Turns out, Anna’s life isn’t the only one filled with danger, suspicion, and intrigue. Cynthia Gaylord, Anna’s best friend, wealthy socialite, wife of a New York aristocrat, and niece to the head of the Rothstein family (Family with the big “F”), is not a complete stranger to the dark, seedy, and illegal… though she prefers to (mostly) stay out of it. But when someone crashes her glitzy going-away party for Anna with a murder and blame is cast on someone she cares for, Cynthia is determined to find out what really happened before it’s too late.
And she does… kinda. In terms of being a good mystery, this one is interesting but plays out rather quickly. And more than that it does just that… plays out. Oh, Cynthia’s determined to find out what’s happened, but she never gets much of a chance to investigate. Events just keep unfolding and she just tumbles right along with them as they happen. It’s interesting, just not very complex.
So, it was a so-so mystery. What I really enjoyed about this novel was getting Cynthia’s perspective. She’s just a trip. She’s a bit pampered, rich, comes across as a little shallow, a little immature, and a little catty — all things that could make her so instantly annoying or unlikable, and yet she doesn’t seem to take herself too seriously and she’s extremely loyal to the people she loves. Although, when it comes to Anna, I will say that I think she’s more than a little in love with Anna’s status as an illusionsist/psychic, and the status this in turn gives her. But even so, it’s obvious, she also genuinely cares for Anna. It’s also interesting to get her perception of Anna, since the two friends could not be more opposite.
I also love the setting and time of these books, and I think that Brown does a fantastic job portraying this time period through her writing. The glitz, the glamour, the seediness, the thriving criminal underworld, the danger, the extreme extravagance and desperate frenzied energy of the Roaring Twenties. It’s just such a fascinating time period as the world is exponentially modernizing and changing while steadily moving toward the brink of economic collapse, and Brown captures the tone and the time well.
Overall, I love when novellas take on a different POV from the novellas, allowing me to see everything in a brand new way, and Born of Corruption does just that. It’s not a necessary addition to this series, but it’s great character building, reinforces the world Brown has built, and provides a great little segue into Born of Deception.