M2D4 Toe Tag: Chaos at Carnegie Hall by Kelly Oliver

Chaos at Carnegie Hall is a cozy, historical mystery. It is the first in the Fiona Figg / Kitty Lane mystery series, picking up the character of Fiona Figg from a separate cozy series by Kelly Oliver. It’s 1917 and Temporary British Intelligence officer Fiona Figg is sent from London to New York in pursuit of Frederick Fredericks, a smooth talking South African who is determined to undermine the British war effort. When Fredericks is arrested for murder, one crime Fiona is certain he didn’t commit, she finds her only solution is to burn the candle from both ends.

Bottom line: Chaos at Carnegie Hall is for you if you like the quirks of cozy, the nostalgia of WWI era settings, and the charm of British mysteries.

Listen to the first chapter here or wherever you get Mysteries to Die For podcast

Strengths of the story. The story is charming as it incorporates in stride details of the world as it was in 1917, both in London and New York. From the clothes to the societal rules to the politics, Choas at Carnegie Hall gives a glimpse into life as it was.

Where the story fell short of ideal: Chaos at Carnegie Hall was hard for me to wrap my arms around. I would have described it as a cozy spy novel up to about the half-way point where the mystery element began. The story is billed as the 1st in the series but it uses characters (good and bad) and makes references to the cases of the Fiona Figg books. From a reader’s stand-point, I do think it is more fairly characterized as a Fiona Figg book. Oliver does a thorough job of explaining the back story, but as is always the case, you do feel like you are jumping in at the middle rather than the beginning.

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