Book Reviews

Book Review: The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill

May 17, 2017

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Back cover:


Lydia has vanished.


Lydia, who’s never broken any rules, except falling in love with the wrong boy. Lydia, who’s been Piper’s best friend since they were children. Lydia, who never even said goodbye.


Convinced the police are looking in all the wrong places, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail begins her own investigation in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. With the reluctant help of a handsome young detective, Piper goes searching for answers in the dark underbelly of 1924 Chicago, determined to find Lydia at any cost.


When Piper discovers those answers might stem from the corruption strangling the city—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of truth.


From the glitzy homes of the elite to the mob-run streets of 1920s Chicago, Stephanie Morrill’s Jazz-Age mystery shows just how far a girl will go to save her friend.



Naomi’s Review:


The Lost Girl of Astor Street tells the story of girl trying to fit in… but also to be herself. This book tells the story of how sometimes those things don’t line up, and how that can be okay anyway. Piper Sail is a relatable and real character readers can relate too.


When Piper’s best friend goes missing she does the only thing she can do—go looking for her. Piper is full of bravery and spunk but inside she still struggles with fear and doubt and loneliness.


Morrill takes us on an adventure with constant surprises where you never know what will happen next! Whenever I read or watch a mystery I always try to figure out ‘whodunit,’ but I couldn’t figure it out for this book. Even so, at the end, when it all came together, it wasn’t confusing at all.


The Lost Girl of Astor Street is set in the 1920s and Morrill brilliantly shows that throughout the story. There is no big history info dump full of boring facts, but presents the setting naturally as if it only made sense that this book was set in that time frame.


Honestly, when the book came out I kept hearing about how it really wasn’t for younger audiences. That had me slightly concerned because I’ve read her other books and, while I did really enjoy them, they didn’t have anything that would have scared me at a younger age. I was a little nervous that this book wouldn’t be as good, that it was darker and not what I wanted or expected from Stephanie Morrill.


Really, though, it was very good! Now that I’ve read it I get what they were saying. This book does deal with ‘big’ criminals, gangsters, and heavier subjects that some younger readers might not want to read or something that they don’t need to be exposed too.


Morrill writes a colorful cast of characters in a beautiful yet realistic story stained with organized crime. I would definitely recommend this book to other avid bookworms!





Naomi Downing – Column: Book Reviews

Naomi Downing is a music obsessed bookworm with a passion for writing. When not doing anything book related, you can find her experimenting with crocheting, or drawing calligraphy. She is a Book Promotions Intern at Birch House Press, writes monthly columns at, and blogs somewhat sporadically at




  1. Sofia Marie

    June 8, 2017 at 12:42 pm Reply

    Naomi, I just finished “The Lost Girl of Astor Street.” I loved it too! Piper’s struggle with being herself and fitting in definitely brought a vulnerable side to the novel. Here’s my review of the book:

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