Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play (Jazz Age Mysteries #1)My rating: Mystery
by Ellen Mansoor Collier
Source: Publisher (direct)
Jasmine Cross is a young journalist in 1920s Galveston, hoping to make a name for herself as a reporter, although the sexist attitudes of her colleagues threaten to consign her to working on fluffy pieces for the society pages. So when she accidentally finds herself mixed up in a gangland murder - and pursued by a charming federal Prohibition agent - she's delighted to suddenly have the opportunity to get involved in a real story. Aided by the paper's photographer (and her good friend) Nathan, Jazz must uncover the truth if she's going to get her half-brother released from jail.
Jazz is an excellent heroine; she's far from a natural at handling dead bodies, but in the interests of her fledgling career she's willing to force herself to face up to the criminal underworld. She's also fiercely loyal to her friends, and unwilling to compromise on her personal ethics.
I loved the colourful Prohibition-era backdrop, with its booze-running gangs and dodgy officials. It took me a little while to get the hang of the 20s slang, but that's more about me than the book (it was usually obvious what words meant from context). An easy, enjoyable read that introduced a fascinating world.