Book Buzz: The Address

I had to hide from my family for a little while.

But now that I’ve finished reading The Address I can finally resume my regularly scheduled life. Thank you, family, for indulging me and leaving me alone with this wondrous new novel written by Fiona Davis.

Book Buzz: The Address

Take a captivating morsel of New York City history, stir in the epic splendor of the famed Manhattan residence the Dakota, add a heaping teaspoon of intrigue, top it off with a juicy murder mystery and you’ve got the most satisfying literary meal: The Address.

The Address

The name Dakota may be familiar to you. Not only is it famous for its contribution as one of New York’s most interesting architectural designs and esteemed landmarks, it has also been home to celebrities, artists and the glitterati of Manhattan society. It was home to Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Gilda Radner, Roberta Flack and so many other familiar names from the entertainment industry, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Sadly, it was in front of the Dakota that Lennon was murdered in 1980.

Years ago I read a fascinating book by Stephen Birmingham, Life at the Dakota: New York’s Most Unusual Address, which apparently was also an inspiration to author Davis in creating her novel. Weaving in familiar names, dates and events from the past, she presents two storylines; one taking place in 1985 and the other in 1885.

Alternating mostly by chapter, The Address connects a scandalous event from the past to the descendants of one of the (fictional) architects of the Dakota in the present.

Because I adore historical fiction, especially of this time period, I was intrigued with the description of New York City at the time the Dakota was built, how the Upper West Side where the Dakota is located was pretty much a wasteland, and the first tenants were pioneers of sorts, taking a chance on living in this urban frontier.

In the 1800s segment of The Address, Sara Smyth, a competent young hotel employee from England, is hired as the first manageress of the Dakota and arrives to find utter chaos as the building is still under construction. She organizes a large staff and generally becomes responsible for a successful opening. Under her watchful eye, the operation runs smoothly and she is highly respected.

But her own life begins to unravel when she gets swept up in a romance that never should have happened. She is ultimately sent away and incarcerated for a manufactured reason. When she is released and attempts to return to the life she knew, things are not the same.

Meanwhile, fast forward to 1985 when designer Bailey Camden is hired by her cousin Melinda, heir to the Dakota fortune, to help with renovations to the building. While searching in the basement of the Dakota, Bailey unearths several fascinating artifacts connected to the scandal of 100 years ago and initiates some detective work on her own.

And that’s all I will tell you because I won’t reveal spoilers. Suffice it to say I was engrossed in this novel from the get go and the last 50 pages kept me glued to my reading perch.

My family will attest to that.


One of my lucky readers will receive a copy of The Address. Please leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly selected. US addresses only, please.


I received a copy of The Address from Dutton for an honest review,
which is the only kind of review I write.

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51 Thoughts on “Book Buzz: The Address

  1. Helene, have you read Jack Finney’s “Time and Again”? It’s also set at the Dakota. It’s a NY historical novel that involves time travel. Great review, I’m adding this one to my list. xo

  2. Sounds like a storyline I would like. Almost finished with a similar style book about a wealthy NewYork family in “The Heirs.” Have you read it?

  3. Great review, Helene, I’m adding this to my list. Have you read Jack Finney’s “Time and Again”? It’s also set in the Dakota. It’s a great historical/time travel story.

  4. Sounds great! Mystery, historical, NYC, I am so in!!

  5. Is it greedy to suggest I have to win this? I love historical fiction, too.

  6. Jennifer on August 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm said:

    I enjoyed your review of The Address! This is one I’ve really been looking forard to because I enjoyed The Doll House so much. I’m glad your family treated you to some alone time to read it!

  7. Thanks for the wonderful book review. Sounds like my kind of book!

  8. My boys love learning about history. It has inspired me to read more.

  9. I totally want to read this! My aunt used to live near The Dakota and I’ve always been fascinated by it.

  10. Sound wonderful. I’ll have to read this one too.

  11. Oh, you really got me now! I will read it as soon as I finish the Remembering me book.

  12. This sounds like a book, I would love to read. Your book review was amazing.

  13. I love reading but I havent read a book for quite some time. This sounds like a a great one to get me back into it!

  14. I love historical reads. I’ll will be adding this to my long list of books to read!

  15. Oh wow, I would love to read this book! As a NYer, I never really paid much attention to that building until Lennon’s death. I will have to do some research on it as I’m pulled in!

  16. Sounds like a great story – and I love the added bonus of a bit of history thrown into the mix. I’m in Australia so can’t enter the competition unfortunately!

  17. Ooooh this sounds like such a good book!! I recently went to New York with my boyfriend and we went to where Lennon was shot, so I think this book would be a really interesting read!

  18. The Address sounds like a great piece of historical fiction! I think this book would be a really interesting read.

  19. Thanks for the suggestion. I love reading reviews of what fellow bloggers are reading. Sounds like this is a book that I would enjoy reading during some down time this summer.

  20. Sounds like another good read! I’m just finishing a book right now but once this one is done I have nothing!! Will add this to my list to read

  21. This is one of many books sitting on my night table! I am now moving it to the top of the pile. You totally sold me!

  22. By just looking at the cover of this book I knew it is a great book. It catches my attention your reviews really convince me to find this asap.

  23. I love a good mystery, so this book would be perfect for me. I found it interesting so many other celebs lived in the Dakota besides John Lennon.

  24. This sounds like a great read! Adding this to my reading list!

  25. Sounds like a good book to read. I would love to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Sounds like a really interesting book and great read. Adding it to the ever-growing list!

  27. Heather on August 9, 2017 at 12:13 pm said:

    It does sound like you won’t be able to put it down with all the scandal and romance. I love history, even historical fiction. Sounds like this would be a great choice for me too.

  28. 100% want to read. I’m on the Boys on the Boat right now and it’s so good. I have another one after that and then maybe The Address. So excited

  29. Sounds like an amazing book! I have been making time for more reading lately, and am making a list of books to read, so this is going on my list!

  30. I love it when history and mystery come together. The Address sounds like the perfect combination and I would love to give this a read. Thanks for the recommendation!

  31. It’s been way too long since I got lost in a book! I used to be able to spend hours just reading.

  32. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. I really do need to set some time aside to read. I used to do it all the time.

  33. This is a great book review. I will check this out to add to my books to read.

  34. This is perfect since I am looking for a good book to read. I love the mystery! Thanks for sharing!

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