HALL OF SECRETS
Campbell puts a decidedly American twist on the “Downton Abbey”-inspired oeuvre, setting her second Benedict Hall family drama in Seattle during the Jazz Age. The tempestuous era is as much a character as the people, since Campbell emphasizes the social issues and upheaval through the views of the wealthy and their servants. The quick pace and inter- esting details only add to the allure. Readers will be eager for the next installment.
Allison Benedict is tossed out of boarding school and sent to cousins in Seattle, but she walks into a family in crisis. Her aunt Edith is mourning her son’s death and is too fragile to monitor Allison. Allison sneaks out at night, pushing the boundaries with bobbed hair, short skirts and smoking. As a doctor and women’s rights advocate, her cousin Margot teaches patients about birth control. Allison’s arrest during a speakeasy raid pushes her uncle to do whatever he must to keep the family name out of the papers. But an old enemy awaits the chance to destroy the Benedicts and is ready to use Allison’s and Margot’s “indiscretions” to do so. (KENSINGTON, Feb., 480 pp., $15.00)