While I enjoyed this Annette Meyers murder mystery enough to keep reading, I tired of the cigarette smoke and gin and sexual dissipation. I don't think I am really old-fashioned, but I found Olivia Brown to be young and shallow.
Her bohemian life in the environs of Greenwich Village circa 1920 is intriguing enough for a relaxing read, however. And, I, too, was not sure I had the culprit clearly named until pretty close to the end. Actually, the obsession of the men around Olivia (Oliver to her cronies) is believable, if one realizes that they are all gin-soaked and willing to participate in any free love (sex) made so readily available.
The strong friendship between Olivia and her caretaker Mattie is touching. Once again we see the faithful servant class guarding and protecting their upper class employer. Lucky Olivia to have inherited this brownstone from her rebellious great aunt Vangie, to have inherited Mattie's help, and to have inherited in perpetuity, a private eye tenant, Harry Melville.
Olivia's interjected poems reflect the supposed burning genius of an artist whose decadent life fuels her gift. Some of those "inspirations" fell cold on me. Olivia's theatrical experience, particularly in O'Neill's off-Broadway introduction of The Emperor Jones, was quite sensual and led me to believe that it would not have taken much for Olivia to have shared a bi-sexual liason with the women in her group.
I am sure I will try the next Olivia Brown novel when Meyers publishes it. In the meantime I will try her Smith and Wetzon and her co-written Dutchman series. Having seen Meyers and her spouse Marty on CBS Sunday Morning as a featured couple, I want to read what they have written, just for kicks.