasy in 1929/1930s New Orleans doesn’t sound amazing to you then... I don’t know what to say. I enjoyed how even though this was a very difficult time to be queer, and the book does show the unfair way the marginalized characters are treated by the police and other people in positions of power, the story also shows these characters having full lives with joy, sorrow, love, friendship, and found family.

The murder mystery kept me guessing. There were defini
Jan 14, 2021 rated it liked it
I loved this book in concept a bit more than in reality. It's absolutely needed in its depiction of queer culture in the early 20th century - it takes place at a speakeasy for the LGBTQIA+ crowd, the heroine is bisexual, her best friend is gay and a drag performer, and there's a lot of mention of how everyone needs someplace to go to just be themselves without judgement. It does feel a little anachronistic at times, and the mystery plot wasn't nearly as all-consuming as I'd have liked, although ...more
Reasons to read The Boy in the Red Dress:
🕵🏻‍♀️ historical murder mystery
🥂 set in a speakeasy in NOLA’s French Quarter
🌚 LGBTQIA+ inclusiveness in a historical setting
💕 when Millie’s best friend, Marion, is accused of murder, Millie’s loyalty drives her to investigate and clear his name
💃🏽 Marion stars in the speakeasy’s drag show and makes his own costumes
🖤 Millie has M & F love interests!

This was such an awesome mystery! The setting is brilliant — it opens in an LGBTQIA+/inclusive speakeasy i

every single character was interesting. every. single. one. from the main character to the most minor character. the good guys, the bad guys, the neutral. i loved them all.

the MC Millie was especially great. She’s not perfect, she’s got abandonment issues and is surly at times, but that just made me love her more. To those she’s close to, she is incredibly loyal, as is shown by her determination and dedication to clear marion’s name of the murder.

The mystery didn't really pull me in, which is inconvenient in a mystery novel. I feel like this book made some choices, especially in characterization, that ultimately didn't work. For instance, the main character was much less compelling than Marion, the title character. And even then, while Marion was the most interesting character, even he was a pretty flat character. ...more
Heather Cashman
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Characters you'll love to fall for, witty, dark, and rebellious. I loved this book from the first word to the last. The mystery kept me turning the pages, the characters made me laugh and cry, and the ending is so satisfying, it made me sad when there wasn't anymore left to read. Highly recommend. ...more
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Holy moley did I enjoy this book. I haven’t read many murder mystery types of books but I did NOT see that ending coming
Sasha Smith
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book has everything, a gutsy girl-detective, queer history, 1920s fashion, and New Orleans speak easies. If you've ever thought to yourself, I love Veronica Mars, but wish it was queer and took place in the Prohibition area South, boy do I have a book for you.

Kristin weaves a mystery that will keep you guessing and shouting at the page until the very end. But it's the incredible characters and the relationships she weaves that will stay with you long after you've discovered who the killer
Ash Otterloo
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wished for a historic murder mystery set in a speakeasy where literally EVERYONE is queer? Do you love funny-but-sad disaster-family dynamics? Um. Hi. I have, and I do, and The Boy in the Red Dress was an absolute effin' DELIGHT. Millie is rough around the edges, dogged, sharp-minded, and completely driven by her love and desire to protect for her best friend, a drag queen named Marion, from being wrongly punished for murder. Bestie love is the beating heart of this story, but ther ...more
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Kristin Lambert lives in a house littered with the remains of the many craft hobbies she learned just to procrastinate writing. Her husband, two daughters, two cats and a dog live there, too, somewhere. She has a BA in journalism and creative writing, and her most prized possessions are her childhood teddy bear Bubbles and a pair of red cowboy boots. The Boy in the Red Dress is her debut novel.

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