New Mystery by Edgar-Nominated Author
In 1921, young jazz pianist Eve Riser witnesses the accidental killing of a bootlegger. To cover up the crime, she agrees to deliver a letter to a man named Rudy Hardy in Chicago. But when Eve gets to Chicago she discovers that her stepsister Chickie, a popular nightclub singer, is pregnant by a man she won’t name. That night Rudy Hardy is killed before Eve’s eyes in a brutal drive-by shooting, and Chickie disappears.
Eve needs to find Chickie, but she can’t do it alone. Lena Hardy, Rudy’s sister, wants to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder, but she needs Eve’s connections to do that. Together Eve and Lena navigate the back alleys and speakeasies of 1920s Chicago encountering petty thugs, charismatic bandleaders, and a mysterious nightclub owner called the Walnut who seems to be the key to it all. As they fight racial barriers trying to discover the truth, Eve and Lena unravel a twisted tale of secret shipments and gangster rivalry. SUGARLAND mixes the excitement of a new kind of music—jazz—with the darker side of Prohibition in a gripping story with “real suspense for anyone who likes a good mystery.” (Kirkus Reviews)
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.66(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Martha Conway is one of those authors who brings us delicious slices of history served up with an optimistic wideview of our march through time. Each of her novels is unique, each carries with it the angst of our past with an outlook more positive that not. Sugarland is 1920's Chicago, the leading edge of the spread of jazz and the unique way of music to bridge the gap of isolationism and segregation. Prohibition set the stage for this revolution of music, joining together a whole class of folks with nothing more in common than a need for the beat, the jazz and blues and hip hop that warms the soul from the inside out. Eve and Lena are step-sisters with a deep love and respect for one another, and with talents unique to their place in the musical revolution that began in the speakeasies of the midwest as southern poor made their way to northern cities, bringing with them the evolution of music that was born in the south but needed Chicago to mature. If you love music, read this book. If you only read one book this year, make it be this one.
Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite Eve Louise Riser comes from a family of musicians; she is a gifted pianist who plays with Jimmy Blakeley and His Stoptime Syncopaters. She wrote and published a few songs under the pen name E.R. King. On the other side of her life, it seems like Eve was always around trouble. Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery by Martha Conway, set in the 1920s in Illinois, is about speakeasies, hooch, jazz and murder. Eve was making out with tenor sax player, Gavin Johnson, in the Entertainers boxcar in Hoxie, Illinois when they encountered trouble. Trouble that led to Eve witnessing Gavin killing a man and telling her to flee to Chicago to deliver a letter and some money to Rudy Hardy. When Eve arrives in Chicago, she looks up her sister, Eulalie ‘Chickie’ Riser, who is also a singer and pregnant. Eve begins to learn a lot about the underground world of nightclubs, liquor, and corn sugar when one day she witnesses another killing, that of Rudy Hardy - then she discovers that her sister, Chickie, has disappeared. Why? She and Lena, Rudy’s sister, set out to discover the mystery of what these two events have in common. Just like the TV series The Untouchables, Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery by Martha Conway puts you in mind of what happens behind the scenes in the bootlegging, '20s and jazz era. It is during those times that you hear of names like Victor ‘The Walnut’ Rausch. The Walnut is co-owner of the Oaks Club with Nathan Cobb, but this club is merely a front for a more shady operation. If this era interests you, then Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery by Martha Conway is the book for you.
Sugarland takes you right inside the beat of the Jazz Age in Chicago and sweeps you along with its heartbreaking blues and fast-changing rhythms. It’s winter 1921, the wounds of World War I are still raw and Prohibition is a year old. Jazz brings together Eve and Chickie and Lena – and in this remarkable book, their riffs and songs are so vividly written you’ll swear you can hear them. But when they become caught up in a series of murders among their set of musicians, club managers, and bootleggers, they find themselves faced with a very different kind of fight for survival.