There is a certain hour, in the dead of night, when the orchid’s scent can put you under a spell…
Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Blue, returns with a tantalizing novel about one woman caught up in a secret nightclub that one can only reach through a certain florist on a cobblestone street.
New York City, 1923. Zia De Luca’s life is about to be shattered. Having lost her husband to The Great War, she lives with her son and in-laws in Little Italy and works at the public library. But when a quiet poetry lover is murdered outside the library, the police investigation focuses on Zia. After a second tragedy strikes even closer to home, Zia learns that both crimes are connected to a new speakeasy in Greenwich Village called The Orchid Hour.
When the police investigation stalls, Zia decides to find her own answers. A cousin with whom she has a special bond serves as a guide to the shadow realm of the Orchid Hour, a world filled with enticements Zia has shunned up to now. She must contend with a group of players determined to find wealth and power in New York on their own terms. In this heady atmosphere, Zia begins to wonder if she too could rewrite her life’s rules. As she’s pulled in deeper and deeper, will Zia be able to bring the killers to justice before they learn her secret?
For a paperback in the U.K., order from Murder at the Bookshop.
Praise for The Orchid Hour
“Bilyeau brilliantly evokes the intoxicating grit and glamour of Jazz Age Manhattan and layers a smooth blend of suspense and romance on top. Historical mystery fans will find this irresistible.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Featured in Town and Country‘s “Must-Read Books of Summer 2023”
“With a heroine you can’t help rooting for, a fascinating cast of characters, and a tense, high-stakes mystery at its heart, this is a book you can’t stop reading.”
—Olivia Hawker, bestselling author of One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow
“Nancy Bilyeau draws you effortlessly into a layered story, rich in historical detail, with a strong, intelligent, determined heroine at its center. I loved Zia from page one.”
—Barbara Claypole White, author of The Perfect Son
“The structure of the story races you through it at breakneck speed. It is a hard book to put down and all the time there are so many threads binding the story together that the story is like an orchid and its roots.”
—Griff Hosker, author of Hastings, Flodden, and Lord Edward’s Archer series
“Nancy Bilyeau has created a beautifully layered and utterly seductive tale of a young woman’s emotional awakening and search for justice, set against the dangerous criminal world of the 1920s New York City underground. The past comes thrillingly alive as Bilyeau lifts the veil on immigrant communities, speakeasies, gangsters, corruption at the highest levels of city government, and, at its living, tender heart, a strong-willed and magnetic heroine.”
—Emilya Naymark, author of Behind the Lie, finalist for the 2023 Sue Grafton Award