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The Lost Girl of Astor Street
     

The Lost Girl of Astor Street

4.4 9
by Stephanie Morrill
 

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When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second

Overview

When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.

As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

Perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Anna Godbersen, Stephanie Morrill’s atmospheric jazz-age mystery will take readers from the glitzy homes of the elite to the dark underbelly of 1920s Chicago.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/21/2016
Chicago, 1924. With Prohibition in full swing, the city is full of mobsters, illegal gin joints, cops on the take, and professionals who benefit from criminal activity. Piper Sail, 18, has a privileged life on Astor Street in Chicago’s tony Gold Coast neighborhood, but when her best friend Lydia is kidnapped, Piper—who has always been considered a bad influence by her teachers and peers due to her independent and often reckless behavior—takes it upon herself to solve the crime. She teams up with detective Mariano Cassano to find out what happened to Lydia, uncovering unsavory information about her neighbors, her new crush (the detective), and even her own family. Morrill (the Ellie Sweet series) crafts a well-plotted mystery novel with plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings. Piper’s determination and attitude make her an engaging protagonist, though her mix of naiveté and nerve can make her character seem inconsistent. Though this is an entertaining mystery, one doesn’t feel especially connected to the time and place in which it is set. Ages 13–up. Agent: Sandra Bishop, Transatlantic Literary. (Feb.)
Romantic Times
Combining the fascinating setting of the Roaring ’20s with a smart, savvy heroine, Morrill has hit the perfect note with this captivating story. Piper will particularly appeal to young adult fans, but there is plenty of substance here to entrance readers of all ages. The tale is fast-paced and entertaining without being overly melodramatic. Piper’s impetuousness gets her involved in some potentially inappropriate situations, particularly for the time period. Fortunately, the steadying influence of her male friends keep her from getting too far off track. 4 Stars

Eighteen-year-old Piper Sail is looking forward to graduating and getting on with her life. She's worried about her friend Lydia's health problems, and becomes even more concerned when Lydia disappears without a trace. Piper, along with young policeman Mariano Cassano, begins to investigate what might have happened to Lydia and tries to loca

Combining the fascinating setting of the Roaring ’20s with a smart, savvy heroine, Morrill has hit the perfect note with this captivating story. Piper will particularly appeal to young adult fans, but there is plenty of substance here to entrance readers of all ages. The tale is fast-paced and entertaining without being overly melodramatic. Piper’s impetuousness gets her involved in some potentially inappropriate situations, particularly for the time period. Fortunately, the steadying influence of her male friends keep her from getting too far off track.

Eighteen-year-old Piper Sail is looking forward to graduating and getting on with her life. She's worried about her friend Lydia's health problems, and becomes even more concerned when Lydia disappears without a trace. Piper, along with young policeman Mariano Cassano, begins to investigate what might have happened to Lydia and tries to locate her. The more they look into the situation, the more they see the seedier parts of Chicago. This makes Piper fear for her friend's life, and maybe a bit for her own as well.

Seattle Book Review
In The Lost Girl of Astor Street, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail’s best friend, Lydia, goes missing. Piper is determined to find out what happened to her friend. Piper has a number of suspects; was it the chauffeur on whom Lydia had a crush? Or how about the creepy father of the little boy she was the nanny for? Could it have been Lydia’s own father who didn’t want the secret of her epilepsy to get out and ruin his practice? And let’s not forget that 1924 Chicago is run by the opposing mafias, Irish and Italian, whom Piper’s father represents as a criminal defense attorney. Was Lydia even the original target? Piper is going to solve this case and bring justice for her friend, no matter what the cost. (5 star review by Christina Boswell)

On the back cover of this book, one author says, “If Veronica Mars met the Roaring Twenties, you’d end up with The Lost Girl of Astor Street.” I cannot think of a more accurate description. Piper is very similar to Veronica Mars, who happens to be one of my favorites, so I very much enjoyed this book. Piper is easy to connect with as a young woman who can’t just sit around and do nothing while her best friend is missing, and she struggles to conform to society’s ideals. Ms. Morrill did a wonderful job of making great characters, of thoroughly researching the setting, and of still writing a worthwhile mystery. I personally loved that there was nothing inappropriate, no foul language, and no sex scenes. Just a good old-fashioned mystery that is a fun read. If you like Veronica Mars, you will enjoy this book, just like I did.

School Library Journal
12/01/2016
Gr 7 Up—Eighteen-year-old Piper Sail, daughter of a well-to-do 1920s Chicago mobster attorney, isn't an average society girl, like her best friend, Lydia, who is always the perfect lady. Piper is surprised and concerned when Lydia shares her plans to proclaim her love for her quiet and mysterious family chauffeur, Matthew, and she grows even more concerned after Lydia disappears. Consumed with grief over the loss of her best friend, Piper vows to solve the mystery of her disappearance, even if it means resorting to some unconventional and risky investigative methods. Piper has never been one to swoon over boys, but she nonetheless finds herself falling for Det. Mariano Cassano as she searches for clues. As Piper matures and begins to understand her father's profession, she questions her judgment and the character of the handsome detective because of his family's relationship to her father. This coming-of-age tale describes the struggles of a child growing up without a mother to reinforce the behavior so expected of women at the time. It's also the story of a young woman experiencing loss and first love and learning to accept circumstances and people for what and who they really are. Morrill successfully captures the dark side of 1920s Chicago and the mobster mentality. Strong supportive characters add depth to the novel, and the author keeps readers guessing on multiple fronts. VERDICT An enjoyable yet sobering mystery with a surprising twist for inquisitive readers.—Susan Harris, Ridgeway High School, TN
Kirkus Reviews
2016-11-23
A debutante eschews convention to investigate the suspicious disappearance of her best friend.With her bobbed hair and plucky attitude, Piper Sail pushes boundaries, but she isn't quite a flapper. Living in 1920s Chicago with her brother and father—a powerful and wealthy attorney—the white teen has enjoyed a life of privilege alongside her best friend, Lydia LeVine, also white and the daughter of an affluent doctor. Lydia suffers from devastating seizures, which her father dismisses until they occur publicly. When Lydia suddenly disappears, Piper, unable to quietly sit by with her hands folded, launches her own investigation. Soon the spirited ingénue finds herself entrenched in a dark web of secrets, speak-easies, and Mafiosi, and everyone—from Lydia's family to their hired help (including a black housekeeper with distressingly stereotyped speech patterns) to Lydia's employer—seems like a prime suspect. Aided by a handsome young detective, Piper plunges herself further into the case, going undercover in an effort to bring Lydia justice, which leads Piper to face some hard truths about her society life. After a somewhat slow and stiff start, readers will be rewarded for their patience as tensions grow and red herrings abound. Morrill has a keen eye for historical details and setting, making Jazz Age Chicago Piper's invisible yet omnipresent sidekick. Here's hoping this won't be the last case for this strong and admirable female sleuth to solve. A mostly well-crafted historical whodunit. (Historical mystery. 12-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310758389
Publisher:
Blink
Publication date:
02/07/2017
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
126,194
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Stephanie Morrill lives in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband and three kids. She is the author of The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series, Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Book, and the Ellie Sweet series. She enjoys encouraging and teaching teen writers on her blog, GoTeenWriters.com. To connect with Stephanie and read samples of her books, check out StephanieMorrill.com.

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The Lost Girl of Astor Street 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
CaptivatedRding 6 days ago
I don't normally read books that are labeled "mysteries". This tends to stem from me, generally, preferring to read things that are light and fluffy. Sometimes even predictable. I decided to give this one a go, though, because something about the synopsis spoke to me. The idea of a young woman who loses her best friend doing all she can to find that friend sounded incredibly interesting. I am so pleased that I decided to go outside of my box for this one! The main character, Piper, is incredibly charming and likable. She is by no means a perfect cookie-cutter character--which is half of her charm! For a story that takes place in the twenties, you'd expect a nice, quiet "lady-like" young woman. But, Piper, is a trailblazer and marches to the beat of her own drum. It's because of this that she decides to cast all opinions aside and help do what she can to find her best friend, Lydia, who has gone missing. Even the mystery aspect of this story appealed to me. I never felt bored or anxious to just get to the end. And, it was by no means predictable. I had a slight inkling about three-quarters of the way through who may be responsible for Lydia's disappearance. But, I was never sure until the end. Ms. Morrill did a wonderful job of keeping me intrigued until the last page. And the sprinkling of romance was just enough to complement the story and keep me happy. I'm not sure if this is going to be a series or not--it certainly could be. But, I would love to read more from Ms. Morrill!
Anonymous 13 days ago
Why I Choose this Book: I've been wanting to read this book ever since Stephanie first mentioned she was writing it in 2014. I was intrigued right away, and the book did not disappoint. What I Thought about this Book: It was a total surprise. I'm not sure what I expected, but Lost Girl blew my ideas out of the water and pretty much amazed me. I was sucked into the world, intrigued by Piper's point of view, and throughly enjoyed getting to know the characters better. And, on the subject of characters, let me talk about them for a bit... Piper - First of all, she has an incredible name, so cute. Second of all, I was pretty impressed with how very different she was from Stephanie's other main characters. Piper was unique, experienced growth, and although I couldn't always relate to her personally, I felt like I understood her. She was also very realistic, so yay! Lydia - Lydia is a rather uncommon name in books, so it was a little bit weird to be reading about one (since I share the name). I'll have to say, the plot twists with her were a total surprise to me. I liked her character, she was a good balance for Piper. It makes sense that the two of them would be best friends. Walter - Goodness! I was caught between wishing the plot would go somewhere that it didn't, and thinking YES! Finally, a book that gets it right! In the end, my happiness for the part Walter played in the story won out. I liked him a lot, and could relate to the relationship he had with the other characters quite well. There are obviously a lot more characters I could talk about, but those were my top three I felt like discussing. On to the plot.... It's a mystery. I knew that, but somehow I sorta forgot that when
grandmayidia 14 days ago
I absolutely loved this story from the first bit of research I saw Stefanie doing - she & historical fiction are as made for each other as peanut butter & chocolate. Plus, the roaring twenties. Need I say more? I will, even so. "Lost Girl" surprised me, even as much as I was anticipating it. I didn't see Piper coming, & I have scarcely been so pleasantly surprised. She is the protagonist I've been waiting for. The voice I want to pass along to every reader I come across. In the midst of the 1920s, as the flapper image is strong, as women are fighting for their rights, as fathers & mothers are trying their best to rein in their wayward daughters, Piper stands. She doesn't want to be what anyone expects her to be. She isn't a cookie-cutter potential little housewife, & she isn't quite a Zelda Fitzgerald, either. Piper is stubborn, fiercely loyal, & full of wit. Yet she doesn't hide her vulnerability. I resonated so deeply with her character. Her ups & downs. How she warred with herself at times, & how she got up again whenever she fell {with a little help}. I am so proud of Piper, & so very proud of Stephanie. This book is a must-read.
Ryebrynn 14 days ago
This book is action-packed. I read it in one day, which used to be normal for me but is now a bit of a rare occasion. First of all, this book takes place in the roaring 20s in Chicago. That alone has me intrigued. It features an girl who strains against the constraints of the expectations for woman at that time. While cliché, I didn’t mind it. As usual, Stephanie Morrill succeeded to draw me in with her excellent writing and enticing characters.This was Stephanie Morrill’s first attempt at historical fiction and mystery and I think she did wonderfully. The fast-paced plot kept me guessing until the very end. Each character was so complex and the world around them felt very real. I loved the exploration of the various mafias and the dark underbelly of a beloved American city. I think that, at least for me, mafias are rarely explored in YA and this definitely made the story stand out among the many books I’ve read. The romance in this was very sweet and very shippable. While it seemed strange that two of the major female characters both had two men keen on them, I am glad it didn’t turn into a full blown love triangle. This story was so twisty and every time I thought I knew how it would end Stephanie Morrill would throw a curveball my way. The relationships were all so complex, and you never really knew who to trust. Stephanie Morrill was born to write this kind of story and that showed in the complexity and originality of her story and her concise lyrical prose. She definitely knew what she was doing and I can’t wait to see what she does next. CONTENT GUIDE – Sexual – kissing, mentions of prostitutes, brothels, and affairs. Innuendos. Cussing – implied, once or twice (ex. he muttered an expletive) Violence – violence death, psychologically messed up person Drinking/drugs – some mild drinking
EmilyAnneK17 14 days ago
Piper and Lydia have been best friends for years—attending the same schools, living next door to each other, talking about their crushes, and sharing their secrets. But when Lydia disappears, Piper is determined to do whatever it takes to find her and bring her home safely. Piper has several suspects in mind, but that handsome detective doesn’t want her to help him search. Of course, when it concerns her best friend’s life, Piper isn’t willing to let anyone or anything stop her. It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA mystery, something about speculative fiction and romance being the top subdivisions in that genre. But The Lost Girl of Astor Street is one of the best. From the blossoming romance to the rich historical background, Stephanie Morrill’s newest book is truly fantastic. It kept me guessing the whole time, taking a number of unexpected turns. It dropped clues the entire time, but I could not decipher what they meant until the very end. The internal growth that Piper underwent throughout the story changed her from a girl to a woman, able to contemplate and understand the complexity of humanity much better. The setting, of Chicago in the 1920’s, was very well developed, adding enough detail to put the reader directly into the time period without losing them to the differing customs and jargon. Piper’s romance was very sweet, with all of the normal ups and downs, and the other relationships in the story, both romantic and non-romantic, were also portrayed will with great development. The story became a little slow in the middle, right after one of those dramatic plot twists. I wasn’t sure where the story would go from that point forward, but the author did a good job of pulling me back in with the new hints and unsolved mysteries. I recommend The Lost Girl of Astor Street to readers of YA, mystery, sweet romance, and historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are entirely my own.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Q: What do you get when you mix a strong female protagonist, the Roaring 20’s, and the Chicago mafia scene? A: The Lost Girl of Astor Street, a story that will immerse you in the world of Piper Sail as she tries to solve the mystery of what happened to her best friend. Hold onto your cloche – it’s a wild ride. The 1920s are fascinating. Flappers, jazz, speakeasies, and the likes of Al Capone all color this time period. And that’s where you’ll find Piper Sail, a tenacious eighteen-year-old determined to find answers to all of the secrets swirling around her. Stephanie Morrill brings Piper’s world to life through vivid description and a keen eye for historical detail. The story grabs you and won’t let go, but the setting of 1924 Chicago – both the glamorous and the gritty – is enough to keep you reading. Even the dialogue is reflective of the time period. The characters are unique and well-developed, and the plot will keep you guessing as you try to solve the mystery alongside Piper. Lost Girl gives readers a perfect blend of suspense, humor, and romance throughout the story, which is realistic yet doesn’t include any iffy language or content. I’m a big fan of all of Morrill’s books, but she outdoes herself with this one. It’s become one of my favorites, and I highly recommend it. I hope this isn’t the last we hear from Piper Sail!
Kai517 23 days ago
1924. Chicago, Illinois. Piper Sail is eighteen years old and still hates change. She hates her dad dating someone else though her mom died, she hates how mature her classmates seem compared to her, and she fights change with all of her heart. Okay, she fights a lot of things wholeheartedly, but that's beside the point. So when her best friend, Lydia LeVine, goes missing, Piper decides to start a little investigation of her own, with or without anyone's consent. Who would kidnap Lydia and why? Teaming up with handsome Italian detective Mariano Cassano, Piper digs for clues that will help her get to the bottom of the mystery, learning things about people that she never would've expected before, finding tiny things that work their way into the intense finale of this book, and even starts to fall for Mariano. This book is filled with humor and wit, somewhat dry at times, as well as romance, intrigue, and inspiration that leaves you asking questions. For the romantic at heart, or the person who feels the need to get to the bottom of everything, and the person who just wants to read a story about someone else who is going through the same struggles... this book is for everyone.
KrisAnderson_TAR 24 days ago
The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill is set in Chicago, Illinois in 1924. Piper Caroline Sail is eighteen years old and best friends with Lydia. Lydia has been having seizures (epilepsy), but her parents (especially her doctor father) have been telling her they are fainting spells. Piper has been forbidden from telling Lydia the truth (by Lydia’s parents). Late one afternoon Lydia stops by to tell Piper that her parents are sending her away to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Lydia does not wish to leave because she is in love with their chauffer, Matthew. Lydia takes leave of Piper and heads down the street to the Barrow’s. The next day Piper is approached outside Presley’s School for Girls by two detectives. Lydia never returned home the previous evening and has been reported missing. Piper is very worried about her best friend and will do whatever it takes to find her. Piper finds that she has been leading a sheltered life on Astor Street. With the help of Detective Mariano Cassano and Walter Thatcher (the housekeeper’s son and friend), Piper starts asking questions and following up on leads. Piper will not stop until she finds out what happened to Lydia even if it means risking her life. The Lost Girl of Astor Street is told from Piper’s point-of-view. Despite Piper being eighteen, she is immature (for 1924). The way the novel is written, Piper comes across as a young adolescent at times (and then a mature woman who is thinking about marriage the next). The Lost Girl of Astor Street might sound like an adult novel, but it is geared towards young adults (did not discover this until I was reading it). I found the book to be nicely written and have a good pace (nice flow). I liked the characters (for the most part) and the setting (great time period). It was interesting how the author tied in criminal elements (the gangs) of Chicago into the storyline. I give The Lost Girl of Astor Street 3.5 out of 5 stars. I appreciated the mystery in the novel. It comes across as complicated, but the solution is simple. Piper could be a bit tenacious at times (determined, pushy). Piper cannot seem to think about anything except her lost friend (and Detective Cassano after spending time with him). Piper’s crying got on my nerves after the third time. She is supposed to be this modern woman (who is determined and stands up for what she believes in), but then she breaks down in tears frequently. Piper was a very contradictory character. The Lost Girl of Astor Street could use some fine tuning (it has such potential). I think tweens/teens will enjoy The Lost Girl of Astor Street.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am proud to see that NOOK finally put more of Stephanie's works on. Keep it up!