Author: Jocelyn Green
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: On Central Park #1
Release Date: March 14, 2023
Publisher: Bethany House
For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she'd accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.
The first is her repentant father's offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York's wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.
With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut's tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York's high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger's identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Rich historical detail is a hallmark of Jocelyn Green’s writing, as is obvious impeccable research into the subjects of her books. When I read her books, I know I will gain much knowledge and enjoy a satisfying and well-written story. The Metropolitan Affair fits all of these parameters.
I fully enjoyed learning more about Egyptology and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An underlying premise of uncovering art forgeries and fraud added another layer to the tale. Realistic, vividly-drawn, and multi-layered characters populate this book, and I found it easy to visualize them.
Egyptology expert Dr. Lauren Westlake and Detective Joe Caravello are reunited in New York City in 1925 when Joe is investigating art forgeries and needs Lauren’s expertise. As they work together, they find themselves entangled deeper into the deception and crime.
This story hits just the right combination of intrigue, suspense, and romance and includes elements of inspiration and faith. Grief, loss, longing for family, and, ultimately, hope are underlying themes and add depth to the tale. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy outstanding historical fiction.
“Joy isn’t just in the quest of a far-off land. It’s in the coming home. It’s in being here, with the people who love you, not just for the big, exciting moments but for the small ones, too.”
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Amy Smelser
The year is 1925, and the city is New York, during Prohibition and Egyptian mania. Crime is rampant, and forgeries are on the rise. Detective Joe Caravello is looking into this crime scene and wants answers. Especially after his ex-partner and best friend for years ended up in jail and told him to let a certain investigation go. Not to look into it any further. But why and what is he hiding?
Dr. Lauren Westlake has a very prestigious job. She is the assistant curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Egyptian department. At that time, everything was Egypt. Very wealthy people were determined to expand and get exquisite pieces for their private collections. They have paid some high prices, but not all of their art is real. Someone is a very good forger, but not good enough for Lauren to see the small differences as she assists Joe in his case.
Family secrets, corruption, and a rekindling of a friendship to something more propel this story into a riveting read as we enter the wealthy and elite homes and their collections. Also, Egyptology has always fascinated me, so I was pleasantly surprised with how Author Green pulled this story and all its moving parts together.
I received a copy of this novel from Bethany House through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review, and all views and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"Sometimes people felt what they feared. And sometimes they saw what they wanted to see."
This is my favorite Jocelyn Green book to date! I absolutely adored being in 1925 New York City and seeing the city through the eyes of history. The plot was complex and engaging, with a rousing mystery regarding forgeries and stolen guns, corruption, and bribery during the era of Prohibition.
There was a sweet, slow-burn romance between Joe and Lauren, who shared history, a thirst for justice, and a love for art. A strong faith thread highlighting the all-encompassing love of our Heavenly Father surrounded the characters as themes of acceptance and finding home were explored. Historical details like the emergence of Egyptology as science and art and the structuring of the Egyptian artifacts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art were absolutely fascinating. I will have a whole new appreciation and perspective the next time I visit the MET.
Although Joe and Lauren seem worlds apart as an NYPD detective and Ph.D. in Egyptology, they were truly a perfect couple. Their hearts, purpose, and worlds melded so seamlessly that it was hard to believe they'd been apart for over a decade and a half. Joe's integrity, love for family, loyalty, and devotion made him a fantastic hero. Lauren's intelligence, bravery, and compassion made her an excellent counterpart to Joe. There are some surprises along the way as Joe and Lauren chase down Egyptian forgeries, and you won't be able to put down the book when the intrigue picks up speed.
It's a wonderful combination of history, mystery, suspense, faith, and romance.
I received the book from Bethany House via Interviews and Reviews. I was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Kristina Hall
The Metropolitan Affair is the third book I’ve read by Jocelyn Green, and it’s definitely my favorite.
I enjoyed getting to know Joe and Lauren and found them both to be sympathetic, well-developed characters. Joe’s and Lauren’s professions were each interesting in their own right, and I liked how they intersected due to the plot. I wasn’t aware people in the 1920s were so fascinated by Egypt. This brings me to the research ... it was obvious (and impressive) how much research Jocelyn Green did while writing this book. But while everything was well researched, I wasn’t subjected to historical info dumps that would take away from the plot and slow my reading.
The plot contained lots of twists and turns I didn’t see coming and kept me flipping pages. I did think this book could’ve been a little bit shorter, but that’s a personal gripe. Long books and I have a bit of an interesting relationship.
I appreciated the themes of family, second chances, and God’s love. I’m also glad Jocelyn Green kept the romance sweet and clean. I look forward to continuing the series when the next book is released!
Overall, I enjoyed reading The Metropolitan Affair and would recommend it to those who love Christian fiction and historical novels with a touch of romance.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. My opinions are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this following the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Reviewer: Juanita Varela
I loved this book. I am not really into the whole Egypt stuff, but Jocelyn Green makes it easy to read. It was very interesting and entertaining. It is detailed but not to where it is boring or loses your attention.
I am a sucker for a second-chance romance. I liked the chemistry between Lauren and Joe. Honestly, rooting for them since they met.
I liked that Joe was not made to be dumb. Normally, the main characters are very slow to find out who it is or add up the clues we know are there. I really liked that about Joe.
I also liked Lauren’s character. This was like a hallmark mystery movie. Where the main character is dragged in or volunteers as a consultant.
I liked how Jocelyn Green combined the story with the history and the romance.
This book is clean of any sex or foul language.
I requested and received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Carolyn Bryant
This book kicks off the On Central Park series in a big way. It showcases Ms. Green’s amazing storytelling ability and masterful research skills.
Rich historical details about Egyptology and Prohibition, evidencing extensive research, serve to educate and entertain the reader. The scenes featuring how to detect counterfeit artifacts are fascinating. Real historical people and places are expertly and effectively integrated into the fictional story.
The intriguing, mystery-filled plot drew me in with the first line. It kept me reading expectantly for the entirety of the book. Through vividly detailed descriptions, I was immersed in the beautifully drawn Roaring 20s New York City setting.
The characters, especially Lauren and Joe, are well-crafted and compelling, with realistic, relatable struggles. The second chance romance is heartwarming. I appreciate the inspiring faith lessons with themes of redemption and God’s love for us.
I totally enjoyed this wonderful story and highly recommend it as a must-read for fans of mystery, romance, and history. I look forward to the next book in the series.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews for my honest review.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Author Jocelyn Green transports readers to the roaring '20s in The Metropolitan Affair.
With a character-driven plot filled with mystery and romance, the author has created a world that transports readers to the days of speakeasies, prohibition and Egyptomania. Her research shows as Dr. Lauren Westlake painstakingly takes Detective Joe Caravello (and the reader) on discovering a fake artifact from the real deal. I found this fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed this mystery of tracking down the art forger.
With a bit of romance and themes of redemption, this book will surprise you more than once. In one chapter, I'd think, "Oh, so that's the culprit!" Only to have that theory fall flat in the next. This book will definitely keep you guessing!
If you like historical fiction with a great mystery, you will love The Metropolitan Affair.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest review.
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