'During Prohibition in 1920's Galveston, the Island was called the "Free State of Galveston" due to its lax laws and laissez faire attitude towards 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 glamor 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.'
As a blogger who reviews books, I get a ton of request from authors and publishers and the like to read and review many novels. Most of the time they don't appeal to me or don't really fit into what I like to read and review. So the rare and the few that actually make it to my reading list, usually are heavily scrutinized and weighed against the likelihood of my actually reading and enjoying a book. I am a very picky reader. I tend to jump all over the place and read different genres from time to time and sometimes I end up sticking to a genre for a while. About a year ago, I was approached by an independent author, Ellen Mansoor Collier, for such a request. Typically, I do not read independently published books, but I thought why not give this author a chance. The synopsis she sent to me seem intriguing enough and she was kind enough to offer me the two books she had written in her series. And so a beautiful reading experience became reality.
I was approached again recently by Collier to read her newest addition to her Jazz Age Mystery series and of course, I jumped at the chance. I really enjoyed her two previous novels in this series and knew that I would be missing out if I passed up this chance. Having read this novel, I cannot praise it enough. I hope that many of the readers reading this post will think outside the box and pick up this author immediately. She is a phenomenal writer who has a knack for making the reader connect on a different level with her characters. The plot line always keeps me on my toes and I anxiously await the next page, the next chapter and the conclusion. Ellen Mansoor Collier has definitely opened this readers eyes to the publishing world and how little credit independent published authors actually get. This series should be at the top of the charts and should be hyped as if backed by a major publisher. I feel that it is their lost for passing such a talented and emerging voice in the historical mystery genre.
Jazz Cross is a character that I can reasonably relate to. She is curious, yet has a dear and nurturing heart. She loves to protect her own, but it is hard when the gangsters and corruption rule the streets. She is constantly worried about the safety of her beau, Federal Prohibition Agent, James Burton, and her speakeasy owning brother, Sammy Cook. Both of these characters always seem to find themselves in a pinch and of course, Jazz uses her smarts and her wit to save the day. Please do me a favor and check out this author today as she writes mysteries that a rare and phenomenal treat that simply are too good to miss out on. Cannot wait to see what this author comes up with next.
Overall Rating: 5+
Title: Gold-Diggers, Gamblers and Guns
Author: Ellen Mansoor Collier
Series: A Jazz Age Mystery #3
Publisher: DecoDame Press
Publication Date: May 18, 2014
Genre: Historical Mystery
Get It: Amazon;
Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the author, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.