The Boy in the Red Dress
A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery in this rollicking romp of truth, lies, and troubled pasts. New Year's Eve, 1929. Millie is running the show at the Cloak & Dagger, a swinging speakeasy in the French Quarter, while her aunt is out of town. The new year is just around the corner, and all of New Orleans is out to celebrate, but even wealthy partiers' diamond earrings can't outshine the real star of the night: the boy in the red dress. Marion is the club's star performer and his fans are legion--if mostly underground.When a young socialite wielding a photograph of Marion starts asking questions, Millie wonders if she's just another fan. But then her body is found crumpled in the courtyard, dead from an apparent fall off the club's balcony, and all signs point to Marion as the murderer. Millie knows he's innocent, but local detectives aren't so easily convinced.As she chases clues that lead to cemeteries and dead ends, Millie's attention is divided between the wry and beautiful Olive, a waitress at the Cloak & Dagger, and Bennie, the charming bootlegger who's offered to help her solve the case. The clock is ticking for the fugitive Marion, but the truth of who the killer is might be closer than Millie thinks..

The Boy in the Red Dress Details

TitleThe Boy in the Red Dress
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 12th, 2020
PublisherViking Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780593113684
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, LGBT, Mystery

The Boy in the Red Dress Review

  • Mackenzi
    January 1, 1970
    What a deeply fun, YA Miss Fischer-esque queer New Orleans murder mystery this is!
  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    January 1, 1970
    From the author's twitter:"Quick facts about THE BOY IN THE RED DRESS:🏳️‍🌈MC Millie is bi (hello bi love triangle!)🏳️‍🌈Her BFF Marion is gay & performs in drag🏳️‍🌈Her aunt is a lesbian in a committed relationship w/ a woman 🏳️‍🌈They all work in a queer-friendly speakeasy🏳️‍🌈A few people are straight I guess?"Kristin LambertI NEED THIS From the author's twitter:"Quick facts about THE BOY IN THE RED DRESS:🏳️‍🌈MC Millie is bi (hello bi love triangle!)🏳️‍🌈Her BFF Marion is gay & performs in drag🏳️‍🌈Her aunt is a lesbian in a committed relationship w/ a woman 🏳️‍🌈They all work in a queer-friendly speakeasy🏳️‍🌈A few people are straight I guess?"Kristin LambertI NEED THIS
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  • Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    CW: homophobia, parental abandonment, being gay seen as a mental illness, involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, and murderY'all, this book was so good! I can't believe this is a debut, but I need it for my personal shelf since I read an e-copy through my library.This book is set in 1929 where we follow Millie. She works at her aunt's speakeasy, which is hella queer, after her mom left her there to run off with a guy. Her aunt is most likely gay and is in a long-term relationship with a woman. CW: homophobia, parental abandonment, being gay seen as a mental illness, involuntary psychiatric hospitalization, and murderY'all, this book was so good! I can't believe this is a debut, but I need it for my personal shelf since I read an e-copy through my library.This book is set in 1929 where we follow Millie. She works at her aunt's speakeasy, which is hella queer, after her mom left her there to run off with a guy. Her aunt is most likely gay and is in a long-term relationship with a woman. Millie is also queer (bi or pan, although those terms don't mean much since this is a historical book and those terms weren't used back then). Marion, their star act, is performing on stage when it all goes to hell with a death that could put Marion in jail and even destroy her aunt's business.I found this utterly enthralling to read. It's fast-paced and has a mystery, a romance (F/F and M/M tbh), healing after a parent abandons them, healing after a shitty thing happens and she wants to atone, and more. It was just a great read, honestly. Every time I picked it up, I read more than I meant to and I was so happy while doing it.Basically, pick this one up if you get a chance! I definitely wasn't disappointed by it and would recommend it as a fantastic historical queer mystery.
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  • McKelle George
    January 1, 1970
    I forking love this book. Superb mystery in a setting that you basically smell on the pages. Speakeasies, drag, a sharp-witted heroine, and a twisty mystery. A++++
  • Adri
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsThis book was such a wild ride and I loved it! It has absolutely everything you'd want from an #ownvoices queer historical murder mystery set against the backdrop of a queer-friendly speakeasy in 1920's New Orleans. (If fireworks didn't go off in your mind at least five times reading that sentence, I'm not sure we can be friends.) With a headstrong bisexual amateur sleuth at the helm, this story kept me in its grips from start to finish.From disguises and half-baked schemes to code-bust 4.5 StarsThis book was such a wild ride and I loved it! It has absolutely everything you'd want from an #ownvoices queer historical murder mystery set against the backdrop of a queer-friendly speakeasy in 1920's New Orleans. (If fireworks didn't go off in your mind at least five times reading that sentence, I'm not sure we can be friends.) With a headstrong bisexual amateur sleuth at the helm, this story kept me in its grips from start to finish.From disguises and half-baked schemes to code-busting and cornering suspects, this mystery kept me guessing through and through. Not only is it a satisfying whodunnit, but it's one of those well-crafted mysteries that deepens your understanding of the victim and the accused with every new development.Not only that, but it's empowering to see a mystery where the characters' determination to catch the killer stems from a desire to overcome injustice. This story challenges common ideas of who is guilty (the marginalized) and who is innocent (the systemically privileged). It's convenient for the cops to pin a drag queen performer as a murderer, but Millie will do whatever it takes to make those officials eat their words.This is a story of family, loyalty, and love. It's about Millie and her friends fighting to defend those who cannot defend themselves and those who are silenced beyond measure. It's about rewriting queer people into the history they've been erased from, and giving the reader hope that justice isn't only reserved for those who can afford it.A darkly charming, intense, twisty mystery until the very end, this is not one I'll soon forget.
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  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    January 1, 1970
    this was an excellent #ownvoices queer historical! loved the New Orleans setting, and the mystery really kept me guessing at every turn.
  • Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this! I am just an absolute sucker for a historical murder mystery but I don't know that I've read many that have queer characters where we aren't reminded every chapter about bigoted people's thoughts. It was kind of nice to not have a whole book of slurs towards the reps in here. I was NOT expecting the end so lots of guessing the whole way through.Rep: f/f romance, bi or pansexual, male dressed as female
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  • Katie.dorny
    January 1, 1970
    Did you like the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue? Do you want a fabulous lgbtqia+ cast of characters who are not defined by their labels mixed with a dash of murder mystery??? How could you say no to that??After a murder occurs at their speakeasy in New Orleans, Millie is determined to dive into the case and protect her friend Marion; the prime suspect. This book was simply just a whole lot of fun. I didn’t suspect the suspects, our protagonist Millie was wonderful in guiding us through thi Did you like the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue? Do you want a fabulous lgbtqia+ cast of characters who are not defined by their labels mixed with a dash of murder mystery??? How could you say no to that??After a murder occurs at their speakeasy in New Orleans, Millie is determined to dive into the case and protect her friend Marion; the prime suspect. This book was simply just a whole lot of fun. I didn’t suspect the suspects, our protagonist Millie was wonderful in guiding us through this world and all the characters were funny and believable. The romance in the book didn’t overshadow the plot, the plot was funny without being too obvious as some ya’s are and this was just a good time all round.
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a delightful surprise with strooooong Iron Cast vibes but not paranormal and of course super queer. If you're into Prohibition fiction this is a really fun one. This was such a delightful surprise with strooooong Iron Cast vibes but not paranormal and of course super queer. If you're into Prohibition fiction this is a really fun one.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Excuse me! They said "Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries", and if that doesn't have me scrambling to the buy button nothing will. *fingers crossed*
  • Anna Birch
    January 1, 1970
    Do you love Veronica Mars? New Orleans? Drag queens? Good. This is the book for you. Take it with you on a trip to New Orleans (or New York, or London, or your grandma's house, idc TAKE IT WITH YOU) and get ready for a fully immersive historical mystery in one of the most exciting cities in the world. I can't wait to read the final version!
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fantastic queer debut that kept me guessing at every twist and turn.
  • Kristin Lambert
    January 1, 1970
    Welcome to the Cloak and Dagger club! Please come in -- the password is “hijinks.” Okay good, now that you’re here, I can tell you a secret about the good old Cloak. This is one of those places where you feel like you just belong, because whatever brand of weird and wonderful you are slides right in alongside ours. If you haven’t found a place like that in real life yet, feel free to come back and visit us any time you want. While you’re here, let me tell you about the people I love. First, ther Welcome to the Cloak and Dagger club! Please come in -- the password is “hijinks.” Okay good, now that you’re here, I can tell you a secret about the good old Cloak. This is one of those places where you feel like you just belong, because whatever brand of weird and wonderful you are slides right in alongside ours. If you haven’t found a place like that in real life yet, feel free to come back and visit us any time you want. While you’re here, let me tell you about the people I love. First, there’s our club owner’s niece Millie; she’s our unofficial emcee, off-the-books bookkeeper, fibber and general nosy pants, and bi disaster who doesn’t think she’s a disaster at all thank you. Her best friend is Marion, the star of our drag show, who sews his own fabulous costumes (half his paycheck goes to adding sparkly bits), has a not-so-secret crush on the piano player, and spends most of his time preventing Millie from making everything worse for herself. Add in quiet-but-fierce piano player Lewis (also secret crushing); savvy waitress Olive, who can spot a lie at twenty paces; and bootlegger Bennie, whose smile can charm almost anyone, and you have a team that can help each other through anything -- even a murder happening right outside the club’s back door. But don’t worry, you’re safe -- we’ve only had one murder here. So far anyway ...
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  • noah 🖤 #blacklivesmatter
    January 1, 1970
    I WOULD DIE FOR THIS BOOK AND EVERYONE IN IT!every single character was interesting. every. single. one. from the main character to the most minor character. the good guys, the bad guys, the neutral. i loved them all.the MC Millie was especially great. She’s not perfect, she’s got abandonment issues and is surly at times, but that just made me love her more. To those she’s close to, she is incredibly loyal, as is shown by her determination and dedication to clear marion’s name of the murder.The I WOULD DIE FOR THIS BOOK AND EVERYONE IN IT!every single character was interesting. every. single. one. from the main character to the most minor character. the good guys, the bad guys, the neutral. i loved them all.the MC Millie was especially great. She’s not perfect, she’s got abandonment issues and is surly at times, but that just made me love her more. To those she’s close to, she is incredibly loyal, as is shown by her determination and dedication to clear marion’s name of the murder.The mystery kept me in suspense. I figured out bits and pieces of who was involved and what happened, but i could never put it all together. Nothing irks me more than a completely obvious mystery, so i was quite pleased to be stumped with this one.What was great about this book was how few of the characters were actually straight. There were so many queer characters from different backgrounds. I really enjoy historical lgbt fiction (with happy endings) because i love reading about queer people thriving and living wonderful lives despite all the secrecy and the public’s negative opinions. Even though it’s fiction it gives me hope that if they can get through life being themselves in such an unaccepting time, i’ll be okay now. All the relationships in this book were depicted so well. Millie’s relationships with marion, her aunt, her mother, and her two love interests were so distinctive and realistic. Millie’s mother and the detective also had a funny relationship. The way all the characters interact was so expressive, it really made this book something special.I’m so happy i got to read an arc of this book and i hope everyone is as excited to buy this book and have it in their hands as i am!
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  • Heather Cashman
    January 1, 1970
    Characters you'll love to fall for, witty, dark, and rebellious. I loved this book from the first word to the last. The mystery kept me turning the pages, the characters made me laugh and cry, and the ending is so satisfying, it made me sad when there wasn't anymore left to read. Highly recommend.
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  • Izzie
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to my Mum for typing this up for me.Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review.This book had all the elements that I love but sadly it didn't execute any of them to the standard I'd hoped for.This story follows the main character, Millie, who sets out to clear her best friends name after he is accused of murdering a girl from his past. Set in the early 30's, and mainly taking place in a speakeasy owned by her Aunt, Millie attempts to inv Thanks to my Mum for typing this up for me.Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review.This book had all the elements that I love but sadly it didn't execute any of them to the standard I'd hoped for.This story follows the main character, Millie, who sets out to clear her best friends name after he is accused of murdering a girl from his past. Set in the early 30's, and mainly taking place in a speakeasy owned by her Aunt, Millie attempts to investigate anyone possibly connected to the murder to ensure Marion isn't convicted.What I Liked:The diverse cast. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from reading this as it represents a number of different identities that readers may connect with. What I Didn't Like:Plot structure. This book is poorly paced, unrealistic and frustrating. Everything Millie "needed" to do was either maddeningly easy, or led to no information. There were no clues to follow throughout the book and therefore the reader was unable to puzzle together the mystery as we were given no pieces.As an example of how unrealistic the plot was: Millie needed to speak to the most "anonymous" woman in New Orleans, but it took 2 minutes and a phone call to get a meeting with her!Development. I didn't feel connected with any of the characters in this book. There were a very large number of characters which meant they had little to no character development. The relationships lacked depth which meant the friendships, romances and familial relationships were shallow and unsatisfying.Detail. Put simply, there was far too little detail that would have added atmosphere, believability and intrigue, and far too much detail about inane and unimportant places and objects. This is probably my biggest gripe with the book.Overall this was a book with so much potential which just didn't deliver. The ending was satisfactory, but getting there was not enjoyable use of time.
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  • Sasha Smith
    January 1, 1970
    This book has everything, a gutsy girl-detective, queer history, 1920s fashion, and New Orleans speak easies. If you've ever thought to yourself, I love Veronica Mars, but wish it was queer and took place in the Prohibition area South, boy do I have a book for you. Kristin weaves a mystery that will keep you guessing and shouting at the page until the very end. But it's the incredible characters and the relationships she weaves that will stay with you long after you've discovered who the killer This book has everything, a gutsy girl-detective, queer history, 1920s fashion, and New Orleans speak easies. If you've ever thought to yourself, I love Veronica Mars, but wish it was queer and took place in the Prohibition area South, boy do I have a book for you. Kristin weaves a mystery that will keep you guessing and shouting at the page until the very end. But it's the incredible characters and the relationships she weaves that will stay with you long after you've discovered who the killer is. It's Nancy Drew for a new generation. A stunning debut. I can't wait to see what she writes next.
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  • rachel ☾
    January 1, 1970
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    Hi yes. Take my money. I need this now
  • Bidisha
    January 1, 1970
    I'M VERY VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS.
  • Margot Heron
    January 1, 1970
    Synopsis: The Boy in The Red Dress is an entertaining murder-mystery novel about a bisexual teenage protagonist, Millie, and her drag-queen best friend, Marion. When Marion is blamed for a murder he didn't commit in Millie's Aunt's club, "The Cloak and Dagger" Millie decides to solve the mystery for herself. The novel features daring heists, fancy parties, clever disguises, complex relationships, and a variety of captivating (and mostly queer) characters. The Setting: Lambert provides a detail Synopsis: The Boy in The Red Dress is an entertaining murder-mystery novel about a bisexual teenage protagonist, Millie, and her drag-queen best friend, Marion. When Marion is blamed for a murder he didn't commit in Millie's Aunt's club, "The Cloak and Dagger" Millie decides to solve the mystery for herself. The novel features daring heists, fancy parties, clever disguises, complex relationships, and a variety of captivating (and mostly queer) characters. The Setting: Lambert provides a detailed but succinct description that allows the reader to imagine that they are sneaking through New Orleans with Millie and her friends. There are plenty of captivating settings to explore, clandestine bars full of smoke and booze, debutant balls and crisp tennis courts to name a few. Adding to the 192os aesthetic is a sprinkling of time-period appropriate slang, and vivid descriptions of clothing, from fanciful flapper-dresses to smart suits with suspenders. The Characters: The book is entirely told from Millie's perspective. She is a tomboyish, brave, witty, and would do anything to protect her friends. She reminded me of a lot of other "strong female characters" Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games Sarah Manning from Orphan Black (view spoiler)[ They are are all tough independent female characters with hatred for authority and mommy issues (hide spoiler)]. What sets Millie part from them is how the author chooses to explore her bisexuality. My favorite character would probably be Marion, Millie's Drag Queen Best Friend with a troubled past. I appreciated the way Marion exposed the prejudice of the upper-class south. Marion is a thoughtful, easy-to-like character, and his scenes with Millie are some of my favorite parts of the book. I appreciate that, although Marion is one of the "victims" of this novel, he certainly is no damsel in distress. He supports Millie and plays a crucial role in helping solve the mystery.There are many side characters in this novel and most of them are pretty forgettable. However, two of the supporting characters really stood out to me. Kitty Sharp is an ambitious gossip columnist and lights up every scene she is in. Detective Sabatier is an entertaining antagonist whose methodical and un-emotional tactics contrast with Millie's amateur sleuthing beautifully.The Mystery: Like reviewers have said before, the mystery is complexly woven with no obvious killer, which makes for a compelling read. That being said, Lambert does leave some clues to help readers "figure it out." I personally figured out parts of it. (view spoiler)[ Benny being involved with the murder victim so he helps Millie to cover up his involvement (hide spoiler)]. I appreciated how, through the lens of a mystery, Lambert comments on how marginalized people are often viewed as more "guilty" and explores the socio-economic and racial disparities between characters.The Romance: Normally love triangles make me wince but, in this case, it made sense; Millie is bisexual and the love triangle allowed her to explore her feelings for men and women. Her two love interests are Olive, a smart and observant waitress, and Benny, a charming bootlegger that supplies the club with booze. I appreciated that both characters had their own lives and traits beyond their connection to Millie. Also, (view spoiler)[ part of the reason I was okay with this triangle is that it was clear that Millie had stronger feelings towards Olive, so I knew she was going to wind up with her in the end. (hide spoiler)]. Marion has a crush on the piano player Louis, which is cute. Minor Qualms: Although I rated the book five stars there were some parts I wasn't completely sold on. (view spoiler)[ The school scenes really didn't add much to the novel besides showing Millie being bullied by snobby rich girls. I personally thought the novel would have worked just as well if Millie's winter break was extended, and perhaps would make even more sense so then she'd have more time for scheming (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ The ending scene with Symphony and the gun was really intense, but it didn't make sense to me that she would sneak into the house to get Marion to confess and then murder him, especially since she "accidentally" murdered Minty. (hide spoiler)] I hope this review was helpful!
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  • Kris Waldherr
    January 1, 1970
    THE BOY IN THE RED DRESS readily transported me to a 1930s New Orleans speakeasy of bootleggers and “pansies” desperate to transcend their origins. I especially adored the author's strong depiction of the era's societies nested within societies: from the police to the bootleggers, to the singers to the drag queens, and finally to our loyal cross-dressing protagonist Millie, who winds up playing amateur detective when her "boy in the red dress" BFF is fingered for a murder he didn't commit. The w THE BOY IN THE RED DRESS readily transported me to a 1930s New Orleans speakeasy of bootleggers and “pansies” desperate to transcend their origins. I especially adored the author's strong depiction of the era's societies nested within societies: from the police to the bootleggers, to the singers to the drag queens, and finally to our loyal cross-dressing protagonist Millie, who winds up playing amateur detective when her "boy in the red dress" BFF is fingered for a murder he didn't commit. The writing style of THE BOY IN THE RED DRESS reminded me quite a bit of Lyndsay Faye's adult novel THE PARAGON HOTEL—Lambert has a real gift for capturing the snazzy slang of Prohibition era New Orleans. Bottom line: THE BOY IN THE RED DRESS is a "bee's knees" of a YA debut novel filled with colorful LGBTQ characters that reflect its evocative period setting. It's also a ton of fun with a mystery that'll keep you guessing to the end. Highly recommended.
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  • Ash Otterloo
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever wished for a historic murder mystery set in a speakeasy where literally EVERYONE is queer? Do you love funny-but-sad disaster-family dynamics? Um. Hi. I have, and I do, and The Boy in the Red Dress was an absolute effin' DELIGHT. Millie is rough around the edges, dogged, sharp-minded, and completely driven by her love and desire to protect for her best friend, a drag queen named Marion, from being wrongly punished for murder. Bestie love is the beating heart of this story, but ther Have you ever wished for a historic murder mystery set in a speakeasy where literally EVERYONE is queer? Do you love funny-but-sad disaster-family dynamics? Um. Hi. I have, and I do, and The Boy in the Red Dress was an absolute effin' DELIGHT. Millie is rough around the edges, dogged, sharp-minded, and completely driven by her love and desire to protect for her best friend, a drag queen named Marion, from being wrongly punished for murder. Bestie love is the beating heart of this story, but there's plenty of sexy, fun energy woven in, too. It's atmospheric, an impulse-driven romp, and easy to lose yourself in, but I found myself tearing up throughout it, too, as the author explored themes of family rejection, loss, internalized shame, and learning how to thrive and shine despite it all. Will definitely re-read. 5/5.
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  • A.R. Hellbender
    January 1, 1970
    This is a gripping read full of colorful characters, especially a compelling main character. In addition to the mystery aspect being well thought-out enough to keep the reader guessing the whole time, the characters and their relationships with each other are very well-rounded. While juggling trying to clear her best friend's name, the main character also has to grapple with the resentment she has towards her mother who suddenly has to stay with her, and overall, there are several relationships This is a gripping read full of colorful characters, especially a compelling main character. In addition to the mystery aspect being well thought-out enough to keep the reader guessing the whole time, the characters and their relationships with each other are very well-rounded. While juggling trying to clear her best friend's name, the main character also has to grapple with the resentment she has towards her mother who suddenly has to stay with her, and overall, there are several relationships that are strained throughout the story that are all tied up well by the end.
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  • avaa
    January 1, 1970
    Dnf @ 40%Just not my thing, and I don’t think the story worked well for the format I read it in (ebook). However, if you enjoyed the diviners and wished it was more mystery-centered, I’d give this one a try. Also has great rep, especially rare in the historical mystery genre
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  • A.J.
    January 1, 1970
    I received a physical ARC of this book as part of the Roaring 20s Debut group ARC tour. My opinion is my own and I am under no obligation to write this review.Words are failing me to describe how much I love this book. I saw someone comp it to a queer Roaring 20s-era Veronica Mars and just knew I had to read it. And, hoo boy, it was everything I hoped for--more, even, because it really kept me guessing as to the culprit until the final, big reveal. And it was so beautifully, organically queer. M I received a physical ARC of this book as part of the Roaring 20s Debut group ARC tour. My opinion is my own and I am under no obligation to write this review.Words are failing me to describe how much I love this book. I saw someone comp it to a queer Roaring 20s-era Veronica Mars and just knew I had to read it. And, hoo boy, it was everything I hoped for--more, even, because it really kept me guessing as to the culprit until the final, big reveal. And it was so beautifully, organically queer. Millie and Marion's friendship also has to be one of my favorites in YA fiction.The atmosphere is pitch-perfect, from the sparse but vivid descriptions to the 20s/30s-era vocabulary. I can't think of a better setting for a story like this than the French Quarter in New Orleans either. There were quite a few characters in this story but each felt fully realized, and I love how Lambert touched on socio-economic disparities without getting too heavy-handed about it. It was also a revelation that queer characters are allowed to exist in this world, not without discrimination but with an indisputable place for them in underground spaces. They might not've had the vocabulary we use now to describe romantic attractions and gender identities but queer people have existed throughout history and Lambert offers wonderful representation for so many members of the LGBTQ community in this story. It's a realistic portrayal of found family.I'm afraid this review is all over the place with my praise, but I really can't collect my thoughts enough to be more coherent. I just finished reading and I am having All. The. Feels. To sum up my inelegant rambling: Kristin Lambert is a talented author to watch and everyone and their gay mother should preorder this novel so there are more people I can shout about it to.
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  • Delara
    January 1, 1970
    I am absolutely smitten with this book! Yes, it's a murder mystery set in jazz age New Orleans at a queer speakeasy during Prohibition, but it's really about acceptance, the family you choose, and rewriting history that has erased and systematically removed queer and other marginalized people from existence. Yeah, I felt nothing but empowered while reading this whodunnit, and although the victim is a wealthy socialite, as the story progresses we learn more about her and the motivations that lead I am absolutely smitten with this book! Yes, it's a murder mystery set in jazz age New Orleans at a queer speakeasy during Prohibition, but it's really about acceptance, the family you choose, and rewriting history that has erased and systematically removed queer and other marginalized people from existence. Yeah, I felt nothing but empowered while reading this whodunnit, and although the victim is a wealthy socialite, as the story progresses we learn more about her and the motivations that lead to the night of her death. I shall say no more, but instead dive into the rest of this book and the characters.Millie works at The Cloak and Dagger, a queer speakeasy owned by her lesbian aunt where the star, Marion, performs each night to an adoring crowd. Marion is beautiful, glamorous, and also a boy, which of course means the police are quick to pin the murder on him. However Millie ain't no slouch, and is determined to fight against the injustice of the false accusations against her best friend by solving the murder herself. This leads her to do some crime, lie a lot, and brandish a switchblade, all while wearing dapper suspenders and being Very Bisexual aka getting into loads of trouble to protect the people she loves. Millie has her own deep scars that need healing, but first: solve the case."There's not a single regular at the Cloak who hasn't been ... made to feel ashamed of who they are at some point in their lives."I felt very at home in this fun historical mystery and think teen readers are going to fall head over heels for it! I hope you love it as much as I.
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  • CR
    January 1, 1970
    This fast paced title was very over the top in its story. It worked well for this one and I fell in love with each page over and over again. This was a wonderful story with a great mystery, funny and endearing characters, and queer-friendly speak-easy.
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  • Moonbook
    January 1, 1970
    It is really great audio book, it keep me guessing but I kind of figured it out just moments before the mc did but I had fun time beause of the characters I really love them. And I have finsh it in one day (close to 12 hours with breaks in btween)
  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!Kristin Lambert’s stunning debut ‘The Boy in the Red Dress’ is a story woven with mystery, love, lies and secrets, set in 1930’s New Orleans.This book follows Millie, who is helping her Aunt run a speakeasy called the Cloak & Dagger. Millie is left alone running it for one night when a dead body from her best friend’s past shows up. The police are quick to assume that Marion was the murderer, but Mil Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!Kristin Lambert’s stunning debut ‘The Boy in the Red Dress’ is a story woven with mystery, love, lies and secrets, set in 1930’s New Orleans.This book follows Millie, who is helping her Aunt run a speakeasy called the Cloak & Dagger. Millie is left alone running it for one night when a dead body from her best friend’s past shows up. The police are quick to assume that Marion was the murderer, but Millie is certain he didn’t do it; and she’s determined to find the real killer.This book was simply OUTSTANDING. The second I finished it, I went to look for other books by the author, only to discover that this was her debut novel!! This story is so rich within its setting, that I actually felt like I was running along the streets with Millie as she tried to solve the case. The writing style was beautiful and the story never dragged on, it truly was an incredible experience to read.This story opened up so nicely; right from the start, the plot was flowy and kept me intrigued. I love the dynamic at the Cloak & Dagger, and how everyone is accepted there and it has become a safe space for people in the LGBTQ+ community during a time where it still wasn’t publicly accepted. The workers there and their relationships were super cute to read about and it’s almost like a little family the way they all work together. Had I’ve been alive during this time period; all of my time would have been spent at the Cloak & Dagger!Millie was such a great main character; you could feel her emotions bleed through the page and her pure determination to catch the real killer left me wanting more and more. Millie knows that Marion ran from something in his past, but accepts him and knows that he will tell her if it’s super important; and I think the message this portrays and the friendship between the two of them is truly admirable. I adored almost all of the characters in this book, even the ones who we only got to see a few times. There’s something about Lambert’s writing and how she describes her characters which made me instantly fall in love with them. I was rooting for each and every one of them throughout the whole book!The mystery of this book was, well quite frankly, it was a mystery. Throughout the whole book I was trying to figure out who the killer was as the events unfolded, to no avail. Every plot twist and new piece of evidence that occurred really shocked me and were so unexpected. I especially loved the kind of rocky yet banter-filled relationship between Millie and the main detective, the scenes between the two of them were always tense yet made me laugh at how they acted around each other.I think this book is a great read for anyone who loves crime novels or mysteries, especially as it’s filled with queer characters and has an awesome cast of side characters, all of which you will fall in love with. This book kept me guessing right up until the end and I loved how it all closed up; the ending was perfect too!
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