MYSTERY

The Fate of a Flapper

Griffin: St. Martin’s. (Speakeasy, Bk. 2). Jul. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781250190857. pap. $17.99. M
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Gina Ricci isn’t just a cigarette girl at the Chicago speakeasy the Third Door, she’s a caretaker to her father, an amateur photographer, and a sometime sleuth, accompanying her police officer cousin Nancy on cases. It’s 1929, and Prohibition is in full swing, but at the Third Door, the cocktails are flowing. Gina watches as two young women, Fruma and Adelaide, stumble into the street with two new gentlemen friends. The next time she sees Fruma is when Nancy asks her to photograph a dead body. Gina has more questions than answers. Is the Third Door a front for organized crime? Meanwhile, bombs are being set off randomly throughout Chicago, and when she and love interest Roark, a former cop, get caught in the middle of a bombing she’s convinced the murder of Fruma is at the center of it all.
VERDICT Written with wit and an understanding of the tensions during one of the most volatile times in history, Calkins’s second “Speakeasy” story (after Murder Knocks Twice) will give readers insight into the world of Prohibition and what the human spirit is capable of in desperate times.

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