The category of books that lived up to my expectations is very broad, but I picked Strings Attached by Judy Blundell because it had so much with which it had to compare. The author's previous book, What I Saw and How I Lied, is a National Book Award winner as well as one of my personal favorites, and her second historical fiction novel is just as good.
When Kit Corrigan arrives in New York City, she doesn't have much. She's fled from her family in Providence, Rhode Island, and she's broken off her tempestuous relationship with a boy named Billy, who's enlisted in the army.Strings Attached is a beautifully written mystery filled with just the right amount of drama. Complete with characters who are practically tangible and an atmospheric setting that makes me want to live in New York City, circa 1950, this book is as perfect as it is possible for a novel to be. Don't look at any reviews, and don't check its average rating on Goodreads. Just go read it.
The city doesn't exactly welcome her with open arms. She gets a bit part as a chorus girl in a Broadway show, but she knows that's not going to last very long. She needs help--and then it comes, from an unexpected source.
Nate Benedict is Billy's father. He's also a lawyer involved in the mob. He makes Kit a deal--he'll give her an apartment and introduce her to a new crowd. All she has to do is keep him informed about Billy . . . and maybe do him a favor every now and then.