Paris in 1921 is the city of freedom, where hatless and footloose Kiki Button can drink champagne and dance until dawn. She works as a gossip columnist, partying with the rich and famous, the bohemian and strange, using every moment to create a new woman from the ashes of her war-worn self.While on the modelling dais, Picasso gives her a job: to find his wife's portrait, which has gone mysteriously missing. That same night, her spymaster from the war contacts her--she has to find a double agent or face jail. Through parties, whisky, and seductive informants, Kiki uses her knowledge of Paris from the Great War to connect the clues.Set over the course of one springtime week, April in Paris, 1921 is a mystery that combines artistic gossip with interwar political history through witty banter, steamy scenes, and fast action.
"*Starred Review* Katherine King Button, aka Kiki Button, an Australian debutante before WWI, and a nurse and spy during the war, trades her parents' insistence on a settle-down-marriage-have-babies future for the freedom of Paris. Wangling a job as gossip columnist for her impeccable friend and newspaper editor Bertie, Kiki settles into a garret with a bed and very little else, content to smoke and hang her bare feet out the window. Two parties a week, and she's on her wave the artists, the authors, the fawning new men in her bed. In the wake of the war, people are weary of strife, glad to be alive, unwilling to sleep with nightmares, and unsure of what comes next. Kiki has a past that readers learn about, one aching bit at a time, notably when her former spymaster demands that she help find a double agent or face arrest. Meanwhile, Picasso hires her, first as a model and then as a detective, to find a missing painting. Button is naughtier than Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher, as strong as Suzanne Arruda's Jade del Cameron, and every bit as clever as Susan Elia MacNeal's Maggie Hope. This thoroughly entertaining, delightfully witty debut is imbued with Paris' unique ambiance and will have readers eagerly awaiting Button's next adventure.--Baker, Jen Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Financially independent Kiki Button, the narrator of Australian author Lunney's entertaining debut and series launch, served as an Allied spy during WWI, but now she's the quintessential modern woman of 1921. Her flamboyant close friend from the war, London tabloid copy editor Bertie Browne, gives her a job as a gossip columnist reporting from Paris. There-amid the parties, drinking, and sexual escapades-Kiki meets and models for artist Pablo Picasso, who asks for her help in finding a painting of his that has been stolen. On the same day, the elusive Dr. Fox, who was Kiki's spymaster during the war, recruits her to find a traitor who's spying for the Germans. As she befriends both bohemians and members of high society and uses her sharp decoding skills, she realizes that these two mysteries are somehow connected. The result is an intriguing, if predictable spy adventure rather than a whodunit. Lunney's vibrant picture of Paris, chock-full of flapper fashion and cameos of the Lost Generation, will leave readers eager for more. Agent: Sarah McKenzie, Hindsight Literary Agency (Australia). (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved