Review – Velvet Was The Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I love Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s fantasy and historical fantasies so why shouldn’t I like her historical noirs? Did I tell you I don’t like historical fiction… yeah I don’t. This book though… hmm.

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you.

Velvet was the Night

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

1970s Mexico City: while student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite seeks escape from her humdrum life in the stories of passion and danger filling the latest issue of Secret Romance.  

She is deeply envious of her neighbour, a beautiful art student apparently living the life of excitement and intrigue Maite craves – so when Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman, journeying deep into Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents.

‘Cements Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s incredible versatility as an amazing writer who moves between genres effortlessly. A lush, magnificent trip into a world of danger and discovery. Not to be missed!’ S.A. COSBY, author of BLACKTOP WASTELAND

But someone else is also looking for Leonora, at the behest of his boss, a shadowy figure who commands goon squads dedicated to squashing political activists. Elvis is an eccentric criminal who longs to escape his own life: he loathes violence and loves old movies and rock ‘n’ roll. Watching Maite from a distance, he comes to see her as a kindred spirit who shares his love of music and the unspoken loneliness of his heart.

As Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the truth behind Leonora’s disappearance, they can no longer escape the dangers threatening to consume their lives, with hitmen, government agents and Russian spies all aiming to find or protect Leonora’s secrets – at gunpoint.

Velvet Was the Night: an edgy, passionate, simmering noir thriller from a writer at the very top of her game.

  • Mexico in the 70s
  • unlikeable MC but likeable narration

Historical noir is not something I normally pick up. I tend to be very hesitant in reading. historical fiction in general. But I love the author and her writing so I tried this and I have no regrets.

The story was so intriguing. I did not swallow it but the last 3rd made it difficult to put down.

There is not much worldbuilding needed. It’s obvious from the synopsis and the start of the book that it’s set in Mexico. I didn’t need a town or any more detail than which country so I had everything I needed early on. It did take longer for me to understand the time. There were a few popular culture references at the beginning that made it feel younger and I had to do some research. However, it became obvious within the first 3 chapters which era we’re in. This was the 70s both in fashion and music and historical references.


Maite was the first character and honestly, I didn’t like her very much but I loved her storyline. She is stuck in her life, in her job, in her love life. She doesn’t get treated very nicely by her family but she constantly lies and steels so I didn’t like her. She was an unlikable MC but not unlikeable enough for me to dislike the story. I preferred her narrative to Elvis I think.

Elvis was one for the bad boys but with some more refined taste. I liked him as a person more because he wasn’t meant to be good but had this good trait. While Maite is supposed to be good but has the bad trait lol.


Well written as expected. The slow burn for these two narratives to meet was great and even the open ending didn’t feel so open and I loved that.

It was a surprisingly enjoyable historical fiction, a genre I normally don’t like. Maybe the noir part was what made it?

Have you read this? What did you think?

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