I am long overdue on a review around here! Life has been hectic and crazy the past few weeks. We are back in school and getting comfortable in our routines and schedules. I am happy for the schedules and a bit sad to see everyone growing up.
Today I am reviewing Solving Sophronia by Jennifer Moore. This is the first book in the Blue Orchid Society series which I have absolutely loved thus far. Also, I think this is the first time I am reviewing the first book in a series after I have already reviewed the second book. I was lucky to participate in the blog tour for book 2 in the series — Inventing Vivian –which was fantastic as well!
- This is such a fun series set in Victorian Era London. I have been wanting to read more historical fiction set in the later 19th century and this is a great series set right in that time period!
- I love the covers of these books — so beautiful!
According to Goodreads, “Lady Sophronia Bremerton is a far cry from the typical debutante, but she’s the toast of London’s upper class for one simple reason: she’s a society columnist for the London Illustrated News, and the gentry loves seeing their exploits printed in the gossip pages. But Sophie has bigger plans – she aspires to be an investigative reporter. When a stuffy ballroom at yet another Season proves to be nothing more than the usual rumor mill, Sophie seeks respite in the library alongside four other young women who, for their own reasons, are also looking for escape. As the conversation turns to their secret ambitions, the women form a sisterhood and a bold plan: they will make their dreams a reality, no matter the obstacles. Thus begins the Blue Orchid Society.
Hearing of a murder in a London rookery, Sophie seizes the opportunity to prove her skills. Detective Jonathan Graham doesn’t believe a civilian, a noblewoman at that, should be anywhere near a murder investigation, but Sophie insists on helping bring the killer to justice. Her investigative prowess doesn’t go unnoticed by the police, especially Jonathan, who can’t decide whether this intrepid reporter is a thorn in his side or the woman of his dreams. But as the case grows more complicated and dangerous, their very lives – and their hearts – may be at risk.”
I loved the changing society of this time period especially the opportunities for women. Sophie is a gossip columnist with an ambition to be a news reporter. I love that her dream is actually a possibility and that even though she is a woman of high rank, she aspires to work hard and change her situation. Also I found it interesting to hear about the police, their rankings and how they do investigations. We see the Ton attempting to carry on as they always have but it sounds more ridiculous to claim that wearing a corset well and being at the right sorts of events is more important than anything else. Especially when the world is changing so rapidly. I enjoyed the details that showed the subtle ways that life was changing for the better for everyone, not just the wealthy.
I really loved the characters especially the five members of the Blue Orchid Society. It’s such a breathe of fresh air to read a series about women being true friends and building each other up. The fact that Moore owns this and celebrates female friendship and strength is so welcome to me! These women are actually friends with lofty ambitions that they support each other in. They build each other up and help each other in whatever is important to their friends (like murder investigations and reporting real news. I look forward to reading the other members’ stories. I also loved Mimi and how feisty and passionate she was. Her relationship with Sophie is so beautiful. I love that all these women are working towards their dreams and also being good friends.
The murder mystery elements were intriguing and clever. I don’t often read murder mysteries. They just aren’t my usual cup of tea. But I really enjoyed this one. The intricacies of how they figure out the murder victims and the details of where it occurred and motive of the killers were well done. From Sophie’s discovery of the dressmaker to narrowing suspect lists, the details were all important. I think I missed a few of them in my haste to finish the book and see if the case would be solved. It would be fun to reread this book and notice the hints of how they discover the truth throughout the story. A very interesting plot!
The romance surprised me because it seems like these characters would not fall in love, making their love story more satisfying. I loved it! It’s a lovely slow burning love story. Jonathan is a great protagonist alongside Sophie. He seems to be her opposite in many ways. But he also is fiercely loyal and committed to finding truth. I loved the slow and satisfying ways that they both come to realize their love for each other. There were so many obstacles along the way but they overcome them (even when they try to create new obstacles). The ending is action packed and kept me on the edge of my seat. Would the realize they were meant to be together? Also, I loved Mimi’s quote about being lucky to marry for love. What a beautiful sentiment!
I loved this first book in a great new series! The characters are fantastic and worth emulating. The romance is beautiful. And the ending is satisfying and hopeful. I am excited for more books to be released in this series!
What are your favorite historical time periods in novels?
Any favorite Victorian Era novels you recommend?