In 1926 Nellie Coker, mother of six who owns several night clubs in London, has just been let out of prison. Meanwhile, Inspector John Frobisher is looking for a reason to send Nellie back to prison while also hunting down missing girls, discovering several drowned young women and taking care of his French wife who is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. He distrusts most of the policemen he works with, so he employs Gwendolen Kelling, and ex librarian from York, to dig up dirt on the Coker family. The results are a sometimes fun, sometimes dark romp through post war London.
I usually enjoy Kate Atkinson. She has a knack of being lighthearted yet serious at the same time-not easy to do. There’s a lot going on in Shrines of Gaiety, and it may be confusing at first, but if you’re an Atkinson fan, stick with it.