I had wanted to read this for some time...and that was just because of the beautiful cover, to be honest! But then I was pleasantly surprised by the story that weaved together historical fiction, mystery, some romance, a little bit of women's lib in a YA book that read really smoothly, and with a nice dose of humor.
I loved the little peek at how forensic evidence was beginning to be used to solve crimes at that time, and enjoyed how Connelly showed the stark contrast between the wealthy and poor.
I found myself connecting to the character of Jo, who was just burning to seek out a life of 'something more' and related to her sense of entrapment, and her struggle. I expect many young girls reading this book will relate to it, even though Jo was in another place and time. There were a few 'too convenient' plot points, but overall, I enjoyed the entire storyline which was quite good in keeping the reader guessing throughout. Connelly also weaved a rich tapestry of the time period to keep your brain imagining details like what people were wearing, the filth (!), and throw in an insane asylum, and you get bonus points from me. Overall, a really fun read.