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The Death Beat

The Death Beat by Fiona Veitch Smith Lion Hudson IP Limited Lion Fiction Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 20 Oct 2017


The Death Beat is a fantastic historical mystery set in the 1920s. Part of the novel occurs on the boat from Britain to the US, but the bulk of the novel is set in the US. Although The Death Beat is a historical mystery, it brings up issues that are important today, including the treatment of immigrants, human trafficking, the use of immigrants as slave labor, and the sexual abuse of female immigrants. These issues were as much a problem historically as they are today. Fiona Veitch Smith does not preach, immigration and the treatment of women are of central importance in The Death Beat.

When Rollo, The Daily Globe’s owner, gambles away his position, Poppy is furious- until she discovers they will both be going to New York to work their. Poppy’s best friend, Delilah, is going as well, as she has been promised a role in a radio drama and may even go into the movies. Poppy’s aunt and her companion are going as well. Their experiences on board alternate with those of a pair of Ukrainian sisters looking to emigrate to the US. The problem is that Estie, Mimi’s younger sister, is feeble minded and may not be granted admission to the US. Estie’s rejection leads to a harrowing set of circumstances.

A chance encounter with a man from her past, and a suspicious obituary lead Poppy to believe that a murder is being covered up. The more she digs, the more she discovers surprising and unsavory links between powerful politicians, movie makers, and the abuse of immigrants.

The Death Beat is an exciting historical mystery that plunges the reader into a US rife with change -hungry for the labor of immigrants, but often seeing them as less valuable and less “human” than current citizens. It is definitely a historical mystery worth reading.

5 / 5

I received a copy of The Death Beat from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.

— Crittermom

Description Poppy Denby is furious with Rollo, who has gambled away his position at the Daily Globe and is being banished to New York. That is, until she discovers he plans to take her with him to work at the New York Times! She unravels a sordid trail of illegal immigrants, forced labour, sex scandals, and an unexpected ghost from her past. Poppy is determined to help the victims, but can she find the evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice without putting her own life in danger

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