This week I read Enigma of Lake Falls: 1949 The Year Spies Invaded by Brittany E. Brinegar. This book is a mystery book that takes place in a small town in Texas called Lake Falls. A small town where everyone knows everyone and nothing bad happens.
Sawyer Finn has recently graduated from Yale with his family believing he is going to go to law school, but instead is heading home to start his own PI business. Jenny has recently graduated from Harvard and is heading to Lake Falls to see the area where her mom grew up. Although Jenny is sweet and smart she has dark secrets that she is trying to run away from.
Jenny buys herself into Sawyer’s PI business and helps him get a nicer office, and helps him solve some crimes. Not long after opening they get some insight on the possibility that Russian spies are in Lake Falls and they must get to the bottom of the mystery.
I can’t give more of the plot away without giving up some information that spoils some of the book so I am going to just jump right into the review!
The first thing that really stood out to me is that all the family members in Sawyer Finn’s family are named after characters in books or authors. I thought this was so cool and just a fun little detail to put in.
The biggest thing for me was Jenny as a character. She is so strong and independent. When people say she can’t do something because she is a girl she shows them that not only can she do it but that she can do it better than all the other guys there. She isn’t afraid to call people out, and to put her two cents in. There is also another character that is like that which is Mr. Waley’s daughter, Peggy Jo, who Jenny becomes friends with. Peggy Jo is known for her temper, and for doing whatever she wants no matter who tells her not to.
This book has such strong female characters and it is amazing to see especially since this book does take place in 1949.
Speaking of Mr. Waley: he owns most of Lake Falls and is the big man in town, but yet Jenny confronts him constantly and is constantly beating him at his own games like golf and poker. Even though Jenny is going against him Mr. Waley loves her for that, it makes him laugh. Mr. Waley plays an important part during this whole book and we see Jenny’s relationship play out with him in many different ways.
Although Sawyer is very iffy about taking bigger cases at the PI office at first he starts to follow Jenny’s daring leads and he ends up getting really into the business and becoming daring himself. The reader is able to Sawyer grow as a person and PI throughout the whole book. Some of the things he actually does I was so surprised that Sawyer was the one that did them and so is everyone else in the town. It was so cool to see him grow throughout the book.
This book is full of so many plot twists that just when you think you figured out the mystery something else is thrown in, making you reconsider everything you thought before. I truly loved that aspect of not knowing what was going to be thrown at you. There were little details that I really loved. For instance, the notes Jenny takes during the first few meetings in the office are so witty and funny. I will post one down here:
Also, the fact that towards the end the reader is cheering for either Jenny or Sawyer and not both of them even though they are working the same case is pretty fun.
Since there are so many plot twists it can get pretty hard to remember every little detail. Towards the end though there is a recap in order to jog the reader’s memory of everything that happened. It is done in the manner of a conversation (I cannot say who it is between) but it really helps the reader piece everything together with the characters. Lastly, the ending is sooooo cool and I can’t wait to read the next book!
If you like reading mystery books that keep you guessing this book is definitely for you. Also, if you loved Nancy Drew books growing up you will definitely love this book since it gives Nancy Drew vibes, but the adult version. I highly recommend this book.