The Last Note of Warning

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (The Nightingale Mysteries, Bk. 3). Jun. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781250325792. $29. M
The tension builds in Schellman’s third Nightingale mystery set during Prohibition (following The Last Drop of Hemlock). Vivian Kelly delivers packages for a dressmaker during the day and spends her nights serving drinks and dancing at the Nightingale, an illegal speakeasy. She never thought she’d be arrested during her day job. While waiting in the home of a client, Vivian idly chats with the client’s husband. He is called away for a meeting, but, when Vivian leaves to deliver other dresses, she stumbles across the man’s body in his study. Of course, as the stranger in the household, the delivery person no one knows, she is arrested. Vivian calls a connection and gets released from jail, but she’s given one week to find the killer, or she’ll be arrested for murder. When her boss at the Nightingale says she can’t help, Vivian turns to others: a bootlegger, her best friend, and a woman who runs a criminal enterprise. As the days count down, Vivian is desperate to find anything the police will accept as proof that she is innocent.
VERDICT The characters and plot come alive in this atmospheric historical mystery. For readers who enjoy a well-told Jazz Age mystery featuring working-class and queer characters.
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