"A horrible disaster was looming on my horizon, so to speak, but from the very moment I met Odalie I was rendered utterly powerless to do anything other than watch it hurtle toward me. But, of course, if I am to tell it all in order, as I keep promising to do, there are other things I must tell first."
This little paragraph comes about 1/3 of the way through The Other Typist, and it pretty much sums up the narrative structure of the book. Lots of foreshadowing, lots of foreboding.
Rose Baker is a typist for a New York City police precinct in the 1920s, a rare job available for women of the time. She's kind of prissy and buttoned-up, until a new typist, Odalie, is added to the staff. Odalie is everything Rose isn't: glamorous, daring, willing to bob her hair, good with men. So when she takes Rose under her wing, it's as if Rose has been given a new lease on life. Until...
I dunno, guys, this one just didn't quite do it for me. Part of the problem was the first-person narration, which is so heavy-handed on the foreshadowing, as in the paragraph up top. It got distracting after a while, and frankly, by the time the mystery is resolved, I no longer cared that much. Partly because I figured it out much earlier, due to said heavy-handed foreshadowing.
There were things I liked: the Gatsby-esque life among the wealthy and the details of being a typist in a police department of the day. But as Rose drones on and on, promising all kind of titillating details of her undoing, I just got more and more impatient.
Take that for what it's worth. I'm in a minority on this one, I know.