The Yankee Club

The Yankee Club

4.0 29
by Michael Murphy
In Michael Murphy’s action-packed Prohibition-era novel of suspense, a mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.
In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt


In Michael Murphy’s action-packed Prohibition-era novel of suspense, a mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.
In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.
Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever.

Praise for The Yankee Club
“Glittering with a hint of Nick and Nora, Michael Murphy’s 1930s Manhattan provides a witty setting for murder and mayhem.”—Mary Daheim, bestselling author of The Alpine Yeoman

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Jake & Laura Mystery , #1
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Murphy is a full-time writer and part-time urban chicken rancher. He lives in Arizona with his wife of more than forty years and the four children they adopted this past year. He’s active in several local writers’ groups and conducts novel-writing workshops at bookstores and libraries. His next Jake & Laura mystery, All That Glitters, will be published by Alibi in January 2015.

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The Yankee Club 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
jayfwms More than 1 year ago
A great time in American history, the clubs of New York, a love lost, revenge-minded thugs, childhood friends, greedy bankers, and fascist conspirators: All the ingredients of a gut-wrenching and satisfying novel. Everything in this story could be a cliché, but it reads as fresh and interesting as a newspaper extra. Every character is a mix of good and evil, and readers may recognize themselves or their friends as the characters are so true to life. This is definitely a book to keep in your library for regular re-reading.
CathyJill More than 1 year ago
 It has been a long time since I have read a book in a single sitting, but I just couldn't put this one down.  The classic noir was just as cheesy as could be, but it worked and I loved it.    The way Murphy put the cigarette girl, the prostitute, and the starlet in the same place several times really took you to a place in New York when the class system began to fall apart.  Every character had a part and no part was unimportant.  With hints to organized crime, action happening at familiar land marks and events, as well as cameos of famous people during the 1930, I was safely transported to the speakeasy for the day.  I hope there are more Jake Donovan novels in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This review originally published in the blog, LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOOK. Yes!  A resounding &quot;Yes&quot; for everything about this delicious mystery! Michael Murphy's The Yankee Club is a classic, hard-boiled, noir, detective/mystery novel, set during the Prohibition years.  Jake Donovan is a cop-turned-detective-turned-mystery novelist.  Murphy's writing is crisp and strong and the reader senses that Donovan was a good cop and a good detective, but that his best days being active are behind him and that he's settled in to the writer role very comfortably. Returning to New York from his home in Florida (where he moved to finish work on his novel without interruption) to meet with his editor, Donovan meets up with his old partner, Mickie.  Mickie won't tell Donovan what case he's currently working on, but when Mickie is gunned down Donovan is on the case.  But what Donovan doesn't anticipate is that his former girlfriend, Laura Wilson, is also working on the case.  Jake hasn't gotten over Laura, and seeing her engaged to a truly obnoxious aristocrat (who orders Donovan to return to Florida and even buys the company that publishes his books in order to put pressure on Donovan) makes it difficult for him to work alongside her. Murphy really excels in building the story.  What starts out as a nice, almost provincial story slowly escalates until the conflict has national and even world-wide consequences.  You've seen me write it before...a story should have tremendous conflict to truly engage the reader.  I was truly impressed at how this story built and how we became involved in something so grand, without our realizing it until it was upon us. Murphy's characters are written so well that they seem to be real people, and not some stereotypical model.  Jake isn't superhuman - he's a guy with a strong background in police/detective work who's been out of the game a bit.  His ex-girlfriend, Laura, is a Broadway actress who manages to be down-to-earth and kind and seems to understand how fortunate she is for all she has achieved (okay ... so maybe this character is a little far-fetched!). But what puts the icing on this story are all the guest appearances of historical figures from a variety of backgrounds.   Lillian Hellman, Dashiel Hammett, Franklin Roosevelt, Ethel Merman, and, in one of my favorite scenes, Cole Porter (coming up with the lyrics for &quot;Anything Goes&quot;). I get a sense that there may have been a book/story before this (or is it just strong writing to suggest the characters' pasts?) and that there might be future stories.  That would be great.  But if not, this totally works as a one-shot mystery novel. If you are not traditionally a mystery fan, I think you will like this.  If you <em>are</em> a fan of mysteries, you will love this book. Looking for a good book?  <em>The Yankee Club</em> by Michael Murphy is a hard-boiled historical romp that is inspired genius, peppered with great characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is highly recommended! It's worth every $$$ and your time. It has a lot of climax, great stoyline, many intersting twists and while also very funny. I 120% recommend it. Its a great book for collection. This is 100% worthwhile, and I encourage everyone to buy the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like "period pieces" and you are a mystery fan,you will love this! Reading this book brought back memories of listening to mysteries on my grandmother's radio during the evenings in the fifties. As it was then, I was able to let my imagination go wild with the author's narration and the dialogue between the characters!
papajdogg More than 1 year ago
Well paced and colorful characters. I like the noir mixed with action/mystery and this writer certainly filled the bill. I'll be checking out this author's other contributions and would recommend this book as an excellent starting point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved the real and fictional characters and the great way they made the story seem so real. they brought the feel of this era come to life. like i was actually there = a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. Have been a fan of the show from the beginning & I think the author did a good job with the characters. This is the 1st SPN novel I read & I chose it for its connection to EAP. All in all it was decent. Not spectacular, but if you are a fan of the show you will dig it.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Marissa Book provided by NetGalley for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book This was an intriguing story considering the time period &ndash; nine years before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the onset of World War II. Set during the Great Depression, you wouldn&rsquo;t know it by this story. There&rsquo;s money flowing and while there&rsquo;s talk of ending prohibition, the booze is still hidden in speakeasies. I have mixed feelings about the characters. Jake seems pretty straight forward &ndash; a former private detective visiting his old stomping grounds. But I think he&rsquo;s a little too smooth for this character, a little too refined. I would have preferred him to have more of an edge, his personality more &lsquo;hard boiled&rsquo;, as they say. I pretty much knew Laura was covering some secret when she first showed up in Mickey&rsquo;s office, supposedly packing up some of Jake&rsquo;s dead partner&rsquo;s belongings. I saw through her right away, even though I didn&rsquo;t figure out the angle until further along in the book. For her, I would have preferred that her secret was better kept, that I was kept guessing until much later. One thing I truly liked was the use of the period slang such as doll and dish and swell. It made me feel as if I were watching an old movie. Considering the time period, I thought the book would have more a Noir feeling to it and it disappointed on that level. However, the storyline was good and kept me interested. Now for the one thing I truly did not like (and don&rsquo;t like in any book) &ndash; the incorporation of real life people into a fictional story. It&rsquo;s one thing to mention a president or to have a famous baseball play autograph something, but to have fictional characters inspire true ideas &ndash; the lyrics for &lsquo;Anything Goes&rsquo; by Cole Porter and main idea behind &lsquo;The Childrens Hour&rsquo; by Lillian Hellman &ndash; is just going too far. I think the worst was throwing a football with a young John Kennedy and later thinking &lsquo;Maybe I&rsquo;d met a future president.&rsquo; Overall, The Yankee Club is a good mystery. How do the Greenwoody&rsquo;s fit into the assassination attempt in Florida? How do the Nazis fit in to the mystery of the shooting of Jake&rsquo;s old partner? And just who fired the gun that injured Jake and killed Mickey? Favorite Quote: &lsquo;I&rsquo;m as clean as a new bar of soap.&rsquo;
PegGlover More than 1 year ago
It&rsquo;s 1933 and a national catastrophe is about to go down in Queens, NY.  A famous mystery writer, Jake Donovan, who was traveling from Florida to seek inspiration for his new novel, suddenly found himself in the midst of a real-time murder mystery. Within 24 hours of his arrival in Queens, Jake had taken a bullet in the leg, witnessed the murder of his ex-detective partner, Mickey O&rsquo;Brien and learned that the love of his life, Laura Wilson, was engaged to be married to another man. Jake&rsquo;s detective instincts told him that Mickey was on the verge of exposing someone or something of great importance. His ex-partner fought with his dying breath to whisper the words &ldquo;The key&rdquo; to him. What key? And why did he find Laura Wilson snooping around Mickey&rsquo;s office when he opened the door? She wasn&rsquo;t exactly forthcoming with information or small talk when she saw him. But for Laura to pull a gun on him? Well, that was just plain bizarre. Okay, he got it, she was still mad at him. He had taken off two years ago when she refused his marriage proposal. He had to. He needed to distance himself from her to gain perspective and start a new life. She&rsquo;d hurt him badly. So he threw his heart and soul into a new career and became a well-known writer.  When did Laura start carrying a gun? And what kind of danger could she possibly have gotten herself into? Jake decided though, ex-girlfriend or not, he was going to make it his business to find out. And while he was investigating who was after Laura, he would avenge Mickey&rsquo;s murder at the same time. His gut was telling him that whatever the two of them were mixed up in, they were tangled in it together. If Laura needed saving, then Jake wanted to be the one to do it; especially if it meant saving her from her damn rich fianc&eacute;e&rsquo;. The Yankee Club is a compelling mystery, meticulously crafted, and filled with humor and witty dialogue. I found the characters realistic and the plot intriguing. Although The Yankee Club does not leave its readers dangling with a cliffhanger, it does leave them anxiously waiting for the next book. Michael Murphy is a talented writer, who became one of my favorite authors after I read his magnificent debut book, Goodbye Emily. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Yankee Club and I&rsquo;m looking forward for book two in the Jake and Laura Mystery Series.
shaynexb More than 1 year ago
Woo-wee, I loves me some noir. And this is noir done RIGHT. It has all the fixin's: extremely likable protagonist who routinely gets brutalized, beautiful dames with secrets to hide, a case that unfolds in layers, and some swell Prohibition name-dropping. Add to that a slightly modern flavor of the author not shying away from four-letter words when they're needed.  Part of me hopes this is the beginning of a series, but most of me is satisfied to let this wonderful novel end with its appropriate last line.
PJFaur More than 1 year ago
If you love the detective movies of the 1930s and '40s (nobody did them better than Warner Bros!), if you love Dashiell Hammett characters like Sam Spade and Nick and Nora Charles, then you'll love The Yankee Club. (Dashiell and his long-time lover, playwright Lillian Hellman, both make an appearance in the book, but more on that in a minute.) The book is billed as a Jake and Laura mystery. It's the first in a series following the adventures and love affair of Jake Donovan, detective turned mystery writer, and Laura Wilson, Jake's childhood sweetheart who has become a leading lady on Broadway. Jake and Laura are reunited after a two-year separation caused by Jake's fleeing to Florida after Laura once again turned down his marriage proposal. He's back in the Big Apple to meet with his publisher. His first stop is to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy in Queens owned by another childhood pal, Gino Santoro. He enjoys some liquid refreshment with Gino then takes a walk to see his old detective-agency partner, Mickey O'Brien. While in Mickey's office, Jake learns that Laura has gotten herself engaged to big-time banker and financier Spencer Dalrymple (of the Long Island Dalrymples). Mickey is cagey with Jake about the case he's working on, but it doesn't take long for Jake to learn the stakes are high. They leave Mickey's office to get some fresh air. While they're walking, a gunman in a black sedan kills Mickey and shoots Jake in the leg. Jake vows to avenge Mickey's death and soon finds himself back in the detective business. It doesn't take him long to uncover a conspiracy by some of the nation's most powerful businessmen to sabotage the administration of the newly elected Franklin Roosevelt, champion of the working class. The novel is a tale well told. One thing that makes it really fun is the assortment of famous characters who make their way to the Yankee Club or into Jake's life - Cole Porter (who gets some help with his writer's block); Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman (whose play, The Children's Hour, gets the extra oomph it needs from Jake); and the great Yankee himself, Babe Ruth, who gets a bit surly with Jake and company. The Yankee Club is a fun read from start to finish. I'm looking forward to the next Jake and Laura mystery, All That Glitters, due out early next year. Thanks for a great read, Michael.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. A little mystery, a little romance, guest appearances by Babe Ruth, Cole Porter, a young JFK and others made for a very interesting read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not as "deep" as most books I read but pretty good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He steps in quietly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its all good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read.
CathiNYC More than 1 year ago
In Michael Murphy&rsquo;s new novel, THE YANKEE CLUB, a noir thriller set in 1933, Prohibition is almost over and the country is struggling through the depression when Jake Donovan returns to New York. A former Pinkerton detective, and now a famous author, he&rsquo;s come home to win back the woman he left behind, Laura Wilson, after she refused his proposal of marriage. But not so fast and not so easy. Laura, a Broadway star, is now engaged to, a millionaire banker involved in a nefarious plot to overthrow the government. Plus, Jake&rsquo;s old partner, Mickey has been murdered and it seems part of the conspiracy. Getting together with his buddies at their old hangout, The Yankee Club, a speakeasy in Queens, Jake decides to find Mickey&rsquo;s killer and is shot and kidnapped for his trouble. Besides great storytelling, what I enjoyed most about this mystery is how Murphy mixes his characters with real people from that era. As Jack investigates, he not only pals around with Dashiell Hammet and Lillian Hellman, but also helps them overcome writers block and work out the plot of a new play, in that order. He runs into Babe Ruth who&rsquo;s out on the town, and doesn&rsquo;t just hang around with Cole Porter, he&rsquo;s in on the creation of his new musical. In this story, virtually anything goes. And, as the plot thickens, we meet Joe Kennedy newly appointed head of the SEC, as Jake tries to save the country from a terrible fate. To me, it was a treat to rub up against these famous people I didn&rsquo;t expect to encounter and see them in situations I wouldn&rsquo;t have imagined.
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