Atmosphere can make or break a novel.

Unfortunately, many authors under-appreciate its value and therefore under-use it.

"The Darkness Knows, by Cheryl HonigfordCheryl Honigford is not one of those authors.

Her debut novel, “The Darkness Knows” (Aug. 2, 2016, Sourcebooks Landmark), is a masterful display in the use of atmosphere to add depth to a novel and help to propel the plot forward.

I adored this mostly cozy mystery set in the 1930s radio scene.

The main character, Vivian Witchell, is an up-and-coming radio star who literally stumbles across the body of a prominent radio actress in the radio’s lounge.

When it appears as though Vivian might be the next victim, she teams up with private detective Charlie Haverman to figure out what really is going on.

I loved the characters of both Vivian and Charlie, and thought they were very well developed and interesting characters.

The mystery was clever and had just enough red herrings in it to keep me guessing.

“The Darkness Knows” is the first in a new series and I can’t wait for the second novel to be released.

However, it’s not scheduled to be released until October 2017, so I have a while to wait.

I gave “The Darkness Knows” four out of five stars.

About the author

Born and raised in Ohio, Cheryl Honigford has been writing stories since she could read (and telling stories even before that). She received her bachelor of arts degree in journalism, with a minor in English, from Ohio State University.

“The Darkness Knows” began life as a Nanowrimo novel, inspired by Honigford’s love of mysteries, Chicago and old-time radio (and all things ’30s).

It was a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest and the overall winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense (Unpublished Category).

Honigford lives with her family in the suburbs of Chicago, where she enjoys what her husband likes to call “the interests of an 80-year-old woman” — knitting, canning, cozy mysteries, and Fred and Ginger movies. “The Darkness Knows” is the first book in the Viv and Charlie Mystery series.

I was provided a free copy of this book. However, all opinions are my own.