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Free Love

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It's 1920, and excitement fills the winding streets of Greenwich Village, where artists, actors, and writers gather, and romance isn't played by any rules. Free-spirited poet Olivia Brown is determined to experience everything her neighborhood has to offer, even if it means defying more than a few social conventions. Olivia writes her poems, acts in Eugene O'Neill's new pl It's 1920, and excitement fills the winding streets of Greenwich Village, where artists, actors, and writers gather, and romance isn't played by any rules. Free-spirited poet Olivia Brown is determined to experience everything her neighborhood has to offer, even if it means defying more than a few social conventions. Olivia writes her poems, acts in Eugene O'Neill's new plays, and spends her nights in a speakeasy called Chumley's. That's where Olivia is headed one night when she literally trips over the body of a dead woman, and finds herself on the trail of killer who is bent on a most personal revenge.


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It's 1920, and excitement fills the winding streets of Greenwich Village, where artists, actors, and writers gather, and romance isn't played by any rules. Free-spirited poet Olivia Brown is determined to experience everything her neighborhood has to offer, even if it means defying more than a few social conventions. Olivia writes her poems, acts in Eugene O'Neill's new pl It's 1920, and excitement fills the winding streets of Greenwich Village, where artists, actors, and writers gather, and romance isn't played by any rules. Free-spirited poet Olivia Brown is determined to experience everything her neighborhood has to offer, even if it means defying more than a few social conventions. Olivia writes her poems, acts in Eugene O'Neill's new plays, and spends her nights in a speakeasy called Chumley's. That's where Olivia is headed one night when she literally trips over the body of a dead woman, and finds herself on the trail of killer who is bent on a most personal revenge.

30 review for Free Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

    I really wanted to like this book. It reminded me very much of the Phryne Fisher novels. Sassy female investigator (sort of), in the 20s, drinks and takes multiple lovers, bisexual, awesome. Except it wasn't nearly as good as I wanted it to be. Every single guy, with the exception of Harry, tried to get Oliver to run away with them, declared their undying love. I couldn't even keep the guys straight half the time, they were all just besotted and personality-less. Also, the writing wasn't all tha I really wanted to like this book. It reminded me very much of the Phryne Fisher novels. Sassy female investigator (sort of), in the 20s, drinks and takes multiple lovers, bisexual, awesome. Except it wasn't nearly as good as I wanted it to be. Every single guy, with the exception of Harry, tried to get Oliver to run away with them, declared their undying love. I couldn't even keep the guys straight half the time, they were all just besotted and personality-less. Also, the writing wasn't all that good. I did finish it. The mystery was interesting, and I didn't predict the killer. But overall, I wasn't a fan.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ashley FL

    I wanted to like this. I love the setting (Greenwich Village in the '20s). But the characters were mostly awful and the writing wasn't very good. I did like the housekeeper and her policeman beau! I wanted to like this. I love the setting (Greenwich Village in the '20s). But the characters were mostly awful and the writing wasn't very good. I did like the housekeeper and her policeman beau!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angela Zeman

    Treasure box of delights! How lucky i was to find this fun, intriguing mashup of great characters, unusual plot, and history! Number 2, here I come!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Liberty

    Fun flapper style mystery

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Amazing glimmer of what life was like in the days of prohibition, gangsters, fashions in early New York City. I enjoyed this book very much.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    I'll keep this short and sweet: Olivia is a great character and just plain fun. She's an independent self supporting woman and takes no guff from anyone who tries to look down on her "modern view" of life and how she chooses to live it. There are a few graphic scenes of violence, but they can be easily skipped over. The core mystery kept me guessing and there were some edge of the seat moments. In fact I'm about to start reading this book a third time, so that should give a good indication of th I'll keep this short and sweet: Olivia is a great character and just plain fun. She's an independent self supporting woman and takes no guff from anyone who tries to look down on her "modern view" of life and how she chooses to live it. There are a few graphic scenes of violence, but they can be easily skipped over. The core mystery kept me guessing and there were some edge of the seat moments. In fact I'm about to start reading this book a third time, so that should give a good indication of the quality of this particular read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I really enjoyed this book! A wonderful flavour of 1920's Grenwich Village, and an absolutely delightful protagonist in Olivia Brown!! When Olivia Brown, and her friend and housekeeper Mattie inherit a Grenwich Village brownstone from her heretofor unknown great-aunt, they pick up and move in. The brownstone comes with a tenant, who doesn't pay rent and has been granted life-long tenancy, but Olivia quickly realizes that Harry Melville, Private Investigator, is her kind of people. In fact, she soo I really enjoyed this book! A wonderful flavour of 1920's Grenwich Village, and an absolutely delightful protagonist in Olivia Brown!! When Olivia Brown, and her friend and housekeeper Mattie inherit a Grenwich Village brownstone from her heretofor unknown great-aunt, they pick up and move in. The brownstone comes with a tenant, who doesn't pay rent and has been granted life-long tenancy, but Olivia quickly realizes that Harry Melville, Private Investigator, is her kind of people. In fact, she soon finds herself helping him with his cases, and liking the work. But when people around her start meeting mysterious and deadly ends, Olivia fears for her own safety, and suddenly can't trust those she thought were her closest friends, and doesn't know where to turn. This is a wonderfully atmospheric book, which puts the reader right into 20's New York, when women had just started to live their own lives, when Prohibition meant bathtub gin, speakeasies and lots of free love. This story has everything a reader could want, including Olivia. I fell totally in love with Olivia from the first page! She is smart and sassy, independant and creative - a true 20's new woman. Early in the book, Olivia says: "I had thought I might get a job as a secretary when Mattie and I first arrived in New York, but thank God, I started selling my poems. I would have made a dreadful secretary, as I'm so easily distracted and keep none of my opinions to myself." I can totally relate, so I connected to Olivia immediately. The story, and what goes on is interesting and holds your interest as we meet the quirky and odd characters who people the Village and Olivia's life. As she investigates who might want to harm her, we explore all the charm of this unique period of New York history and it is a wonderful journey. I enjoyed this book very much, and was happy to learn that there are more Olivia Brown novels to come. I will definitely read other stories with Olivia as the star, and recommend this book to anyone who likes strong female characters, or 1920's New York.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Scilla

    This mystery takes place in Greenwich Village in the 20's. Olivia Brown is a poet who also acts in local theatre and is a free spirit. She lives in a brownstone which she inherited. A detective lives in the bottom floor and the condition of her inheritance was that he stay there. Soon many of Olivia's friends are killed, the dtective is knocked out, and she is a suspect. Fortunately, the detective has many disreputable friends who guard her and all is resolved. This mystery takes place in Greenwich Village in the 20's. Olivia Brown is a poet who also acts in local theatre and is a free spirit. She lives in a brownstone which she inherited. A detective lives in the bottom floor and the condition of her inheritance was that he stay there. Soon many of Olivia's friends are killed, the dtective is knocked out, and she is a suspect. Fortunately, the detective has many disreputable friends who guard her and all is resolved.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bibliovixen

    One of the worst books I've read in a long time. Terrible poetry, weak plot, under-developed characters. I was trying very hard to like the characters (first clue it's not well-written), but when the main character refers to Sigmund Freud as "Siggie" I quit reading it. I'm sorry I gave up two hours to this book. One of the worst books I've read in a long time. Terrible poetry, weak plot, under-developed characters. I was trying very hard to like the characters (first clue it's not well-written), but when the main character refers to Sigmund Freud as "Siggie" I quit reading it. I'm sorry I gave up two hours to this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Nice little mystery story and a very quick read. Set in early 20th century Greenwich Village about young woman who deals with a transvestite obsessed with being her, murder, bathtub gin and Gene O'Neill. Nice little mystery story and a very quick read. Set in early 20th century Greenwich Village about young woman who deals with a transvestite obsessed with being her, murder, bathtub gin and Gene O'Neill.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Interesting take on the politics of the time.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Donna Siebold

    I thought I would give the Olivia Brown series a go. I like mysteries set in different time periods, but the 20's apparently did not cut it for me. I just found the entire book annoying. I thought I would give the Olivia Brown series a go. I like mysteries set in different time periods, but the 20's apparently did not cut it for me. I just found the entire book annoying.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steph (loves water)

    I really enjoyed this book, I believe the protagonist is loosely based on my favorite poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay. Good story, good research, I definately need to read the next one.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jonna

    If you love British murder mysteries, you will not be disappointed!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Feathzzz

    read while in jail. Actual rating: 3.9

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gerri Balter

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Mostafa

  22. 4 out of 5

    Betty

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gillian

  24. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Jones

  25. 4 out of 5

    Linda Snow-Moors

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen Covington

  27. 5 out of 5

    Silvia Quintero

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gail

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carol

  30. 4 out of 5

    DD

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