Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: Vamps, Villians and Vaudeville by: Ellen Mansoor Collier

Title: Vamps, Villians, and Vaudeville
Authors: Ellen Mansoor Collier
Publisher: Deco Dame Press
Series: A Jazz Age Mystery #4
Pages: 252
Format: e-book ARC
Source: Great Escapes Book Tours


In 1920s Galveston, society reporter Jazz Cross is in for a surprise when she attends a traveling vaudeville show with her beau, Prohibition Agent James Burton, and discovers that an old flame acts in the production. That night, they find a stabbing victim behind the Oasis - her half-brother Sammy's speakeasy - who's identified as an actor in the troupe. When the victim disappears and later turns up dead, Jazz must help prove that Sammy wasn't the killer. After a second vaudeville actor is found murdered, Jazz discovers that the events behind the scenes are much more interesting than the outdated acts onstage. 

To make matters worse, Sammy's old nemesis demands that he settles a score and forces him into yet another illegal scheme involving the troupe's money-making ventures. Can Jazz help solve the murders and prove her brother's innocence-so he can escape the Downtown Gang for good? A historical Jazz Age mystery inspired by real-life Galveston gangs and local landmarks.

My Thoughts: 

This is the fourth book in the Jazz Age Mystery this book follows Jazz as she is still reporting for the Gazette.  In this book a vaudeville show is appearing in Galveston.  Jazz thinks that one of the performers sees her.  Who is he and what does he want with her?  After the vaudeville show Jazz gets called to the Oasis as Dino and the other guys have found something and need her assistance with Sammy stuck in Houston.  Jazz takes along her beau Prohibition Agent James Burton with her.  When they arrive Dino takes the out the speakeasy to the alley where they find a man face down, bleeding from being stabbed.   Burton and Jazz escort the man to the hospital for help but it seems the hospital can't even keep track of the man without loosing him.  Who was this John Doe and what did he do to get stabbed? Make matters worse the John Doe winds up dead and again in back  of Jazz's brother Sammy's speakeasy!  Who killed this guy and why? 

Seems the coppers are hot on the trail of a fall guy they are adamant committed the crime Jazz's ex-beau Derek whose the understudy for the victim.  Jazz is determined to find the real murderer before she winds up bumped off.  While that is going on Sammy is still trying to get out from under The Downtown Gang's hold on the Oasis and Sammy himself.  Will Sammy ever be able to escape them?  Then there is the Prohibition which is all but dead, even Agent Burton doesn't believe in it and it's his job.  What will happen when Prohibition is over for Agent Burton?

I love this series and going back to the Jazz era and Prohibition.  So interesting to learn about what these people are going through and the deals they make to survive.  Just such a different world then the one we are in now, even with their mobsters it seemed simpler in a way.  I love how Jazz doesn't back down even when she is dealing with tough situations, and her incredible loyalty.  She's loyal to her friends, her family, the men in her life, even loyal as a journalist.  

If you haven't read the jazz age mysteries you are so missing out on so much.  I have been reading these since the beginning and will read them until the last word is written and then go back and re-read them when I need to go back to Galveston Texas.  Where the excitement is around every turn!  Thank you so much to Ms. Collier for loving the jazz age and Galveston, and giving us this series.  Keeping Jazz, Sammy and everyone around for us to follow.  Can't wait to see what she writes next!  Definitely a must have!! a Rafflecopter giveaway
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1 shout outs:

Ellen C. said...

Thanks, Paula for the great review--you're the bee's knees! E

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