This may seem a little familiar, but since I am participating in a blog tour to promote Sugarland I am posting again. This is a book that I do not mind posting about in duplicates. I enjoy books that take place in the wondrous Jazz Age. I find myself taken in by the music clubs and the bold girls. This book is no exception. Martha Conway gave us a world full of genuine atmospheres of the age and time. I think she did an excellent job of giving us a peek into the world of racism at this time in history. She serves all of this with a side of murder and mystery.
I received this for free for an honest review from Netgalley.
Eve Riser, a jazz pianist on the circuit, is present when a man is accidentally killed. In conspiracy with the man she was with, Eve is sent to Chicago with money and a letter to help cover up the crime. She joins up with her pregnant stepsister, Chickie, who later disappears. There is another murder that Eve witnesses, and Eve is injured in the crossfire. Eve, along with the latter murdered man's sister, Lena, set out not only to find Chickie, but to find who murdered Lena's brother.
This book draws the reader into a world of 1920's jazz, Prohibition, and racial tension. I did enjoy the book and its peeks of life in the 1920's for a person of color. I liked seeing behind the scenes of the clubs and glimpses of how the police cast a blind eye to alcohol to imbibe themselves. It was interesting to once again witness the racial tension of that time in novel form. I feel that the author wrote genuinely the glares and words that would have been directed at the opposite ethnicity.
Where I found a lacking in this book lies with the mystery/mysteries. There wasn't an intense mystery and was obvious in its ending. I usually don't mind figuring out a mystery before the ending of a story, but I do not enjoy the answers to the mystery served to me on a silver platter. I want the author to give me hints and clues along the way and give me a chance to put it all together. I found with Sugarland I was given the answer instead of the clues.
I still enjoyed this book for the setting and the characters if not for the mystery.
I rated this 3/5 stars.
MARTHA CONWAY BIO BLURB
Martha Conway is the author of Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery [Noontime Books], available via Amazon as of May 12, 2016. Conway’s first novel was nominated for an Edgar Award, and her second novel, Thieving Forest, won the 2014 North American Book Award for Best Historical Fiction. Her short fiction has been published in The Iowa Review, The Carolina Quarterly Review, The Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Folio, and other journals. She teaches creative writing for Stanford University’s Continuing Studies Program and UC Berkeley Extension, and is a recipient of a California Arts Council Fellowship for Creative Writing. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, she is one of seven sisters. She currently lives in San Francisco.
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