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Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play by Ellen…

Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play

by Ellen Mansoor Collier

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233694,017 (4.17)1
Before Las Vegas, Galveston, Texas was called the "Sin City of the Southwest." Real-life rival gangs fight over booze and bars during Prohibition in this soft-boiled Jazz Age mystery, inspired by actual events. Jasmine Cross, a 21-year-old society reporter, feels caught between two clashing cultures: the seedy speakeasy underworld and the snooty social circles she covers in the Galveston Gazette. After a big-shot banker with a hidden past collapses at the Oasis-a speakeasy secretly owned by her black-sheep half-brother, Sammy Cook-Jazz suspects foul play. Was it an accident or a mob hit? Soon handsome young Prohibition Agent James Burton raids the Oasis, threatening to shut it down if Sammy doesn't cooperate. Suspicious, he pursues Jazz, hoping for information and more, but despite her mixed feelings she refuses to rat on Sammy. As turf wars escalate between the Downtown and Beach gangs, Sammy is accused of murder. To find the killer, Jazz must risk her life and career, exposing the dark side of Galveston's glittering society.… (more)

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It took me a few chapters to like some of the characters, but by the end of the book I really did like them. It was during prohibition and the times were wild. I learned some new things and was shocked by some events are government did.

Jasmine Cross is 21 year old society reporter who goes hangs out it a speakeasy. She is familiar with most of the workers there.
She wants to be a real reporter but no one takes her seriously. She is around a few crime scenes first so she starts to dig in. The speakeasy is owned by her black-sheep half-brother Sammy Cook. Which is a secret.

Prohibition Agent James Burton raids Oasis a few times. He looks like a creep at first. He is interested in getting to know Jasmine. He also wants to know she is at the Oasis a lot and so interested in what happens to Sammy.

Sammy Cook owns the Oasis. A speakeasy. He is arrested for murder that happened right in front of the Oasis. He does not want it known that Jasmine is his half-sister to protect her.

The setting is Galveston, Texas during prohibition. There are two gangs that are trying to claim territory. Someone is passing bad moonshine around that is causing deaths.

This is the first book in the series and the first part of story has a slow set up letting us learn about the characters and what the time was like. After that the story moves along at a good pace. Full of drama, action, crime and letting us see what that time period was like.

I was given this ebook to read for purpose of reviewing it and give my honest opinion of the story. ( )
  rhonda1111 | Jul 19, 2014 |
Now and then, I like a cozy mystery: no gore, a bit of drama, a big personality in our heroine, and a plot that doesn't require much but is still fun. Collier's new series, set in 1927 Galveston, Texas, hit the spot for me, and is a fluffy, entertaining bit of summertime escapism.

Jazz Cross, 21-years old, a flapper, and society reporter for the Galveston Gazette, has aspirations of being a 'real' reporter. Her male colleagues think she's just a pretty face, good only for making coffee and reporting on the Garden Club.

When she witnesses the death of a local banker at the Oasis, she decides to investigate it, and unsurprisingly, things are hardly straightforward. The Oasis is owned by Jazz's half brother Sammy, an illegitimate son of her father's who is unwelcome in her family but for whom she has some affection and loyalty, and she wants to ensure Sammy doesn't get any blame. A Treasury Department agent takes a keen interest in the Oasis -- and Jazz -- which complicates things.

Galveston in the 1920s is seedy and rough (it was nicknamed Sin City of the Southwest!) and Collier conveys that gritty roughness from the start, balanced out by our brazen, spunky heroine. There are some wonderful historical details peppered throughout the story as well as a heavy dose of 1920s slang, which was refreshing -- I didn't feel like I was reading a modern story simply set back in the Prohibition. There's a brief preface at the start in which Collier details a little about Galveston at this time and shares links to two slang dictionaries to help readers.

Collier's writing is straight-forward, moving the story along briskly, but with a kind of bounce that matches Jazz's terrier-like determination. (You can read an excerpt of the first chapter at Collier's website.)

This was just the light read I needed this last month, with my brain like a sieve and my energy low -- Jazz was a sweet and fierce heroine to tag along with and I'm looking forward to her next adventure. ( )
1 vote unabridgedchick | Jul 2, 2013 |
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