Why did I set my mystery series in the Roaring Twenties? Simple—no other decade offers more chaos and crime than the 1920s. This was the era when prohibition laws turned ordinary citizens into criminals and brought about organized crime, skyrocketing violence, and the corruption of police departments, courts, and government throughout America. A perfect setting for a crime writer!
The star of my mystery series is Jessie, a savvy young vaudeville performer who occasionally finds herself on the wrong side of the law. MURDER IN DISGUISE, the fourth in my Roaring Twenties series, begins in the fall of 1925 when a projectionist is gunned down in the theatre booth. The killer flees to the balcony and vanishes. His widow, who works at the movie studio with Jessie, asks her to investigate. Her vaudeville skills and connections help her succeed where the police fail.
I can’t help packing my stories with details that bring the Twenties to life and highlight the progress society has made in the hundred years since. And no one is more surprised than I to find my own views about certain current controversies changing because of my immersion in this era. For example, a deeper understanding of the disastrous failure of liquor prohibition has flipped me from anti- to pro-legalisation of marijuana, and my greater awareness of criminal behaviour has sent me to jail—literally—where I teach a writing class to inmates.
Praise for Renting Silence
“A little sparkle, a hint of sex, some wily Prohibition-era shenanigans, and one smart cookie in the lead make this a great read that’s similar to Renee Patrick’s Design for Dying” Booklist
“All the details of her journey not only advance the story but are fascinating in themselves” Publishers Weekly
“With a well-developed and surprising plot twist, an appealing, resourceful amateur detective, and fascinating period details, this entertaining historical will delight fans of Old Hollywood and those who like the 1920s-set mysteries of Suzanne Arruda and George Baxt” Library Journal
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