Book Review: Murder at The Flamingo

2 Aug

“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…”

Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times — including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square.  When he meets his cousin’s “right hand man,” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. 


Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo nightclub.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston — and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build. 

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

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My Impressions:

A new historical mystery set in the 1930s? I’m in! What I got from Murder at The Flamingo by Rachel McMillan, though, was beyond my expectations. This smart whodunit has a depth not often found in the genre. It is a highly recommended read!

From the outset, I knew this novel would be different. Main characters Hamish DeLuca and Regina Van Buren defy stereotypes of historical mystery fiction. These two came alive within the pages of Murder at The Flamingo and continued to develop and grow into dearly loved characters. Hamish is unusual in his challenges. He suffers from an anxiety disorder that has been misunderstood for years. And McMillan gets everything right about Hamish since she herself suffers from the same disorder. Kudos to McMillan for bravely shining a light on a once taboo subject. Perceived weaknesses are shown as strengths as Hamish gains perspective and a sense of self. Regina (Reggie) is the perfect compliment to Hamish with her New Haven upbringing and quest for independence. The novel develops slowly; the murder occurs well after half the book is read. But the great lead-up is what gives the book its depth of context and characterization. The reader comes to believe in all that occurs. The setting of the novel, Boston in 1937, is as much a character as Hamish, Reggie, and the others that populate its streets and squares. Hamish fell in love with the city, and you will too as you visit Charlestown, the North End, Scollay Square and Fenway Park all through Hamish and Reggie’s eyes. The mystery is fascinating and kept me on my toes. There’s plenty of glimpses of a criminal underworld beneath the glitz and glamor of the Flamingo. I loved how McMillan left a few things unanswered — hopefully that means many more adventures for Van Buren and DeLuca.

Fans of McMillan’s earlier Herringford And Watts mystery series will love references to favorite characters, however, Murder at The Flamingo is the start of a brand new series. I loved it and am eagerly looking forward to more from the intrepid detecting pair.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


Blog Tour:

Monday, July 23rd: Reading Reality

Tuesday, July 24th: Book by Book

Wednesday, July 25th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap

Thursday, July 26th: Fiction Aficionado

Friday, July 27th: Blooming with Books

Friday, July 27th: Broken Teepee – spotlight

Monday, July 30th: Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot

Tuesday, July 31st: Running Through the Storms

Wednesday, August 1st: What is That Book About – guest post/Q&A

Wednesday, August 1st: Fiction Aficionado – author Q&A

Thursday, August 2ndBy the Book

Friday, August 3rdCheryl’s Book Nook

Monday, August 6thReader’s Cozy Corner

Tuesday, August 7thReflections from my Bookshelf

Wednesday, August 8thWrite Read Life

Friday, August 10thFrom the TBR Pile

Friday, August 10thThe Lit Bitch

Monday, August 13thBooks & Bindings

Tuesday, August 14thEncouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Wednesday, August 15th@ladyofthelibrary

2 Responses to “Book Review: Murder at The Flamingo”

  1. Heather J. @ TLC August 3, 2018 at 3:31 pm #

    Thanks for being on the tour!


  1. Rachel McMillan, author of MURDER AT THE FLAMINGO, on tour July/August 2018 | TLC Book Tours - August 3, 2018

    […] Thursday, August 2nd: By the Book […]

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