Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Nate Pederowski is about as far down as he can go when he’s tipped to a job as a singer in a speakeasy. Dishonorably discharged for being queer, broke and homeless during the Great Depression, Nate is embittered and lonely. The club’s handsome owner, Rick Bellevue, and his sister Corinna are wowed by Nate’s voice and offer him the job.
But the Starlight Lounge is much more than an ordinary supper club, and Rick and his sister much more than just the owners. It’s not ’til Nate gets caught up in a gangster’s plot that he discovers just what secrets they’re hiding. Nate’s life is going to change in ways he can scarcely imagine, let alone believe.
In Night and Day, Rowan Speedwell serves up a delicious tale full of elements guaranteed to intrigue and connect readers to this strange corner of a city gripped by the Great Depression. Its absolutely necessary to set the mood by getting the setting right and the author does, from the clothes to the music of the era, its all here.
I loved the descriptions, so evocative you could smell the smokey air heavy from cigarettes, making the lighting even more dim and the setting more…something elusive, perhaps magical. Like the club owners Rick and Corinna themselves with strange auras that surround them like a glow that can’t be extinguished. There’s danger here as well, Prohibition…the usual marks that have a layer of extraordinary hostility about them. If I sound vague its because I don’t wish to give anything away.
But Speedwell manages to build up the tension along with the relationship between Nate and Rick, while giving us a wonderful picture of the times and songs of the past. I loved that so much I had my iTunes out to listen to the songs Nate was singing, what a soundtrack they made.
Don’t take my word for it, pick it up and read it for yourself. Its a 52 page wonderful way to pass the time. One I definitely recommend.
Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is so beautiful. It captures the mood and times perfectly right down to the font. One of my favorites.
ebook, 2nd Edition, 52 pages
Published March 9th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2010, in the Myths and Magic: Legends of Love anthology.