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Friday, November 27, 2015

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc By Jennifer Kincheloe

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Despite her best efforts, wealthy young Anna Blanc has garnered a tarnished reputation without ever having enjoyed the deserving fun. It’s 1907 and her desperate attempt to elope and escape her father’s gilded cage was interrupted before any ravishing. Instead, Anna only received an even more rigid chaperone monitoring her every movement. As part of the wealthiest families in Los Angeles, Anna knows that everyone seems to have a price, and she is able to buy off her guardian just long enough to pursue her seemingly unachievable goal of becoming a police detective.

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Hiding her beloved detective and crime novels behind cutout romance covers, Anna believes that she has the intelligence and skills required in a detective. From a chance encounter, she learns about the available position of a female police matron, and through an assumed identity—and some accidental female wiles—succeeds in becoming the Los Angeles Police Department’s newest matron. What will be more challenging is learning how to balance her new secret with her engagement to handsome Edgar Wright, whose wealth will help save the banking crisis facing her father’s business.

Through a combination of naïveté and deductive intelligence, Anna discovers the serial killing of prostitutes that’s being ignored by the police. Using the implicit payoff of a piano, Anna manages to draw in the aid of Detective Joe Singer, who also happens to be the police chief’s son. If only he weren’t as infuriating as he was attractive…

Image source: 7th Street Books

In this debut novel Kincheloe captivatingly depicts the life of a young debutante struggling to break out of the lifestyle that is as confining as it is advantageous. Anna is at times infuriatingly entitled, charmingly naïve, and deceptively witty. The author’s skill is being able to combine these elements into an entirely believable and likable heroine. She also explore the dichotomy of a society that distains and hides its shadier elements while taking complete advantage of them. This is a compelling and entertaining depiction of a naïve debutante evolving into an engaging if somewhat disillusioned innovative detective.

To enter to win a signed copy of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
By Jennifer Kincheloe, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “secret,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 5, 2015. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).


  1. I keep seeing this book pop up on blogs etc. It looks interesting. stclairck@gmail.com