During Prohibition in 1920s Galveston, the Island was called the "Free State of Galveston" due to its lax laws and laissez faire attitude toward gambling, girls and bootlegging. Young society reporter Jasmine (Jazz) Cross longs to cover hard news, but she's stuck between two clashing cultures: the world of gossip and glamour vs. gangsters and gamblers.
After Downtown Gang leader Johnny Jack Nounes is released from jail, all hell breaks loose: Prohibition Agent James Burton’s life is threatened and he must go into hiding for his own safety. But when he’s framed for murder, he and Jazz must work together to prove his innocence. Johnny Jack blames Jasmine’s half-brother Sammy Cook, owner of the Oasis speakeasy, for his arrest and forces him to work overtime in a variety of dangerous mob jobs as punishment.
When a bookie is murdered, Jazz looks for clues linking the two murders and delves deeper into the underworld of gambling: poker games, slot machines and horse-racing. Meanwhile, Jazz tries to keep both Burton and her brother safe, and alive, while they face off against a common enemy.
About the Author
Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer whose articles and essays have been published in several national magazines including: FAMILY CIRCLE, MODERN BRIDE, GLAMOUR, BIOGRAPHY, COSMOPOLITAN, COUNTRY ACCENTS, PLAYGIRL, etc. Several of her short stories have appeared in WOMAN'S WORLD. A flapper at heart, she’s the owner of DECODAME, specializing in Deco to retro vintage items. Formerly she's worked as a magazine editor, and in advertising and public relations. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism. During college, she once worked as a cocktail waitress, a short-lived experience. FLAPPERS, FLASKS AND FOUL PLAY is her first novel, followed by the sequel, BATHING BEAUTIES, BOOZE AND BULLETS, now available. "When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper's life in Galveston during Prohibition."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This series just gets better and better. The heroine, Jazz, is feisty, fearless, full of moxie, and is a hoot. Journalism is the right profession for her—she’s a nosy Nellie! But always with good intentions, and she's a great sleuth. Jazz and the gutsy, principled Prohibition agent James Burton got closer in this third book in the series, and a little romance adds a spark to the mystery. I enjoyed the sideline with Jazz’s Aunt Eva and Sheriff Sanders too. Ellen Mansoor Collier does such a good job of putting the reader in the 1920s with her attention to detail. I can picture the story as if I’m watching an old black & white movie. So much fun! Jazz is pulled in two directions with the tension between her brother Sammy and Agent Burton, and the reader is pulling for both of them. There's plenty of action with the mobsters, a lot glamorous fashion, a bit of romance, and of course a mystery. I’d recommend starting with the first book in this series and reading in sequence. Each book can be a stand alone, but you get more out of them if you read them in order. This series is great fun, and I’m looking forward to book four!
Jasmine (or Jazz for short) is motivated to figure out who was behind the murder of a bar owner, not only to prove her chops as a serious reporter, but because of concerns for her half-brother, Sammy, and her new squeeze, Prohibition Agent Burton. That her budding romance is with someone who works the opposite side of the law from her brother complicates things. This was a fun story, made more so by the setting (I could picture at least a few of the Galveston landmarks in my mind) and the Jazz era slang. I found the slang amusing and easy to understand, but if you get hung up on it a section at the back will help you out. Perusing that list after finishing the book I was surprised to discover that, as anyone who’s spent time in Minnesota’s Twin Cities or watched the Mighty Duck movies would think, a Cake-eater isn’t always someone from Edina (a Minneapolis suburb). **Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns: A Jazz Age Mystery #3 4 STARS This is a wild time during Prohibition when the mobs are gaining power. A lot of policeman were on the take because they liked the money or did not believe in Prohibition. Their were two main gangs who were fighting for power on Galveston Island, TX. In some ways I agree with Prohibition and other ways I don't. I personally don't drink, for religion reasons also my family has a history of abusing it. The characters I like. They seem real to me. I never knew who to trust and who you could not trust. Jasmine (Jazz) Cross is a young society reporter who wants to do hard news. She is also a half-sister to Sammy Cook, a owner of a speakeasy. She is dating Prohibition Agent James Burton. She is torn between the two sides. Sammy Cook owns Oasis. He tries to stay on both mobs good side. He does not want it known that Jazz is his half sister. They only found out the last couple of years. Downtown Gang leader Johnny Jack Nounes is causing him to run dangerous errands for him. James Burton is the only fed on Galveston Island. The police resent him. Someone wants to kill him. He is also framed for murder. Jazz tries to help Burton and Sammy. Only a few people know why she is always concerned about her friend Sammy. How she always can get into his club the Oasis. Jazz really wants Burton to ask her to the policeman ball. Lots of drama, choosing sides, action, and romance as they try to figure out who is trying to kill Burton and frame him for murder. Which cops he can count on. Who killed other bar owner. Why are their betting chips found at all the crime scenes. It holds your attention. I did not realize how many people had lost their lives on Galveston during the hurricane in the 1900's. I have read two of the three books of the series now and like them both. I was given Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns so I could read and give them honest review and be part of its blog tour. All opinions are mine.