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In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian. Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred f In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian. Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred for Pittsburgh’s underworld after the devastation it left on his life—and heart. He should be out exposing the culpable gangsters rather than tending to the impetuous woman who defies his every effort to keep her safe. Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.


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In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian. Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred f In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian. Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred for Pittsburgh’s underworld after the devastation it left on his life—and heart. He should be out exposing the culpable gangsters rather than tending to the impetuous woman who defies his every effort to keep her safe. Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.

30 review for The Red Canary

  1. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    There isn't a lot of CF set in the 1920s so I enjoyed that aspect of the novel for sure. Vera is a singer at a speakeasy and has no trust in men. Police officer Mick is an honorable man and a Christian. After Vera overhears a murder, Mick provides protection to Vera. Watching Vera turn from a sarcastic and skeptical woman to one who believes that there is kindness in the world was nice to see unfold. There isn't a lot of CF set in the 1920s so I enjoyed that aspect of the novel for sure. Vera is a singer at a speakeasy and has no trust in men. Police officer Mick is an honorable man and a Christian. After Vera overhears a murder, Mick provides protection to Vera. Watching Vera turn from a sarcastic and skeptical woman to one who believes that there is kindness in the world was nice to see unfold.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    “The night was quiet, but he was about to knock on death’s door” Ms. McDaniel continues her expert writing in a new tale about the 1920’s. This time we meet spunky Vera Pembroke in a speakeasy run by her boyfriend, Carson Kelly. Sergeant Mick Dinelo has a hot tip to go to The Kelly Club. There he encounters Vera who has escaped a hard past. She is more than he bargained for when they are faced with fleeing a murderer. There is lots of cute banter and jargon of the era for good measure. The feisty “The night was quiet, but he was about to knock on death’s door” Ms. McDaniel continues her expert writing in a new tale about the 1920’s. This time we meet spunky Vera Pembroke in a speakeasy run by her boyfriend, Carson Kelly. Sergeant Mick Dinelo has a hot tip to go to The Kelly Club. There he encounters Vera who has escaped a hard past. She is more than he bargained for when they are faced with fleeing a murderer. There is lots of cute banter and jargon of the era for good measure. The feisty heroine and stoic hero make the sparks fly. Both Mick and Vera are flawed and find strength and healing on their faith journey. “Didn’t she know to be flawed was to be beautiful...To be healed by His wounds was to be freed by His surrender, now that was a beauty no cosmetic could duplicate.” If you are looking for a terrific story filled with fun and faith, come back to 1928 Pittsburgh and see what Mick and Vera get up to. You will be so glad you did. *I received a complimentary ebook from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  3. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Walters

    Enough moxie and gumption, this story will drop you into the roaring 20's among the bootleggers, rum runners, and murder. I love how instantly author Rachel McDaniel's writing sweeps you right into the story through her descriptive setting and dialogue. You can easily read her love of the era and genre as she expertly weaves a story with heart, gritty villains, a moody hero, and an unforgettable heroine. If you love the 20's and noir films-this story is the bee's knees! Enough moxie and gumption, this story will drop you into the roaring 20's among the bootleggers, rum runners, and murder. I love how instantly author Rachel McDaniel's writing sweeps you right into the story through her descriptive setting and dialogue. You can easily read her love of the era and genre as she expertly weaves a story with heart, gritty villains, a moody hero, and an unforgettable heroine. If you love the 20's and noir films-this story is the bee's knees!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5 stars "She'd worn pride as thickly as her makeup, covering her flaws, concealing her shortcomings. Didn't she know to be flawed was to be beautiful? That no matter how layered, how far beneath the surface was scarred, mercy ran deeper. To be healed by His wounds and to be freed by His surrender, now that was a beauty no cosmetic could duplicate." When Sergeant Mick Dinelo is assigned protective custody over a material witness for a high profile Pittsburgh murder investigation, he never imagine 3.5 stars "She'd worn pride as thickly as her makeup, covering her flaws, concealing her shortcomings. Didn't she know to be flawed was to be beautiful? That no matter how layered, how far beneath the surface was scarred, mercy ran deeper. To be healed by His wounds and to be freed by His surrender, now that was a beauty no cosmetic could duplicate." When Sergeant Mick Dinelo is assigned protective custody over a material witness for a high profile Pittsburgh murder investigation, he never imagined that his heart would wage war with his head over how to manage the ravishing beauty many referred to as "the red canary". Night club entertainer Vera Pembroke had made serious allegations, stating that she knew exactly who had killed the manager of the The Kelly Club. Whisking Vera off to a remote location, fearing that her life could be in serious jeopardy, Mick instinctively knows that Vera's prickly demeanor hides a vulnerability that presents him with a challenge; he must convince her to be completely honest with him about what exactly happened on that rainy night when she returned to the club. Realizing that Vera trusts virtually no one but herself, pushes Mick has to face the fact that his own demons are preventing him from being completely forthcoming with her. What a luscious blend of an unique historical setting with characters (and two fantastic secondary personalities) perfectly sculpted to match; the flame of romance breathing life out of death, and the power of the cross providing solace for two very troubled souls. Rather than feeling like outsiders looking in, readers will readily embrace their role of impassioned participants, working tirelessly alongside Mick and Vera to put the details of this case to rest, so that the canary can live the rest of her life filled with song. "You said you needed a song."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cara Putman

    “Cause your head’s been shouting, and your heart’s been whispering. It takes some persistence to hush the thoughts, but when you do, the right power can direct. The heart never makes a mistake. God’s in there, sugar.” In The Red Canary, Rachel McDaniel immediately transports her readers to 1928 in Pittsburgh. The book opens in a speakeasy with all the angst and turmoil that entails. When Vera hears a murder, she becomes a witness who has to be protected. Mick is assigned the job, but it’s not an “Cause your head’s been shouting, and your heart’s been whispering. It takes some persistence to hush the thoughts, but when you do, the right power can direct. The heart never makes a mistake. God’s in there, sugar.” In The Red Canary, Rachel McDaniel immediately transports her readers to 1928 in Pittsburgh. The book opens in a speakeasy with all the angst and turmoil that entails. When Vera hears a murder, she becomes a witness who has to be protected. Mick is assigned the job, but it’s not an easy one when the DA doesn’t believe she’s a credible witness. From the dialogue to the setting, the author does a masterful job taking us back in time one hundred years and firmly establishing us in the Roaring 20s. The characters are complex and interesting, and the plot engaging. You would think being stuck in a hideout for half of the book would ease the tension, but it doesn’t. In this season of reading, I’m loving historicals more than ever, and I loved that this book was set outside Regency, Gilded Age or WWII (all timeperiods I adore). A wonderful read for those who love being immersed in a different time zone with characters who are closer to us than you initially think.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janine Rosche

    McDaniel takes readers on a delightful jaunt back to the time of speakeasies, gangsters, and quick-witted songbirds who have a talent for finding trouble at every turn. Vera is a feisty and daring heroine with a pure, but shadowed heart. Mick is a steady, rule-touting hero with a heartbreaking reason for keeping his distance from Vera—a tough feat when he’s charged with protecting her. The red-hot chemistry between these two is enough to start a blaze, and the suspense is spine-tingling. McDanie McDaniel takes readers on a delightful jaunt back to the time of speakeasies, gangsters, and quick-witted songbirds who have a talent for finding trouble at every turn. Vera is a feisty and daring heroine with a pure, but shadowed heart. Mick is a steady, rule-touting hero with a heartbreaking reason for keeping his distance from Vera—a tough feat when he’s charged with protecting her. The red-hot chemistry between these two is enough to start a blaze, and the suspense is spine-tingling. McDaniel has carved herself a place at the tip top of Prohibition-era romantic suspense with The Red Canary as well as her previous title, Above the Fold. I’m looking forward to more from this talented author.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    read for endorsement: The Red Canary features a dazzlingly intelligent heroine, an evocative sense of place and a pitch-perfect historical narrative. Toss in a whiff of suspense expertly captured with a voice that makes the roaring twenties sing and you have an unputdownable read. The whip-smart dialogue and shadows of danger nipping at the heels of our delightful protagonists is underscored by chemistry that snap, crackles and pops every time Mick and Vera share the page. Yet, deeper still, McD read for endorsement: The Red Canary features a dazzlingly intelligent heroine, an evocative sense of place and a pitch-perfect historical narrative. Toss in a whiff of suspense expertly captured with a voice that makes the roaring twenties sing and you have an unputdownable read. The whip-smart dialogue and shadows of danger nipping at the heels of our delightful protagonists is underscored by chemistry that snap, crackles and pops every time Mick and Vera share the page. Yet, deeper still, McDaniels has penned a treatise on finding ourselves and our value in a higher place beyond our human limitation. A delightful read from a stand-out talent

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I loved the banter between the two main characters! Such a fun book. Yet filled with a great message and danger. Vera is hilarious and Mick is the quintessential version of a straight laced guy. They’ve both had so many hurts in their lifetime. And Lacey! Such a sweet addition to the book. Her quotes and care made me smile. There’s one scene (I won’t spoil it) that really made me laugh. Another must read from this author. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All views stated are my I loved the banter between the two main characters! Such a fun book. Yet filled with a great message and danger. Vera is hilarious and Mick is the quintessential version of a straight laced guy. They’ve both had so many hurts in their lifetime. And Lacey! Such a sweet addition to the book. Her quotes and care made me smile. There’s one scene (I won’t spoil it) that really made me laugh. Another must read from this author. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All views stated are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn Santi

    A stunning, superb sophomore novel from Rachel Scott McDaniel! I fell head over heels in love with this author's writing last year when I read her amazing debut novel, Above the Fold, so needless to say The Red Canary was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020! And oh my word, what a gorgeous, gorgeous story it is! From the first line I was swept away into the world of 1920's Pittsburgh, and the Allegheny forest, and I did not want to leave! This story held me utterly and completely spellbound A stunning, superb sophomore novel from Rachel Scott McDaniel! I fell head over heels in love with this author's writing last year when I read her amazing debut novel, Above the Fold, so needless to say The Red Canary was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020! And oh my word, what a gorgeous, gorgeous story it is! From the first line I was swept away into the world of 1920's Pittsburgh, and the Allegheny forest, and I did not want to leave! This story held me utterly and completely spellbound, every word was like music to my heart and soul! I loved Vera and Mick instantly! Vera has a super sweet heart and just the right amount of spunkiness and sass (my favorite type of heroine!) my heart broke for her and all she'd been through and I kept wanting to reach through the pages and give her a hug! And Mick, oh my stars, can you say swoony?! His strength, tenderness, and steadfastness, melted me into a puddle, and he will always have a spot on my list of favorite heroes! The Red Canary is one of my top ten favorite reads of 2020! I seriously adored every minute of this completely captivating story, it's totally one for the keeper shelf, and I most highly recommend it! Trust me, you need this book in your life ASAP! Rachel Scott McDaniel is one of my favorite authors and I'm impatiently anticipating her next book! (5 Stars!) I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher. Which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    This is such an exciting, page-turning story! Plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing. I enjoyed the sweet slow romance and the fun banter between these delightfully dynamic characters. This story is one for the keeper shelf for sure! From first glance, Vera seems to be a bold, independent women. She carries herself with confidence. She is direct and knows what she wants and goes after it. Yet on the inside she is jittery and anxious. Especially after an attack she narrowly escaped, and no This is such an exciting, page-turning story! Plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing. I enjoyed the sweet slow romance and the fun banter between these delightfully dynamic characters. This story is one for the keeper shelf for sure! From first glance, Vera seems to be a bold, independent women. She carries herself with confidence. She is direct and knows what she wants and goes after it. Yet on the inside she is jittery and anxious. Especially after an attack she narrowly escaped, and now a series of mysterious threatening notes keep showing up, even with the bodyguard her employer employed to keep an eye on her doesn’t sooth the anxious feeling that someone is lurking in the shadows. She begins to wonder who she can really trust, when everyone around her seems to have their own personal agenda. Sergent Mick Dinelo quickly sized up the beautiful singer in the local speakeasy and placed her in the same category as other untrustworthy, independent women. However, when events unfold that place them together will he discover the true beauty that resides beneath the facade she wears? And will he let down his own walls that he’s built up around his heart and learn to trust again? Will these two wary individuals learn to trust each other in time to unravel the truth about the murder? (I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rosalyn

    What a fun story about life in the roaring twenties! Rachel McDaniel has given us a beautiful portrait showcasing a speakeasy and a lovely young lady in those good old days. Vera. What a heroine. I liked her character from the very beginning. I liked her character from the very beginning. She’s fallen into hard times and is singing in an illegal bar. Then things go from bad to worse when she is the only witness to a murder, and is forced to disappear for her own safety. This book is a delight. It b What a fun story about life in the roaring twenties! Rachel McDaniel has given us a beautiful portrait showcasing a speakeasy and a lovely young lady in those good old days. Vera. What a heroine. I liked her character from the very beginning. I liked her character from the very beginning. She’s fallen into hard times and is singing in an illegal bar. Then things go from bad to worse when she is the only witness to a murder, and is forced to disappear for her own safety. This book is a delight. It brings to life the days of the twenties. And Pittsburgh, and all it’s glitz and glamor back in the day. I especially liked the hint of mystery, murder, and suspense mixed in. And I can’t forget the hero, Mick. The police man. He’s protecting Vera, and trying to protect himself from her. These two have had some difficult things in their pasts, and neither one of them are looking for any kind of real relationship. This is an excellent read, particularly if you enjoy historical fiction. Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly-Ann ~ Sassy Bookish Mama

    Another amazing story by Rachel Scott McDaniel! I am always in shock that she doesn't have more books out! She definitely is an amazing writer and has a great gift at transporting you into the era her books are set in. From the descriptive settings to the way the dialogue is between the characters this one was no exception! In this book we travel to the 1920's to the age of speakeasies and the prohibition era. We meet Vera who is a singer at the Kelly Club who is owned by her "boyfriend" Carson Another amazing story by Rachel Scott McDaniel! I am always in shock that she doesn't have more books out! She definitely is an amazing writer and has a great gift at transporting you into the era her books are set in. From the descriptive settings to the way the dialogue is between the characters this one was no exception! In this book we travel to the 1920's to the age of speakeasies and the prohibition era. We meet Vera who is a singer at the Kelly Club who is owned by her "boyfriend" Carson Kelly. Vera is spunky, has goals and dreams for her life she wants to accomplish but unfortunately her boyfriend and lifestyle hold her back. She was raised to know God by her grandmother but life circumstances have her leaving her faith. We also meet Mick Dinelo, an upstanding cop, who becomes guardian to Vera after she witnesses a murder. He carries a heavy burden with him and doesn't like getting close to anyone. However, he can't help being drawn to Vera and falling for her. I absolutely loved the chemistry between them. The witty banter and the way that their romance develops is quite dreamy! If you have not read anything by this author I highly recommend it. You will definitely be drawn into the story and these characters. The way that she also interweaves faith into the story was very well done and perfectly suited for this story. (I received this book from Just Read. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    The Red Canary was such a fantastic book. I don't even know where to start. I'm pretty sure I've never read anything like it, which to say was incredibly refreshing. I'd also say I want to devour everything roaring 20s, but I don't know if anyone could capture it quite the way Rachel did. I mean, I was transported and it was fantastic! I read this in under 24 hours! Readers are immediately drawn into the story as they meet Vera at the speakeasy. Something shady is going on and the nail biting beg The Red Canary was such a fantastic book. I don't even know where to start. I'm pretty sure I've never read anything like it, which to say was incredibly refreshing. I'd also say I want to devour everything roaring 20s, but I don't know if anyone could capture it quite the way Rachel did. I mean, I was transported and it was fantastic! I read this in under 24 hours! Readers are immediately drawn into the story as they meet Vera at the speakeasy. Something shady is going on and the nail biting begins. She's pretty witty and her lines are quite the zingers when she speaks to people. Ok, as an aside here, can we talk about how authors try to use "lingo" from a certain time period? I really believe the author has to understand the flow of a story to be able to incorporate the style in a manner that doesn't turn off the reader. Rachel did it beautifully! I didn't twitch once. It was entirely believable! Listen, if it's not done well I have issues not making a book dnf. Back to Vera... She's a gal who ends up on the run with a "square" of a police officer. She's had a rough past and to be quite honest, her future isn't looking bright either. Then there's good ol' Mick. This guy has been through the wringer and isn't interested in babysitting a canary, especially if he has to give up his vacation! I felt for him, but also, he was a bit judgy when it came to Vera. Of course, she certainly didn't make it easy for him. One of the support characters, Pops, is such a terrific character! I have to say, towards the end he does something that surprises me and makes me laugh and "what the..." out loud! There are other people, too, like Lacey, who you just want to go sit with and enjoy a bit of teaberry with. Of course, there are the jerks of the story, too. Can't have a good book without them. The flow of the story was great and it kept my attention from start to finish. Just when you get settled in and breathe a bit easier, something happens and it once again propels the story forward. I'll admit I didn't want the story to end because it was just so enjoyable! Now I have the long wait before Rachel's next book comes out. Guess I better get my hands on Above the Fold to read in the meantime. *I'm part of Rachel's launch team and received this book for review. This is my personal opinion.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)

    First of all, I was so tickled to visit historic Pittsburgh, as it is a city my family loves. I don't know McDaniel's history with the city, but her research was fantastic! I love it when an author really puts a lot of effort into researching not only the time periods of their stories, but the locations as well. McDaniel made me feel like I was right there in Pittsburgh the entire story! And wow can she write a story. Vera....she just stole my heart. She had so much baggage, and so many things to First of all, I was so tickled to visit historic Pittsburgh, as it is a city my family loves. I don't know McDaniel's history with the city, but her research was fantastic! I love it when an author really puts a lot of effort into researching not only the time periods of their stories, but the locations as well. McDaniel made me feel like I was right there in Pittsburgh the entire story! And wow can she write a story. Vera....she just stole my heart. She had so much baggage, and so many things to deal with, I just wanted to comfort her like a mother would. You could see the care and effort that McDaniel put into writing that character. She had so much depth (even if it took awhile to get things out of her), and so much room for character growth. **sigh** I'm sorry to see her go. The chemistry between our two leading characters was spot on. In between the action and drama was this awesome love story that takes readers on quite the journey. I don't know how McDaniel managed to pack so much into this novel, but she did. I could not set it down, well I didn't want to anyway. Every page leaves you hanging, and you just have to keep reading until your eyes fall out of your head! Seriously, it's one of my favorite reads of the year. Historic romance fans are sure to fall in love with The Red Canary. It is a story I plan to revisit many times in the future! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Wowza! This book was fantastic. I found myself completely immersed in 1920's Philadelphia right along with Mick & Vera. This book is COMPLETELY unputdownable-at least for me. I read half of it in one sitting. The story pulled me in from the first chapter and the characters were wonderful. I especially enjoyed Lacey and Pops! Do yourself a favor and give this one a try, I am willing to bet you'll love it! I received this book as a member of the launch team and was not required to post a positive r Wowza! This book was fantastic. I found myself completely immersed in 1920's Philadelphia right along with Mick & Vera. This book is COMPLETELY unputdownable-at least for me. I read half of it in one sitting. The story pulled me in from the first chapter and the characters were wonderful. I especially enjoyed Lacey and Pops! Do yourself a favor and give this one a try, I am willing to bet you'll love it! I received this book as a member of the launch team and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my honest opinion.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie Powner

    This fast-paced story is perfect for lovers of inspirational romance. I loved the setting and era! And I loved the fun 1920s jazz slang!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    I instantly knew that I would love this book! Rachel Scott McDaniel writes some of the best Roaring Twenties fiction! She puts so much detail into her stories that they just come alive! She also created some wonderful characters that had great chemistry. I loved this book and was sad that it ended. I look forward to reading more from her! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marilee

    What a fantastic book! I have not read many historical fiction books that take place in the Roaring Twenties but I am now a huge fan! The plot was captivating and the characters were so well crafted that sometimes I forgot I was reading fiction. If you enjoy a wonderful blend of intrigue, suspense, and romance all wrapped up in a fascinating period of history, this book is for you! I received a complimentary copy of this book but it in no way affected my review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Bryant

    In The Red Canary, Ms. McDaniel masterfully melds romance, history, mystery, and faith into one exciting, captivating read which is definitely what I expected from this consummate storyteller! Her expressive prose evokes a myriad of emotions, and her descriptive language paints wonderful, clear word pictures. Vivid, detailed imagery brings to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the locale whether it be the smoky Kelly Club speakeasy, the “soot tarnished” streets of Pittsburgh, or the tranquil In The Red Canary, Ms. McDaniel masterfully melds romance, history, mystery, and faith into one exciting, captivating read which is definitely what I expected from this consummate storyteller! Her expressive prose evokes a myriad of emotions, and her descriptive language paints wonderful, clear word pictures. Vivid, detailed imagery brings to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the locale whether it be the smoky Kelly Club speakeasy, the “soot tarnished” streets of Pittsburgh, or the tranquil Allegany National Forest. Use of the jivey lingo of the era adds credibility and flavor to the narrative. The characters are well-crafted and memorable. Stubborn, outspoken Vera and strong, confident Mick are the perfect 1920s heroine and hero. Strong secondary characters Lacey and “Pops” add depth and interest to the read. I especially appreciate the thoughtfully integrated spiritual truths that are consistently and effectively conveyed. I loved this book and highly recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book but am under no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Ulferts

    WOW! Rachel Scott McDaniel proves again that she knows just how to write a historical mystery romance with an unforgettable hero and heroine. The story starts off with a bang and doesn’t let up. With dialogue and suspense worthy of a Cary Grant movie, chemistry that almost did damage to my Kindle, and characters right out of a film noir joint, The Red Canary is a swoony trip around 1928 western Pennsylvania. I received an advance copy and all opinions are my own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abbi

    Nobody writes 1920’s fiction like Rachel Scott McDaniel! From the smoky haze of historic Pittsburgh nightlife to the quiet beauty of the Allegheny National Forest McDaniel truly transports her readers to another time and place! The way she slowly draws you in, painting the story and scene in such vivid detail, is truly a gift. Everything is skillfully placed, giving us all the important information whether we can see it in the moment or not. The story starts by giving us a glimpse of the life Ver Nobody writes 1920’s fiction like Rachel Scott McDaniel! From the smoky haze of historic Pittsburgh nightlife to the quiet beauty of the Allegheny National Forest McDaniel truly transports her readers to another time and place! The way she slowly draws you in, painting the story and scene in such vivid detail, is truly a gift. Everything is skillfully placed, giving us all the important information whether we can see it in the moment or not. The story starts by giving us a glimpse of the life Vera lives, just enough to truly understand where she’s coming from without bogging the reader down with unnecessary information. Then things take off with a bang, gripping the reader with the mystery, danger, and romance! Vera was a bit of a hard nut to crack. Life hadn’t been kind and people had been even crueler so it was no surprise that she had a tough exterior but underneath it all was a scared little girl who just wanted to be loved. McDaniel did an excellent job of really making you understand Vera and her emotions so while she might’ve been tough to swallow at the start by the end you loved her and were truly rooting for her! I really liked Mick and the way he stood on the side of justice even while living in a city where falling in with the bad guys was almost too easy. He stood by his convictions and was willing to do whatever necessary to protect innocent people and see good win out. Vera may have seen him as a square at the start but he was just what she needed, someone who wouldn’t kowtow and gave as good as he got. I loved watching them butt heads and then seeing those sparks turn into a fire of a whole different kind! Falling in love kind of snuck up on both of them and it was fun to see the journey! McDaniel does a fantastic job of giving her readers a little bit of everything, romance, humor, mystery, action, and all while giving off classic movie vibes! Honestly I adore every single word she writes and she always leaves me begging for more! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    MJSH

    "The sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. He had tasted the sorrow. Had plenty of it. It was time for the joy." Rachel Scott McDaniel returns her readers once again to 1920s Pittsburgh during the Prohibition Era; this time she delves into the world of speakeasys and corruption running rampant in that city. The nightlife in Pittsburgh is so vivid that you can touch, hear, taste, and smell the jazz and alcohol in smoke-filled clubs as other nefarious dealings occur underground "The sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. He had tasted the sorrow. Had plenty of it. It was time for the joy." Rachel Scott McDaniel returns her readers once again to 1920s Pittsburgh during the Prohibition Era; this time she delves into the world of speakeasys and corruption running rampant in that city. The nightlife in Pittsburgh is so vivid that you can touch, hear, taste, and smell the jazz and alcohol in smoke-filled clubs as other nefarious dealings occur underground and imminent threat looms. There is suspense and intrigue as Vera goes into hiding in Allegheny National Forest after witnessing a murder and Mick provides the protection she needs. The main characters are memorable and the secondary characters of Mrs. Chambers and Pops are hilarious and lovable. There is also a powerful theme of salvation and redemption woven throughout the story. Vera is a beautiful, sassy, loud-mouthed speakeasy singer who's constantly running from her past and mistakes. Mick is an investigator on the Pittsburgh police force who is haunted by his past. Oil meets water when spontaneous, emotional, and stubborn Vera is thrown into close quarters with the straight-laced, ordered, and disciplined Mick. Their conversations are lively, quirky, and witty; their relationship is achingly sweet and beautiful as it unfolds. If you enjoy historical fiction with a good dose of suspense, you will really enjoy this book. Kudos to Rachel Scott McDaniel for another well-written and captivating book. I received a copy of the book from the publisher via JustRead Publicity Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hallie Szott

    4.5 Venture back to Pittsburgh of the 1920s with Rachel Scott McDaniel’s The Red Canary! As the only witness to a murder, speakeasy singer Vera Pembroke must go into hiding. Sergeant Mick Dinelo must protect her—and neither one is all that happy with the situation. Of course, sparks fly as they sort through what can be uncovered (with both the murder and their feelings), and they prove to have the makings of a delightful historical romance. I definitely enjoyed The Red Canary. With a blend of myst 4.5 Venture back to Pittsburgh of the 1920s with Rachel Scott McDaniel’s The Red Canary! As the only witness to a murder, speakeasy singer Vera Pembroke must go into hiding. Sergeant Mick Dinelo must protect her—and neither one is all that happy with the situation. Of course, sparks fly as they sort through what can be uncovered (with both the murder and their feelings), and they prove to have the makings of a delightful historical romance. I definitely enjoyed The Red Canary. With a blend of mystery, character growth, and romance, it is a book not easily put down. I highly recommend it to historical-romance readers. This review is also posted on Hallie Reads. I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katie Lindsey

    The Red Canary By Rachel Scott McDaniel 4 Stars *Book Blurb: In 1928, music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian. Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.* The author The Red Canary By Rachel Scott McDaniel 4 Stars *Book Blurb: In 1928, music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian. Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.* The author fully immerses you in 1920's Pittsburgh with the dialogue/slang and the descriptions of dress. There aren't a lot of 1920s era novels in the Christian Fiction genre and Rachel does it the best. Vera is on the run from gangsters and is under the protection of Officer Mick in his cabin in the woods. As they get used to each other and try to solve who is the murderer they come to admire and trust the other. I appreciated the faith content. Both characters had baggage that only God could take care of. Vera had several moments of calling on Jesus that had me teary eyed. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Susan L. Tuttle

    There was so much to love about this book. For me, McDaniel does such an amazing job with her settings and time period. From the glitzy side to a cabin in the mountains, she nails them as well as she does her characters. Vera and Mick are well-matched for one another, though it may not seem it at first. McDaniel does a wonderful job of breaking down their walls while keeping both leads believable and likable. The hint of danger that follows throughout is a wonderful backdrop to the romantic side There was so much to love about this book. For me, McDaniel does such an amazing job with her settings and time period. From the glitzy side to a cabin in the mountains, she nails them as well as she does her characters. Vera and Mick are well-matched for one another, though it may not seem it at first. McDaniel does a wonderful job of breaking down their walls while keeping both leads believable and likable. The hint of danger that follows throughout is a wonderful backdrop to the romantic side of the plot, and both threads move at just the right pace. Another hit for me from Rachel McDaniel:)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen M.

    From the beginning of this book, I felt like I stepped back into the 1920's. I am not sure if the author watched lots of movies or read a book called, "How to Talk Like a Flapper," she nailed Vera Pembrooke's character. There is a fine line when writing a historical character with a strong personality, and by the end, I felt like I had truly gotten to "know" Vera. She was up in your face, yet her actions did not seem cliche. The book's setting also was interesting. I am not sure that I have read From the beginning of this book, I felt like I stepped back into the 1920's. I am not sure if the author watched lots of movies or read a book called, "How to Talk Like a Flapper," she nailed Vera Pembrooke's character. There is a fine line when writing a historical character with a strong personality, and by the end, I felt like I had truly gotten to "know" Vera. She was up in your face, yet her actions did not seem cliche. The book's setting also was interesting. I am not sure that I have read a book about Pittsburg before - I am fairly certain that I would not want to have visited this city back then as it was definitely a lawless place. Now the Allegheny Forest on the other hand - I would go there in a heartbeat. I liked how the scenes set in this part of Pennsylvania also became an important part of the plot. HE and Vera's relationship was definitely something to behold. Did I forget to mention Mick? Part protector, part enforcer, Sergeant Mick definitely plays the other significant part in this book. He is presented as a man of integrity, yet he still is struggling to get over a tragedy. The minor characters also play an important role in this story. Figuring out all of the details as to why Vera needed to flee also made for an interesting storyline. And I liked the musical elements. If you enjoy historical fiction that includes a Christian element of truth as well as a suspenseful story, you will enjoy this book. While I did receive an advanced copy to read, this review was my idea and reflects my opinions. I appreciated being able to read this one!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    Love this one so much! It was a spunky, adventurous read, but also a tender, emotional one. So many scenes and quotes resonate with me, and the ending was utterly beautiful and endearing. Vera's transformation was heart-warming and especially so touching. I appreciate this book immensely! Love this one so much! It was a spunky, adventurous read, but also a tender, emotional one. So many scenes and quotes resonate with me, and the ending was utterly beautiful and endearing. Vera's transformation was heart-warming and especially so touching. I appreciate this book immensely!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janyre Tromp

    This book is all things big city (Pittsburg) and 1920s and flappers. McDaniel’s scenes are wonderful and her sarcastic, broken heroine is spot on and a breath of fresh air. The banter between her and the staid hero, Mick, is priceless. You don’t want to miss this award-winning book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Keren Herrera-Lyles

    Author Rachel has molded the Roaring 20's of Pittsburg's history with a romance story that will captivate you from the first turn of the pages. I enjoy the way the Author can bring description of the time of gangsters and the history that you can easily picture the story in your mind as if you are playing a dvd of a movie. The way she focuses detail and storyline is amazing. I love how she molds within the story God's love for us in each one of her characters regardless the troubles, fear and do Author Rachel has molded the Roaring 20's of Pittsburg's history with a romance story that will captivate you from the first turn of the pages. I enjoy the way the Author can bring description of the time of gangsters and the history that you can easily picture the story in your mind as if you are playing a dvd of a movie. The way she focuses detail and storyline is amazing. I love how she molds within the story God's love for us in each one of her characters regardless the troubles, fear and doubts they hold within their hearts. The way mystery, suspense and the way she portrayed the leading lady in a strong character. In this story we meet Vera a singer in a nightclub called The Kelly Club. She is the Canary (top singer) of the place. We also meet Sergeant Mick Dinelo. When Vera is the only one to witness a murder, is up to Mick to come to her rescue without either one up for the decision of her going into hiding and Mick watching over her. But as they start letting opening up little by little each others interests they find out that Love comes without an invitation and they learn from each other that God if you let Him in he will transform and surround you with peace within. As they are getting to know each other, they find out that they both love music and song. And within the beautiful well described Allegheny Forest they start to care more than they want to let on, But is when danger arrives and Mick knows that he can not let her get hurt and he will protect her even if it costs his life. As, they are running to safety and emotions start to run into each other, Vera feels that she is not too good for Mick and is then when two great people Mick's captain and his sister join forces to bring together these two. I enjoyed the way she formatted these two characters that had a big impact without being the main characters. I truly enjoyed it. I received a Complimentary e-book for my honest personal opinion. I highly recommend it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christi

    The 1920's era has always been one of my favorites to read and learn about, and no one can capture the charm of the Roaring 20's better than Rachel Scott McDaniel. She has an incredible knack for transporting the reader to a bygone era full of scenery and dialogue that almost becomes a character all its own. From the serpentine speakeasy and the dark streets of Pittsburg during prohibition, to the rustic cabin in the incredible Allegheny Forest, it's hard not to get lost in the nostalgia of the t The 1920's era has always been one of my favorites to read and learn about, and no one can capture the charm of the Roaring 20's better than Rachel Scott McDaniel. She has an incredible knack for transporting the reader to a bygone era full of scenery and dialogue that almost becomes a character all its own. From the serpentine speakeasy and the dark streets of Pittsburg during prohibition, to the rustic cabin in the incredible Allegheny Forest, it's hard not to get lost in the nostalgia of the time. There were times that Vera (the heroine) could be annoying, but I loved her flapper persona, her lingo spot on for the times. Mick (the hero) is one of those good guys that you can't help but fall in love with; a good cop with a heart of gold. When you pair Mick and Vera together you get something that is truly magical, though it's hard to tell in the beginning. If I had to give one complaint I'd say the ending was a little too predictable, but other than that I truly enjoyed this fable. The Red Canary has a great vibe and flow, showing the perils of the prohibition era, with wonderful characters, impeccable scenery and a couple you can't help but appreciate, quirks and all. You can't get much better than that!

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