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Free Love [Mass Market Paperback]

Annette Meyers
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; Reprint edition (Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446609218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446609210
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,273,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

In a mystery set in New York's Greenwich Village during the Roaring Twenties, newly published poet Olivia Brown, determined to experience everything her bohemian neighborhood has to offer, suddenly finds herself embroiled in a murder and on the trail of a killer bent on revenge. Reprint.

From the Author

The history behind FREE LOVE
Since before the Great War, Greenwich Village was the beacon that drew young artists and writers to New York. After the Armistice, it became the place to be for women as well as men. Food,flats,and wine were cheap, ideas and talk were rich, and love was free. Genders blended. Women had just gotten the vote. What a wonderful time to be alive! I chose Edna St. Vincent Millay as my spiritual inspiration and made my protagonist, Olivia Brown, a poet. I steeped myself in Millay's Greenwich Village, in the glory days of the Provincetown Players, where Eugene O'Neill's work was first performed by enthusiastic amateurs, Millay included. Millay's letters and poetry were invaluable, as were Allen Churchill's THE IMPROPER BOHEMIANS and Ann Douglas' A TERRIBLE HONESTY. The setting of FREE LOVE is the Village in 1920, with its bars, saloons, and coffeehouses, with the Provincetown Playhouse. The places I've used existed, as did Prohibition, which only served to enhance the romance of alcohol. I found the Hudson Dusters (I've used their real names) in Arthur and Barbara Gelb's wonderful biography of O'Neill, and I made them mine. They did take O'Neill under their wing, but the rest is fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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It was the kind of rain that didn't honor an umbrella, for it came down sideways, with sudden frigid gusts of wind. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining historical mystery 9 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
In the late sixties, young people flocked to Haight-Asbury seeking free love, intellectual stimulation, and easy access to drugs. The flower children thought they discovered the true meaning of freedom. However, in 1920 in Greenwich Village, free spirits lived outside society's even stricter rules.
Olivia Brown refuses to live by any rules other than her own. When her guardian dies, she inherits an almost empty house in the Village. Her recently published poetry received attention from Vanity Fair and Vogue. She has many swains, but is selective as to who her current lover of the moment is. Though prohibition is the law, she drinks whenever she wants to imbibe.
On the way to a production that she is a participant, Olivia finds the corpse of her own doppelganger. She later learns that the deceased is actually a male. Olivia begins sleuthing. However, anyone she questions turns up murdered. Someone is destroying her property, leaving behind ugly items for her to easily find, and painting her as a serial killer. The poet knows someone stalks her with a vengeance that would frighten a lesser person.
Annette Meyers captures the essence of the bohemian movement so fully that the atmosphere of 1920 Greenwich Village feels eerily similar to that of the sixties. FREE LOVE contains an entertaining historical mystery that centers on a unique amateur sleuth. However, the tale provides a social commentary on individuals who choose to live outside society's norm, a circumstance that leads to freedom and pain. Ms. Meyer's opening gamut will thrill sub-genre fans who will want more tales from the 1920's Lower Manhattan.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Darn well written! 7 Mar 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In a genre populated by many authors who think that a half baked plot and the odd historical reference is enough, this book stands out MILES from the competition.
Olivia (Oliver to her friends) is a well written, well rounded character, in a novel that covers much of the atmosphere of the period with notable accuracy. It is further heartening to read an author whose command of the English language is more than monosyllabic.
On top of all this, a plot that isn't obvious within the first twenty pages...
Finally, historic murder grows up and gets interesting! Do yourself a favor, sit down and lose yourself in the 1920's, prohibition and all
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful new character in a great setting. 5 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a departure for Meyers, who up until now has written wonderfully about Wall St. in the great Smith and Weston series. The time is 1920 and the new character is a poet named Olivia Brown who lives in Greenwich Village and runs around with other artists from pub to pub when she's not working. She accidentally gets herself involved in a murder (naturally) and I for one didn't figure it out, which is odd for me. It's beautifully written, warm and funny but with a gritty edge. This is a must read. A+
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars whimsical-a prohibition beatnik is the star who shines 22 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In the late sixties, young people flocked to Haight-Asbury seeking free love, intellectual stimulation, and easy access to drugs. The flower children thought they discovered the true meaning of freedom. However, in 1920 in Greenwich Village, free spirits lived outside society's even stricter rules.

Olivia Brown refuses to live by any rules other than her own. When her guardian dies, she inherits an almost empty house in the Village. Her recently published poetry received attention from Vanity Fair and Vogue. She has many swains, but is selective as to who her current lover of the moment is. Though prohibition is the law, she drinks whenever she wants to imbibe.

On the way to a production that she is a participant, Olivia finds the corpse of her own doppelganger. She later learns that the deceased is actually a male. Olivia begins sleuthing. However, anyone she questions turns up murdered. Someone is destroying her property, leaving behind ugly items for her to easily find, and painting her as a serial killer. The poet knows someone stalks her with a vengeance that would frighten a lesser person.

Annette Meyers captures the essence of the bohemian movement so fully that the atmosphere of 1920 Greenwich Village feels eerily similar to that of the sixties. FREE LOVE contains an entertaining historical mystery that centers on a unique amateur sleuth. However, the tale provides a social commentary on individuals who choose to live outside society's norm, a circumstance that leads to freedom and pain. Ms. Meyer's opening gamut will thrill sub-genre fans who will want more tales from the 1920's Lower Manhattan.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A weak debut 5 Feb 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Olivia (or Oliver as she is known to her Greenwich Village friends) Brown is the kind of historical female sleuth that readers of this genre would love to love. Unfortunately, beyond telling us that this is 1920 Greenwich Village and the Prohibition puts a cramp in the artistic lifestyle, author Annette Meyers does little to evoke a true sense of place. The dialogue reads as very 1990s and I was surprised to read that a character attended a lecture by the famous woman rights advocate Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who died in 1902.
The plot is also weak, centering on a case of obsession. I thought that the perpetrator was very obvious and that a young woman who had already been involved in some detective work would have pulled everything together much quicker.
I may take a look at Meyers's planned sequel, but it will have to be a whole lot better for me to read the whole thing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different 20 Sep 2001
By A Reader in the Mitten - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Annette Meyers delivers a wonderfully different mystery and an egregarious eccentric in the Flapper era poet, Olivia Brown. Olivia might not match Sherlock Holmes but the writing style of FREE LOVE is a delight and the plot satisfying. I enjoy quirky books, and FREE LOVE captures the Jazz Age's daring people, clothing and lifestyles. Looking forward to Olivia's next adventure in the series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amoral lifestyle mixed with murder 11 Mar 2001
By dikybabe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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