Friday, May 31, 2019

Review: Murder Knocks Twice by Susanna Calkins

Title: Murder Knocks Twice
Author: Susanna Calkins 
Format: ARC
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publish Date: April 30, 2019
Source: PR

What's the Story?:

From "Gina Ricci takes on a job as a cigarette girl to earn money for her ailing father--and to prove to herself that she can hold her own at Chicago's most notorious speakeasy, the Third Door. She's enchanted by the harsh, glamorous world she discovers: the sleek socialites sipping bootlegged cocktails, the rowdy ex-servicemen playing poker in a curtained back room, the flirtatious jazz pianist and the brooding photographer--all overseen by the club's imposing owner, Signora Castallazzo. But the staff buzzes with whispers about Gina's predecessor, who died under mysterious circumstances, and the photographer, Marty, warns her to be careful.

When Marty is brutally murdered, with Gina as the only witness, she's determined to track down his killer. What secrets did Marty capture on his camera--and who would do anything to destroy it? As Gina searches for answers, she's pulled deeper into the shadowy truths hiding behind the Third Door."

My Two Cents:

"Murder Knocks Twice" is a story that takes place in Prohibition Era Chicago. Our heroine Gina gets a job at a speakeasy in order to bring a little money in for her and her father. Her employers Big Mike and Signora happen to be friends of her father and they begin to shed light on the many things that Gina never knew about her father. She also discovers that Marty, the photographer at the club, is a cousin of her mother's, who Gina never really knew. This is a solid kickoff to a new mystery series by Susanna Calkins. 

The characters in the book are great. We have a great heroine in Gina, who doesn't realize how dark things will get. Gina just wants to make some money but she didn't realize just how working in a speakeasy will upend her life. She is a little naive at first but as she starts uncovering what is really going on, her independent streak begins to shine through.

Mafia, speakeasies, flappers - there are few settings that have the sort of ambiance and excitement than the Prohibition Era. Having the book set in Chicago added a bit more excitement. I loved the detail that the author infused to really give the book a sense of place. I loved the cameos by the likes of Jane Addams and Amelia Earhart (one of my personal favorites). The setting definitely added to the book!

I liked the writing! It did take a bit to see where the story was going as there was a lot of explanation of Gina's employment and the murder mystery really doesn't hit for awhile. The book eventually hits a very nice pace and I was excited to see that Goodreads hints at this being the beginning of a new series - count me excited!


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