Book Review: The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith

The Jazz FilesWhat’s it about?

Set in 1920, The Jazz Files introduces aspiring journalist Poppy Denby, who arrives in London to look after her ailing Aunt Dot, an infamous suffragette. Dot encourages Poppy to apply for a job at The Daily Globe, but on her first day a senior reporter is killed and Poppy is tasked with finishing his story. It involves the mysterious death of a suffragette seven years earlier, about which some powerful people would prefer that nothing be said…

Through her friend Delilah Marconi, Poppy is introduced to the giddy world of London in the Roaring Twenties, with its flappers, jazz clubs, and romance. Will she make it as an investigative journalist, in this fast-paced new city? And will she be able to unearth the truth before more people die?

My thoughts

I’d seen this book reviewed on Cleo’s and Hayley’s blog and it sounded like just my kind of read. I was lucky enough to be accepted for a copy via Netgalley; thanks very much to the publishers for that!

I read this over the course of a weekend so that’s really testament to how much I liked it. As a huge Marple fan I particularly liked the 1920s setting and the fashion of that era (I even have my own cloche hat)…not that I’m trying to belittle the actual theme of the book because there are important historical themes running through such as women’s rights and suffrage; that said it’s not a heavy going read.

I loved that Poppy wanted a career for herself and was trying to make her own way in the world and by overcoming adversity, following her gut instinct and doing what’s right and it seems at whatever the cost!

Plenty of suspects, plenty of action with a cast of characters that all hold their own; some to love and some to definitely hate they’ll have you raging and punching the page!

I don’t usually read the author’s notes, but I did with this book, and it was interesting to read how and where the author had slightly stretched the truth to make history fit the story. It felt very of its time and that’s because of the extreme amount of research that must have been done.

It very much reminded me of the TV series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and I think fans of this book’s style would like Frances Brody’s Kate Shackleton mysteries and vice versa.  And, for me, I look forward to more of the Poppy Denby Investigates series.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Connect with the author Fiona Veitch Smith

Twitter | Website


Talk of the Town


  1. 19th March 2016 / 9:33 am

    I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading The Jazz Files. Thanks so much to linking back to my blog, I really appreciate it.

  2. 19th March 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Thank you so much for linking to my review – I have (or perhaps I should say had, as it is at my brother’s house) a cloche style hat too! As you say there is more to this book than the outfits though and I can’t wait for the next in the series!

  3. 19th March 2016 / 1:26 pm

    Sounds like a great read Lindsay. I enjoy immersing myself in some era’s but can’t remember the last time I read an historical fiction that wasn’t related to royalty (must rectify that).

    Thanks for linking #TalkoftheTown

    • 20th March 2016 / 4:48 pm

      Definitely a recommended read if you like that era Shaz 🙂

  4. 19th March 2016 / 10:18 pm

    I OWN A CLOCHE HAT!!!! (it’s blue and I love it)
    I was going to wear it today, but my husband convinced me it’d look a bit daft with a duffle coat… and I had to concede he was probably right! 🙂

    • 20th March 2016 / 4:47 pm

      I was going to wear mine yesterday too but something just stopped me…
      You could get away with wearing pretty much anything in London and I’m sure no-one would bat an eyelid 🙂

  5. 21st March 2016 / 3:14 pm

    You mentioned Marple! My husband is a fan of Agatha Christie and whodunnits so perhaps I’ll pass this on to him. 🙂

    I found your post via the #TalkoftheTown linkup. 🙂

    • 22nd March 2016 / 9:13 am

      I hope he likes it then…not quite as twee as Marple but a good story nonetheless 🙂
      Thank you for visiting!

  6. 23rd April 2020 / 7:50 pm

    Hmm, I’m intrigued by this one! I’ll look out for it. 😀

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