How Nancy Drew Saved My Life by Lauren Baratz-Logsted is not the first Red Dress Ink ("chick lit") book I've read with a Jewish heroine; in fact, the heroine, Charlotte Bell, is the least "Jewish" Jewish heroine I've read from this Harlequin imprint! (Other examples would be Matzo Ball Heiress and You Have to Kiss a Lot of Frogs, the heroines of which are much more in tune with their Jewish heritage than Charlotte.)
The synopsis: Charlotte, a former child actress in a famous line of commercials, accepts a nanny position with the ambassador to Iceland, partly to escape her aunt's household, and partly to escape her previous ambassador boss, with whom she had a failed relationship.
I don't think you can get much more "fish out of water" than a short, brunette, Jewish woman in Iceland, where nearly everyone is tall and blond and Protestant.
Of course, with Nancy Drew in the title, you have to know that there is a mystery to solve. Because it's a Harlequin, there is a romance. Because it's chick lit, there are good friends at a bar, and a strange boss, and a failed romance to complain about.
If you are a fan of either Nancy Drew or Jane Eyre, this is definitely the book for you. So many allusions to both! If not, I still think you'd enjoy this book. It's one of the better Red Dress Ink books I've ever read, and I've read quite a few.
In terms of Jewish literature, perhaps that label only loosely applies to this book. Regardless, I am glad I read it and offer it as the first book I've completed in the challenge.
author's website: http://www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com/