Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery, Review on August 18, 2014




“The Great Gatsby” meets “Boardwalk Empire” in this soft-boiled Jazz Age mystery, inspired by actual events. Real-life rival gangs fight over booze and bars during Prohibition in 1920s Galveston, Texas—the “Sin City of the Southwest.”

Jasmine Cross, a 21-year-old society reporter, feels caught between two clashing cultures: the seedy speakeasy underworld and the snooty social circles she covers in the Galveston Gazette. After a big-shot banker with a hidden past collapses at the Oasis—as speakeasy secretly owned by her black-sheep half-brother, Sammy Cook—Jazz suspects foul play. Was it an accident or a mob hit?

Soon handsome young Prohibition Agent James Burton raids the Oasis, threatening to shut it down if Sammy doesn’t cooperate. Suspicious, he pursues Jazz, hoping for information (and some romance), but she refuses to rat on Sammy.

As turf wars escalate between the Downtown and Beach gangs, Sammy is accused of murder. To find the killer, Jazz must risk her life and career, exposing the dark side of Galveston’s glittering society. Now available in a revised trade paperback version with a glossary of 1920s slang.


The roaring 20’s in Galveston Texas…who knew that there were gangs in the town controlling the liquor despite prohibition? Jazz (Jasmine) is a society reporter trying to get in on the big news action but it is hard to do as a woman. Nathan is the hotshot photographer and Jazz’s pal. Then there is Burton, the hunky Federal Agent trying to shut down the illegal liquor that is killing people.

The story has several murders that tie in quite a few characters but it is easy to keep them straight. There wasn’t a real big “reveal” with “whodoneit” but it left the story open for the next installment in this series.   I thought that the story was well researched and I felt like I was back in time during the 20’s while reading this book with the language/slang of that time and setting the scene  with what they were wearing or what Jazz was shopping for in the way of accessories.

We give this 4 paws up and I’m in the middle of reading book 2 in this series, so look for a post on that next week!


About the Author

ellen collierEllen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles, essays and short stories have been published in a variety of national magazines. During college summers, she worked as a reporter (intern) for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she’s worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine, and was active in WICI (Women in Communications), acting as president her senior year.

Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets, released in May 2013. Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns is the last novel in her Jazz Age Mystery series, published in May, 2014. She lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.