The Yankee Club (A Jake and Laura Mystery, #1)
In Michael Murphy’s action-packed Prohibition-era novel of suspense, a mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.   In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.   Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever.

The Yankee Club (A Jake and Laura Mystery, #1) Details

TitleThe Yankee Club (A Jake and Laura Mystery, #1)
Author
ReleaseAug 12th, 2014
PublisherAlibi
ISBN-139780804179317
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction

The Yankee Club (A Jake and Laura Mystery, #1) Review

  • Brandon
    January 1, 1970
    Former private dick turned author Jake Donovan rides the rails to New York City looking to finish the final chapter of his latest mystery novel. The Big Apple doesn’t hold fond memories for Jake, it’s an unwelcome reminder of what he gave up to pursue his literary aspirations. Home to his former girlfriend, stage actor and the recently engaged Laura Wilson, New York offers painful memories of a long lost love.While in town, Jake decides to meet up with Mickey, a fellow gumshoe and his old busine Former private dick turned author Jake Donovan rides the rails to New York City looking to finish the final chapter of his latest mystery novel. The Big Apple doesn’t hold fond memories for Jake, it’s an unwelcome reminder of what he gave up to pursue his literary aspirations. Home to his former girlfriend, stage actor and the recently engaged Laura Wilson, New York offers painful memories of a long lost love.While in town, Jake decides to meet up with Mickey, a fellow gumshoe and his old business partner. It’s clear something has Mickey on edge but before Jake can pry it out of him, Mickey is gunned down in cold blood. Can Jake track down Mickey’s killer or is he next in line for the big sleep?I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Michael Murphy pens a solid mystery that is rich in 1930s culture. The crackling dialogue, the prohibition era setting and the plot are in the same vein as a Hammett or Chandler whodunit. I liked the addition of real life social heavyweights in the New York scene like Babe Ruth and Cole Porter and although I felt the main characters were a little thin, the mystery played out well right up until the very end.The Yankee Club is the first in Murphy’s Jake & Laura series with a second novel slotted for a January 2015 release from Random House imprint, Alibi.Expected Release Date: August 12th, 2014
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  • The Shayne-Train
    January 1, 1970
    Woo-wee, I loves me some noir. And this is noir done RIGHT. It has all the fixin's: extremely likable protagonist who routinely gets brutalized, beautiful dames with secrets to hide, a case that unfolds in layers, and some swell Prohibition name-dropping.Add to that a slightly modern flavor of the author not shying away from four-letter words when they're needed. Part of me hopes this is the beginning of a series, but most of me is satisfied to let this wonderful novel end with its appropriate l Woo-wee, I loves me some noir. And this is noir done RIGHT. It has all the fixin's: extremely likable protagonist who routinely gets brutalized, beautiful dames with secrets to hide, a case that unfolds in layers, and some swell Prohibition name-dropping.Add to that a slightly modern flavor of the author not shying away from four-letter words when they're needed. Part of me hopes this is the beginning of a series, but most of me is satisfied to let this wonderful novel end with its appropriate last line.
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    The setting for this is the early 1930's during the Great Depression. The characters of the story are not suffering too much though. One is a successful novel writer, Jake Donovan. The other is his estranged girlfriend and successful Broadway actress, Laura Wilson. The two come together when Jake comes back to NYC to meet with his publisher (and to check up on Laura) only to discover that Laura is engaged to be married to banking tycoon, Spencer Dalrymple.Jake stops by to visit his old friend Mi The setting for this is the early 1930's during the Great Depression. The characters of the story are not suffering too much though. One is a successful novel writer, Jake Donovan. The other is his estranged girlfriend and successful Broadway actress, Laura Wilson. The two come together when Jake comes back to NYC to meet with his publisher (and to check up on Laura) only to discover that Laura is engaged to be married to banking tycoon, Spencer Dalrymple.Jake stops by to visit his old friend Mickey, with whom he once had a detective agency. Mickey is still in the business, and in over his head but before he has a chance to go into the details with Jake he is gunned down in the street outside his office and dies from his wounds. Jake is hit too and ends up in the hospital with a wound to his leg. When he wakes up in the hospital, he is more than surprised to find Laura there, tearful and worried. She hurriedly says she needs to speak with him alone but when her fiance enters the hospital room she quickly assumes the role of pampered girlfriend. Jake is confused but senses there is more going on under the surface of this play.There is a lot going on in this story, which is really more of a thriller than a mystery. There are fascists and nazis, fat-cats and gangsters, and hookers-with-hearts-of-gold. I enjoyed it but it read more like a screenplay than a novel, right down the last "shot" of the car driving away and the handkerchief flying out the window and drifting up among the skyscrapers. I really felt like I was watching an old movie, the staging was that detailed. Still fun, and I will be reading the next one.
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  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    **This review was originally posted on my old blog for a blog tour on August 8th, 2014. For the full review please feel free to click here.** **I received an advanced copy of The Yankee Club from NetGalley via Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review** First ImpressionAfter reading Eyes On You by Kate White I wanted to dive into as many Mystery/Suspense novels as I could. So when I got contacted by TLC Book Tours and was given the synopsis for The Yankee Club I just couldn’t say **This review was originally posted on my old blog for a blog tour on August 8th, 2014. For the full review please feel free to click here.** **I received an advanced copy of The Yankee Club from NetGalley via Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review** First ImpressionAfter reading Eyes On You by Kate White I wanted to dive into as many Mystery/Suspense novels as I could. So when I got contacted by TLC Book Tours and was given the synopsis for The Yankee Club I just couldn’t say no! And boy am I ever glad I didn’t. Historical Fiction and Mystery set in 1933? Toss me a dress, heels and pearl and call me doll!!Opening Lines"As my train drew closer to New York City, the dining car’s rhythmic sway offered no comfort to the painful memories I left behind two years earlier.”The GoodSetting – I was a tad bit nervous when I started The Yankee Club because I knew nothing about the Prohibition-era. Of course I’ve heard of it but I didn’t know every detail as why it came to be and how the era came to an end. Previous to Chapter 1 we’re giving a paragraph (I hope this included in the final copy) outlining what New York City was like in 1933 that gives readers a perfect introduction and back story.Mystery – I got a new love, and it’s called Mystery. Sometimes mystery books just aren’t really that mysterious. I hate when you can actually predict what is going to happen and how it will all play out. Does that happen in The Yankee Club? NOPE!Characters – Throughout The Yankee Club we are introduced to many different characters. Sometimes you come across a character that you can instantly tell is just a filler, and other times you come across characters that you think are just unnecessary. Neither of these happened in this novel. Every character played a part, and they played it well! The secondary characters held their own and helped the story and mystery flow.Description/Style – Michael Murphy has a way with words. There were so many different points throughout The Yankee Club that had me feeling like I was actually there. The description was just perfect, and the amount of detail given gives readers a beautiful insight to life in the 1930’s.I smiled and tossed the hankie out the side window. I glanced behind the car and watched a breeze toss it around like a kite in Central Park. As we turned the corner, the hankie fluttered between two cars then skidded along the sidewalk and disappeared in the streets of New York.”The In-BetweenCharacter Depth – Michael Murphy gives us very entertaining and dynamic characters but at times I felt that these characters lacked having full depth to them. Secondary characters played key roles and we’re just as important as the main characters but I felt there was no real growth from majority of them.Lasting ImpressionOverall, The Yankee Club was a fantastic mystery read!! Shady characters, corruption, romance, mystery and suspense and not once did any of these factors overthrow the plot. I can’t wait to read All That Glitters which is the next book in A Jake and Laura Mystery series. Do I recommend this books? Yes. Will I read it again? Definitely before the month is over :).
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  • Scott Parsons
    January 1, 1970
    Michael Murphy takes us back to the Prohibition era, America in 1933, in a tour de force of "noir" fiction. Jake Donavan, a writer of mystery novels featuring detective Blackie Doyle, returns to New York to finish his latest novel after spending some time in Florida nursing the wounds of his breakup with actress Laura Wilson. Before turning to writing, Jake had been a cop and then a PI. He looks up his old pal Mickie and they go the speakeasy The Yankee Club. Mickie is working on a case but will Michael Murphy takes us back to the Prohibition era, America in 1933, in a tour de force of "noir" fiction. Jake Donavan, a writer of mystery novels featuring detective Blackie Doyle, returns to New York to finish his latest novel after spending some time in Florida nursing the wounds of his breakup with actress Laura Wilson. Before turning to writing, Jake had been a cop and then a PI. He looks up his old pal Mickie and they go the speakeasy The Yankee Club. Mickie is working on a case but will not tell Jake what it involves. Mickie turns up dead at his office which has been ransacked. Jake runs into Laura there and wonders why she is there late at night. They combine forces to hunt for Mickie's killer.But Jake knows very little about what is really afoot. Laura is by now engaged to an obnoxious rich guy who is part of some nefarious scheme to get rid of Franklin Roosevelt who is in the process of implementing the New Deal. Joe Kennedy is working for Roosevelt who is setting up a Securities Exchange Commission. Roosevelt's plans are making some bankers nervous and they are hatching a scheme to topple Roosevelt.Famous historical characters crop up from time to time as Jake moves around New York. Jake rubs shoulders with Cole Porter, Ethel Merman and Dashiel Hammett, among others.This is a highly entertaining novel, very skillfully written. Murphy has done a great job of creating a story that reads like it could have been written by one of the greats of noir fiction. I highly recommend it.Disclosure: My copy of this novel was provided via NetGalley
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  • Marlene
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published at Reading RealityThe Yankee Club is an actual baseball bat, signed by the New York Yankees in 1933.It’s also the name of a speakeasy in New York that Jake Donovan used to call his home away from home, before he ran away from his problems and holed up in Tampa.Coming back to the city doesn’t just force him to face everything and everyone he walked away from, it turns him back into the detective he used to be, for one last case.And what a case it is! The story starts with Jak Originally published at Reading RealityThe Yankee Club is an actual baseball bat, signed by the New York Yankees in 1933.It’s also the name of a speakeasy in New York that Jake Donovan used to call his home away from home, before he ran away from his problems and holed up in Tampa.Coming back to the city doesn’t just force him to face everything and everyone he walked away from, it turns him back into the detective he used to be, for one last case.And what a case it is! The story starts with Jake discovering that the girl he left behind has gotten herself engaged to a rich banker, and his best friend and former partner gets himself gunned down right outside their old offices--leaving Jake as a wounded witness with a promise to keep.At first, the case seems simple enough, in motive if not in execution. Jake sets out to find out who murdered his old partner. It seems like a mob hit, and ought to be solvable when Jake goes out and barges in on his old friends; and his old enemies.Nothing is ever that simple. As Jake delves deeper into the case, he discovers that his friend (and his ex-girlfriend) are secretly working for the government. The conspiracy that Jake uncovers could end with the overthrow of the government and change the face of history forever.There’s no question that it’s probably going to get him killed. His only question is whether he can get the job done, and save the girl. Jake has to channel the private detective who stars in his mystery novels to have even a chance at saving the day.Escape Rating B+: The Yankee Club has a very definite noir feel to it. The story takes place in the middle of the Depression, at a point where Prohibition was still very much in force. The city has mean streets, and too many people with mean attitudes and guns hidden away. Nothing says noir quite like guys with tommy guns in suitcases prowling the streets.Everyone involved has a murky past (or present). Both the good guys and the bad. They all grew up in part of Queens that was rough, and they’ve all learned a lot from the school of hard knocks.Jake has been using his less than savory origins as fodder for his Blackie Doyle detective series. His ex-girlfriend, Laura, learned to act while pretending that her father wasn’t beating her every week. Gino always “knows a guy who knows a guy” and pays off corrupt cops to keep his speakeasy open.But at least their faults are honest. It’s the rich bankers who are shameful, in spite of their squeaky clean origins.Someone tried to kill FDR before his inauguration, as a way of preventing the New Deal from taking place. (This part really happened) Now that he’s in office, they’re even more committed to stopping any policy that might help people dig out of the Depression, because they are on the “right” side of the “haves vs. have nots” equation.The elaborate conspiracy feels all too real for the time period when this story takes place.Jake and Laura remind me a bit of the characters from The Thin Man  -- a couple who find themselves solving crimes together. It’s an appropriate fit as well. Dashiell Hammett (and Lillian Hellman) are among the many historical characters who provide the period ambiance for The Yankee Club . While there was a point early on where the intermix of historical figures felt a bit like name-dropping, as the story continues they make the story “fit” into its time and place in a way that fictional characters might not.I very much enjoyed this glimpse into the era of Babe Ruth, Hoovervilles and private eyes. I’m looking forward to the next book in the Jake and Laura series, All That Glitters . I can’t help but wonder what sort of fool’s gold, or just what kind of fool, they will be tangling with next.
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  • Bree Garcia
    January 1, 1970
    NetGalley sent this to me awhile ago and I just found my way to it, and I'm so glad that I did. I became instantly interested based on the fact that it was set it in Prohibition New York. Gangsters, dames, and mystery: what more could one ask for?Lucky for me, this book went beyond my expectations. I love pulp fiction mysteries from this time, and The Yankee Club gave me that and more. Poor Jake Donovan - a writer of the popular Blackie Doyle mysteries - has returned home to New York because of NetGalley sent this to me awhile ago and I just found my way to it, and I'm so glad that I did. I became instantly interested based on the fact that it was set it in Prohibition New York. Gangsters, dames, and mystery: what more could one ask for?Lucky for me, this book went beyond my expectations. I love pulp fiction mysteries from this time, and The Yankee Club gave me that and more. Poor Jake Donovan - a writer of the popular Blackie Doyle mysteries - has returned home to New York because of some problems with his publisher. Within his first 24 hours home, Jake discovers that the love of his life - famous Broadway star Laura Wilson - is getting married to some smarmy rich guy, his best friend (and detective partner) has been murdered, and a socialite has fallen madly in lust with him - or Blackie Doyle. Determined to solve his best friend's murder, Jake falls into a rabbit hole of intrigue, mystery, drunks, madness, and a secret plot to overthrow the American government. Just when I thought I had some part of the plot figured out, the author threw a curveball. Rather than deter me, these curves kept me reading, wanting to know what happens next. Most of the characters seem like real people, and the emotions that the author can pull out of you based on those characters can be overwhelming. But in a good way! I'd recommend this for anyone who wants a good mystery.
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  • Sarah Weathersby
    January 1, 1970
    What a wild ride that was! From an assassination attempt on Franklin Roosevelt to a plot to overthrow the government, thwarted by mystery writer Jake Donovan, and his childhood friends. There were enough "real" people co-mingled with the fictitious characters, I found myself searching the internet to see what was real. FDR, Joseph Kennedy, Cole Porter, Ethel Merman, Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman were all likely to rub shoulders with Jake, Frankie, Gino, and Danny from the neighborhood. There What a wild ride that was! From an assassination attempt on Franklin Roosevelt to a plot to overthrow the government, thwarted by mystery writer Jake Donovan, and his childhood friends. There were enough "real" people co-mingled with the fictitious characters, I found myself searching the internet to see what was real. FDR, Joseph Kennedy, Cole Porter, Ethel Merman, Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman were all likely to rub shoulders with Jake, Frankie, Gino, and Danny from the neighborhood. There were so many plot twists and surprise saves it kept my heart pumping.I'm looking forward to the next adventure with Jake and Laura.
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  • Jay Williams
    January 1, 1970
    A great time in American history, the clubs of New York, a love lost, revenge-minded thugs, childhood friends, greedy bankers, and fascist conspirators: All the ingredients of a gut-wrenching and satisfying novel. Everything in this story could be a cliché, but it reads as fresh and interesting as a newspaper extra. Every character is a mix of good and evil, and readers may recognize themselves or their friends as the characters are so true to life. This is definitely a book to keep in your libr A great time in American history, the clubs of New York, a love lost, revenge-minded thugs, childhood friends, greedy bankers, and fascist conspirators: All the ingredients of a gut-wrenching and satisfying novel. Everything in this story could be a cliché, but it reads as fresh and interesting as a newspaper extra. Every character is a mix of good and evil, and readers may recognize themselves or their friends as the characters are so true to life. This is definitely a book to keep in your library for regular re-reading.
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  • Terri Wino
    January 1, 1970
    A quick read with likable characters. I'm glad this was a short book, because there were a few parts I felt dragged a bit and I started to get bored. I'll probably read more in this series, as I like the time period it takes place in.
  • Lisa Deckert
    January 1, 1970
    A mystery set in the era of speakeasies and tommy guns. All the atmosphere of the "hard boiled" mysteries of the time, but with a slightly softer attitude, and cameos from famous historical figures. You can't help but root for Jake, Laura, and all the old gang. Great fun.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    Jake is a writer that comes back to the Big Apple during Prohibition times to work with his editor on the last chapter of his novel. He finds out that his Laura - whom he has loved since high school - is engaged to be married, after she turned him down. This refusal was also the reason he left NY and went to live in Florida. When he gets back to NY, he visits a friend with whom he used to own a detective agency. While catching up on old times, a car speeds around a corner, a tommy gun comes out Jake is a writer that comes back to the Big Apple during Prohibition times to work with his editor on the last chapter of his novel. He finds out that his Laura - whom he has loved since high school - is engaged to be married, after she turned him down. This refusal was also the reason he left NY and went to live in Florida. When he gets back to NY, he visits a friend with whom he used to own a detective agency. While catching up on old times, a car speeds around a corner, a tommy gun comes out and his friend dies. Jake swears to find out who killed his friend and old partner and what case this friend was working on that got him in trouble. This is a really well done book with some interesting characters. I like the fact that the author brings in historical characters from the 1930's and talks about the depression to set the proper stage for the story. The characters are great and clever and fun to live with and the story line is fast paced. He also talks about how the times were such that the difference between the haves and have nots was so great, that the country was ripe for government and civil unrest and violence. Makes you really think about today too...
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  • Schuyler Wallace
    January 1, 1970
    Many crime novels set in the middle of the twentieth century have appeared lately. I’ve read a few of them and, for the most part, have come away yearning for the long gone writers who captured the period with such class and riveting detail. Today’s Michael Murphy, although not offering anything much different from the vintage works of Hammett and Chandler, manages to relive the era with a fresh new look.Michael Murphy is a terrific writer who can capture his reader in the moment of his crime no Many crime novels set in the middle of the twentieth century have appeared lately. I’ve read a few of them and, for the most part, have come away yearning for the long gone writers who captured the period with such class and riveting detail. Today’s Michael Murphy, although not offering anything much different from the vintage works of Hammett and Chandler, manages to relive the era with a fresh new look.Michael Murphy is a terrific writer who can capture his reader in the moment of his crime novels. Backgrounds are vivid and realistically constructed. Plots are convoluted but never outrun the reader. His dialogue is authentic and carefully paced. He is also a name dropper. The reader meets Cole Porter, Ethel Merman, Babe Ruth, and Joe Kennedy with his destined to be famous sons, along with many other notables of the time. Some of their appearances appear a little gratuitous but it was fun to read about them. Did I like “The Yankee Club?” Yes, because Murphy wrote it for me to enjoy and I did.The narrator, Jake Donovan, is much the same as the Golden Age of American crime fiction heroes. He suffers many indignities; he gets beat up, he is shot at, he is choked, and he gets thrown in the drink. A unique feature of the story is that Donovan is a successful writer who was once a private eye and secretly wishes he still was. He can’t keep his nose out of other people’s business. He narrates his story of searching through immense New York City for the schemers who are determined to overthrow the federal government by supplanting FDR with a dictator in the mode of Benito Mussolini. Wealthy bankers are behind the nefarious plot so we get a glimpse of the upper crust of society and the power they wield. The actual perpetrators are thugs, crooked cops, and beautiful but deceitful women, all gloriously portrayed in Murphy’s prose. There are also friends who are ever loyal, a particularly heinous villain who is easy to hate, honorable police officers, and a spunky lady sidekick for Donovan who doesn’t just roll over for his attention.Yes, the characters are stereotyped and the storyline is not particularly original. But Murphy overcomes all the banality with an almost tongue-in-cheek approach that allows the reader to relive the past with a new freshness. What was once so enjoyable comes alive again with clever dialogue, atmospheric authenticity, and palpable suspense. Even the trite ending serves up a promise that the hero and his squeeze will return in another novel. I, for one, am looking forward to Murphy’s continuing efforts.
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  • Romancing the Book
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed by MarissaBook provided by NetGalley for reviewReview originally posted at Romancing the BookThis was an intriguing story considering the time period – nine years before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the onset of World War II. Set during the Great Depression, you wouldn’t know it by this story. There’s money flowing and while there’s talk of ending prohibition, the booze is still hidden in speakeasies.I have mixed feelings about the characters. Jake seems pretty straight forward – a fo Reviewed by MarissaBook provided by NetGalley for reviewReview originally posted at Romancing the BookThis was an intriguing story considering the time period – nine years before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the onset of World War II. Set during the Great Depression, you wouldn’t know it by this story. There’s money flowing and while there’s talk of ending prohibition, the booze is still hidden in speakeasies.I have mixed feelings about the characters. Jake seems pretty straight forward – a former private detective visiting his old stomping grounds. But I think he’s a little too smooth for this character, a little too refined. I would have preferred him to have more of an edge, his personality more ‘hard boiled’, as they say.I pretty much knew Laura was covering some secret when she first showed up in Mickey’s office, supposedly packing up some of Jake’s dead partner’s belongings. I saw through her right away, even though I didn’t figure out the angle until further along in the book. For her, I would have preferred that her secret was better kept, that I was kept guessing until much later.One thing I truly liked was the use of the period slang such as doll and dish and swell. It made me feel as if I were watching an old movie. Considering the time period, I thought the book would have more a Noir feeling to it and it disappointed on that level. However, the storyline was good and kept me interested.Now for the one thing I truly did not like (and don’t like in any book) – the incorporation of real life people into a fictional story. It’s one thing to mention a president or to have a famous baseball play autograph something, but to have fictional characters inspire true ideas – the lyrics for ‘Anything Goes’ by Cole Porter and main idea behind ‘The Childrens Hour’ by Lillian Hellman – is just going too far. I think the worst was throwing a football with a young John Kennedy and later thinking ‘Maybe I’d met a future president.’Overall, The Yankee Club is a good mystery. How do the Greenwoody’s fit into the assassination attempt in Florida? How do the Nazis fit in to the mystery of the shooting of Jake’s old partner? And just who fired the gun that injured Jake and killed Mickey?Favorite Quote: ‘I’m as clean as a new bar of soap.’
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  • Jeff
    January 1, 1970
    A very fun read. The story is set in New York City in the 1930's. Ex Pinkerton detective turned writer returns home only to be shot and witness his best friend and former partner gunned down. He soon learns his former girlfriend, a well known actress is engaged to a wealthy banker. While investigating his partner's murder he starts to unwrap a conspiracy. A few celebrities of the time period make cameos and contribute to the story. I found these to be very well done. Not to give anything away, h A very fun read. The story is set in New York City in the 1930's. Ex Pinkerton detective turned writer returns home only to be shot and witness his best friend and former partner gunned down. He soon learns his former girlfriend, a well known actress is engaged to a wealthy banker. While investigating his partner's murder he starts to unwrap a conspiracy. A few celebrities of the time period make cameos and contribute to the story. I found these to be very well done. Not to give anything away, how a song came together inside the Yankee Club was one of my favorite moments. The action is fast paced and Michael has created some great characters.
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  • Donna Davis
    January 1, 1970
    Michael Murphy has created an entertaining read that may keep you up past your bedtime as the end approaches. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to read it early via his publishers and Net Galley.The premise is that Jake, a former PI turned mystery writer, has been living in Florida, having fled there heartbroken after his romance with the lovely Laura ended. Now he is back in New York. Laura is a famous actress, engaged to a very wealthy man, but Jake has not come back for her; he has retur Michael Murphy has created an entertaining read that may keep you up past your bedtime as the end approaches. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to read it early via his publishers and Net Galley.The premise is that Jake, a former PI turned mystery writer, has been living in Florida, having fled there heartbroken after his romance with the lovely Laura ended. Now he is back in New York. Laura is a famous actress, engaged to a very wealthy man, but Jake has not come back for her; he has returned because his former partner, Mickey, has been murdered.During the first 25% of this novel, my attention wandered. This is unusual for me, and of course not a good sign. I went back over the writing to try to diagnose why this happened, since there was no obvious problem in his plotting, setting, or character development. Finally I decided that the pace was a little slow because so much attention had been given to scene setting and the introduction of peripheral characters (who would later be very important). My advice to any reader who enjoys detective fiction is to hang in there, if you find this happening to you, because it does pick up and becomes much more engaging once the story begins to roll forward.There is a plethora of bad guys, surprises and betrayals at every turn. Jake proves to be as tough as Sam Spade, and he is ready to give his all to protect the woman he loves, though as it turns out, she is hardly a damsel in distress; I won't say more lest I ruin it for the reader.If I had one piece of advice to offer this writer, it would be to use a little more subtlety. Don't tell us how your character feels, and in particular, don't do so repeatedly. Show us in action and dialogue. If these things are handled effectively enough, it won't be necessary to tell us who feels what and why.Small details I particularly enjoyed: the florist's truck, and toward the end, the bicycle.One thing I didn't enjoy and didn't need, though hardly the writer's fault: a message repeatedly popping up on my kindle telling me that I had something on my tablet that had not been purchased at amazon, and if they were in error and it had been something of theirs, I should restart my kindle and pull it out of the archives. I blew past this message 3 times; once they totally removed my view of the text and put the home page back up. Did I mention that this was irritating, especially since Net Galley does offer the option of sending the galley straight to kindle, which is how mine got there?Thanks for permitting this rant (which hopefully will not be censored) to interrupt my review. All told, this is a really fun story once the scene has been set and action is underway. You won't be disappointed.
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  • Peter Faur
    January 1, 1970
    New York City is the setting for The Yankee Club, an old-fashioned, Prohibition-era detective novel. If you love the detective movies of the 1930s and '40s (nobody did them better than Warner Bros!), if you love Dashiell Hammett characters like Sam Spade and Nick and Nora Charles, then you'll love The Yankee Club. (Dashiell and his long-time lover, playwright Lillian Hellman, both make an appearance in the book, but more on that in a minute.)The book is billed as a Jake and Laura mystery. It's t New York City is the setting for The Yankee Club, an old-fashioned, Prohibition-era detective novel. If you love the detective movies of the 1930s and '40s (nobody did them better than Warner Bros!), if you love Dashiell Hammett characters like Sam Spade and Nick and Nora Charles, then you'll love The Yankee Club. (Dashiell and his long-time lover, playwright Lillian Hellman, both make an appearance in the book, but more on that in a minute.)The book is billed as a Jake and Laura mystery. It's the first in a series following the adventures and love affair of Jake Donovan, detective turned mystery writer, and Laura Wilson, Jake's childhood sweetheart who has become a leading lady on Broadway.Jake and Laura are reunited after a two-year separation caused by Jake's fleeing to Florida after Laura once again turned down his marriage proposal. He's back in the Big Apple to meet with his publisher. His first stop is to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy in Queens owned by another childhood pal, Gino Santoro. He enjoys some liquid refreshment with Gino then takes a walk to see his old detective-agency partner, Mickey O'Brien. While in Mickey's office, Jake learns that Laura has gotten herself engaged to big-time banker and financier Spencer Dalrymple (of the Long Island Dalrymples).Mickey is cagey with Jake about the case he's working on, but it doesn't take long for Jake to learn the stakes are high. They leave Mickey's office to get some fresh air. While they're walking, a gunman in a black sedan kills Mickey and shoots Jake in the leg.Jake vows to avenge Mickey's death and soon finds himself back in the detective business. It doesn't take him long to uncover a conspiracy by some of the nation's most powerful businessmen to sabotage the administration of the newly elected Franklin Roosevelt, champion of the working class.The novel is a tale well told. One thing that makes it really fun is the assortment of famous characters who make their way to the Yankee Club or into Jake's life - Cole Porter (who gets some help with his writer's block); Dashiell Hammett and Lillian Hellman (whose play, The Children's Hour, gets the extra oomph it needs from Jake); and the great Yankee himself, Babe Ruth, who gets a bit surly with Jake and company.The Yankee Club is a fun read from start to finish. I'm looking forward to the next Jake and Laura mystery, All That Glitters, due out early next year. Thanks for a great read, Michael.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    The Yankee Club by Michael Murphy is a 2014 Alibi publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I love historical mysteries, especially those set in the thirties and forties, which captures that glorious age of old school detectives like Jake Donovan and his fictional character/alter ego, Blackie Doyle. So, with the cool breeze coming through the windows, I settled back on the sofa and drifted back in time to the prohibition era The Yankee Club by Michael Murphy is a 2014 Alibi publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I love historical mysteries, especially those set in the thirties and forties, which captures that glorious age of old school detectives like Jake Donovan and his fictional character/alter ego, Blackie Doyle. So, with the cool breeze coming through the windows, I settled back on the sofa and drifted back in time to the prohibition era where Jake Donovan is returning to New York after a two- year absence. Jake’s former gal, Laura, is now a big Broadway star, and had announced her engagement to a millionaire banker. Faced with losing Laura, the love of his life, Jake hopes to win her back, but a stop at the Yankee Club with his old pal and former partner, ends with Mickey’s death. Jake once more puts on his old detective cap determined to seek justice for his friend and win back his girl in the process. The author did a fabulous job of recreating the atmosphere of New York City in the 1930’s, as well as paying homage to the noir style with snappy, but not overdone, dialogue, while also giving the story a whimsical quality, by incorporating real life characters like Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Joe Kennedy into the story. The plot is convincing and well thought out, and might even give you pause, as the probability of the situation would have any conspiracy theorist frothing at the mouth. The dynamic between Laura and Jake is complicated, as all the reasons behind their initial split are rather vague, but it’s game on now and time to face the future… but first they must save our country from a diabolical plot and hopefully live to tale the tale. If you like stories with a noir quality to them, with the stylish polish of the detective stories written in the thirties and forties, and a dash of romance, I think you will really enjoy this story. I am really looking forward to Jake and Laura’s future adventures! 4 stars
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  • Zeb Kantrowitz
    January 1, 1970
    Jake Donovan has known Laura Wilson since they were kids growing up in Queens. He’s been in love with her all his life. Laura has become a Broadway actress and Jake writes the “Blackie Doyle” detective novels. But when Laura turns Jake down (for like the fourth time) when he proposes at the top of the Empire State Building, Jake takes off for Tampa Florida. Now after two years later he’s coming back to New York. One of his first stops is at “The Yankee Club” back in the ‘old neighborhood’. The c Jake Donovan has known Laura Wilson since they were kids growing up in Queens. He’s been in love with her all his life. Laura has become a Broadway actress and Jake writes the “Blackie Doyle” detective novels. But when Laura turns Jake down (for like the fourth time) when he proposes at the top of the Empire State Building, Jake takes off for Tampa Florida. Now after two years later he’s coming back to New York. One of his first stops is at “The Yankee Club” back in the ‘old neighborhood’. The club is owned by his childhood friend Gino (the sharp one), and the bouncer is Danny (the big dumb muscle). Gino tells Jake that Laura has become engaged to a rich guy from Long Island’s North Shore (think Great Gatsby territory). Jake feels like he’s been poleaxed.Before becoming a writer, Jake was a Pinkerton and had his own detective agency. Two days after visiting his old partner Mickey O’Brien, Mickey is found dead in his office. Someone shot Mickey in the head. Like any good partner (think Sam Spade) Jake has to find out who killed Mickey. Over the next few days Jake gets shot in the leg, kidnapped (at least twice), has his life threatened (more times than Shirley Temple has curls), handcuffed, thrown through a glass refrigerator and dumped in Long Island Sound in handcuffs. It’s a very quiet reunion. Not to be a name dropper, during his return, Jake meets up with friends like Cole Porter, Lillian Hellman, Dashiell Hammett, and runs into Babe Ruth at ‘The Yankee Club’ (where else). The plot, which is right out of a thirties ‘noir’ story, is spot on. Not to give away the action, needless to say Jake runs into American fascists, real Nazis and people endangering the American way of life. In between there are lots of fights, shoot outs, good cops, bad cops, good and bad gangsters, good looking dames (with great gams) and wise cracking wise guys. It’s an all-around good job and fun to read. Hope there’s going to be a sequel. Zeb Kantrowitz zworstblog.blogspot.com
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  • Susan Johnston
    January 1, 1970
    You know with some books that you are going to like them right off the bat. Yankee Club was one of those books. Set in the waning days of Prohibition in New York City, mystery writer, Jake, returns to his hometown to meet with his editor about his latest novel. Before he disembarks from the train, he is already entangled in roiling mixture of politics, power and corruption. Before his first night in town is out, his former partner is shot and killed and he is wounded. For Jake, it goes downhill You know with some books that you are going to like them right off the bat. Yankee Club was one of those books. Set in the waning days of Prohibition in New York City, mystery writer, Jake, returns to his hometown to meet with his editor about his latest novel. Before he disembarks from the train, he is already entangled in roiling mixture of politics, power and corruption. Before his first night in town is out, his former partner is shot and killed and he is wounded. For Jake, it goes downhill from there.He doesn't realize at first that the love of his life is working for powerful people who are trying to prevent a coupe that could turn America into a fascist state. Deeper and deeper they plummet into the mystery where if it wasn't for his friends, Jake and Laura might have met unfortunate ends. That would have been a shame because Jake is a great character. It's like reading one of the witty 1930's movies where the humour offsets the darkness and you root for the characters. You could almost imagine Dashiell Hammett writing the book.Dash and Lillian Hellmann, Cole Porter, Babe Ruth and other assorted icons of the time make appearances. In fact, one of my favourite sequences was when Jake's driver helps Porter write the lyrics to one of his biggest hits. My only complaint was one of the historical characters: Joe Kennedy. His characterization in the tale flies against his known admiration for fascism especially Hitler. It was the only thing that jarred.The way the story ends it seems there might be further adventures for Jake and Laura. I look forward to reading more.
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  • P.e. lolo
    January 1, 1970
    This book begins with Jake Donavon, a mystery writer returning to New York after being away for a few years. He was turned downed by the love of his life when he asked her to marry him and when she said no not right now he left, now returning he is in for more than a few surprises. One she is engaged to someone else, his friend and former partner in the private eye business is murdered and then he is shot and the police are looking at him for the killing of his former partner. He is also be houn This book begins with Jake Donavon, a mystery writer returning to New York after being away for a few years. He was turned downed by the love of his life when he asked her to marry him and when she said no not right now he left, now returning he is in for more than a few surprises. One she is engaged to someone else, his friend and former partner in the private eye business is murdered and then he is shot and the police are looking at him for the killing of his former partner. He is also be hounded by his publisher to come up with pages for the new book he is supposed to be working on. Instead he is trying to clear his name, find out who killed Mickey, his friend and figure out what happened between him and Laura. The story is set in the 30’s during the depression after Roosevelt was elected. This part to would also come to play into the story and add another story line and more characters. Though for the most part I enjoyed the story from Jake and Laura, and their friends who they grew up with when the story went into the government part it lost me at times. I know things like that happened back then maybe not like exactly like the story but a few times it kind of took away from the rest of the story when I know the author had it being part of the story. Not a bad book, I did like all of the characters and the descriptions of the characters that really helped with the story.
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  • Margaret Wilkening
    January 1, 1970
    Gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies. Hoovervilles and soup kitchens. Michael Murphy’s new novel, The Yankee Club, does a great job capturing the spirit and mood at the end of Prohibition. Franklin Roosevelt is the president elect, promising sweeping change, including the probable end to prohibition and an economic New Deal. Jake Donovan, author of the popular Blackie Doyle series, is heading to New York to meet with his editor of final revisions of his newest book, and discovers his old mentor Gangsters, flappers, and speakeasies. Hoovervilles and soup kitchens. Michael Murphy’s new novel, The Yankee Club, does a great job capturing the spirit and mood at the end of Prohibition. Franklin Roosevelt is the president elect, promising sweeping change, including the probable end to prohibition and an economic New Deal. Jake Donovan, author of the popular Blackie Doyle series, is heading to New York to meet with his editor of final revisions of his newest book, and discovers his old mentor has been killed. His oldest buddy runs a speakeasy, The Yankee Club, with a bouncer with a long-term grudge against Jake. A strange character is shadowing Laura, his ex-girlfriend. Laura’s fiancé is paying Jake to get him to get out of town. Needless to say, Jake is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery swirling around him!Murphy's story has a good mix of 1930s private eye and political intrigue, livened up with a cast of characters including Babe Ruth, Cole Porter, Dashiell Hammett and Ethel Mermen—as well as some fascist bad guys. The parade of historical characters and cramming dialog with period slang makes the bood feel a bit stretched at times, but Murphy makes sure his plot fits historical fact. I look forward to seeing how the series progresses. It will be interesting to see if he can build some depth to his cast of character.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    I was given this book, "The Yankee Club" by Michael Murphy and publisher Random House Publishing Group-Alibi via Net Galley, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you so much.The setting for Michael Murphy’s novel, The Yankee Club, is at the end of Prohibition. The author does a great job of setting the scene, for his wide range of characters, both good and bad. Franklin Roosevelt is the president elect, promising change, including an end to prohibition.Jake Donovan, mystery author of the popu I was given this book, "The Yankee Club" by Michael Murphy and publisher Random House Publishing Group-Alibi via Net Galley, in exchange for my honest review. Thank you so much.The setting for Michael Murphy’s novel, The Yankee Club, is at the end of Prohibition. The author does a great job of setting the scene, for his wide range of characters, both good and bad. Franklin Roosevelt is the president elect, promising change, including an end to prohibition.Jake Donovan, mystery author of the popular Blackie Doyle series, is heading to New York to meet with his editor of final revisions of his newest book, and discovers his old mentor has been killed. His oldest buddy runs, The Yankee Club. Now Jake finds himself in the middle of a murder, attempted murder, and assassination investigation. This prior detective must use all his knowledge to save himself and long time love interest, Laura, from this dilemma. Jake is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery!Being set in New York during prohibition, with gangsters, mysteries, and tons of action this book has something for everyone. A very enjoyable read.
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  • Barb
    January 1, 1970
    Jake Donovan is returning to New York to rewrite the final chapter of his new book and to meet with his publisher. But Jake isn’t back in New York long until things start to happen. One of Jake’s best friends, Mickey, is shot to death while they are standing on the sidewalk outside the detective agency Mickey had taken over when Jake left the private investigator life in order to write mystery books.The death of his friend and the engagement of Jake’s ex-girl friend to a wealthy banker start the Jake Donovan is returning to New York to rewrite the final chapter of his new book and to meet with his publisher. But Jake isn’t back in New York long until things start to happen. One of Jake’s best friends, Mickey, is shot to death while they are standing on the sidewalk outside the detective agency Mickey had taken over when Jake left the private investigator life in order to write mystery books.The death of his friend and the engagement of Jake’s ex-girl friend to a wealthy banker start the non-stop action that builds to a winner-take-all finale.“The Yankee Club” is an exciting, hard driving mystery. The characters are interesting and well developed. However, the basic premise of the plot is hard to believe. Without giving away too much and spoiling the story for prospective readers, I’ll just say that the political premise of the book was a problem for me.I recommend the book to mystery lovers but warn history buffs that you may have some difficulty with parts of the book.I was provided a free copy of this book for review from Random House Publishing Group - Alibi and Net Gallery. I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.
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  • PopcornReads
    January 1, 1970
    We recently reviewed All That Glitters by Michael Murphy, knowing it was Book #2 of a fun historical detective mystery series (link at the end of this review). I loved it so much that I immediately went in search of Book #1, The Yankee Club. Now normally when I do that, I don’t review those out of sequence novels on this web site but I couldn’t resist with this one. Michael Murphy has captured a Great Depression era mystery style that’s an homage to Dashiell Hammett’s phenomenally popular The Th We recently reviewed All That Glitters by Michael Murphy, knowing it was Book #2 of a fun historical detective mystery series (link at the end of this review). I loved it so much that I immediately went in search of Book #1, The Yankee Club. Now normally when I do that, I don’t review those out of sequence novels on this web site but I couldn’t resist with this one. Michael Murphy has captured a Great Depression era mystery style that’s an homage to Dashiell Hammett’s phenomenally popular The Thin Man novels and films, yet with Murphy’s own unique take on things. The Yankee Club is one of those reads that is perfect for a cold winter night’s reading by the fire – or to take on the plane during your next vacation. And its price makes it a real bargain. If you’re a detective story, an entertainment industry, or a mystery fan – or you just like good old fashioned stories about relationships, I think you’ll get a real kick out of this series. Read the rest of my review at http://popcornreads.com/?p=8120.
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  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    Join Jake Donavan as he returns to New York after a two year absence in Tampa – Jake, who left the City when his love Laura turned down his marriage proposal – again!Once a detective, he is now a successful mystery writer, but almost as soon as he lands in town, he is involved in murders, attempted murders, presidential assassinations – and he finds himself in danger, a detective once more, but Laura engaged to a wealthy banker.Or is she? What secret is she hiding from him? And what exactly is t Join Jake Donavan as he returns to New York after a two year absence in Tampa – Jake, who left the City when his love Laura turned down his marriage proposal – again!Once a detective, he is now a successful mystery writer, but almost as soon as he lands in town, he is involved in murders, attempted murders, presidential assassinations – and he finds himself in danger, a detective once more, but Laura engaged to a wealthy banker.Or is she? What secret is she hiding from him? And what exactly is the Golden Legion and the Blackshirts? Is there a conspiracy to kill the president and install a Fascist dictator like Hitler who just became Germany’s head and Italy’s Mussolini? Jump on the incredible page turner set in 1933 in the middle of the Great Depression – you won’t regret it.
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  • Stacey Woods
    January 1, 1970
    I am in two minds with The Yankee Club – I thought the plot was pretty good, the main characters were engaging, and I loved the Prohibition-era setting, but I found some of the language a bit cliched and felt that real-life characters were shoe-horned in in a bit of a cringey way. For example the part where, early on, Jake Donovan’s driver helps Cole Porter write ‘Anything Goes’ had me reading with one eye!In other places I did wonder how many times the other characters could say variations of ‘ I am in two minds with The Yankee Club – I thought the plot was pretty good, the main characters were engaging, and I loved the Prohibition-era setting, but I found some of the language a bit cliched and felt that real-life characters were shoe-horned in in a bit of a cringey way. For example the part where, early on, Jake Donovan’s driver helps Cole Porter write ‘Anything Goes’ had me reading with one eye!In other places I did wonder how many times the other characters could say variations of ‘Hi Jake’, ‘Well, if it isn’t Jake Donovan’ etc – I mean, we know the man’s name by now!This sounds now like I didn’t like – which isn’t the case at all. I actually DID like many elements of it, and I will be reading the two books in the series that have now come out, so that’s a pretty good concession from me!!
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  • Trisha Perry
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t normally review (or for that matter get a chance to read) adult books, but Mr. Murphy writes children’s books as well so this one peaked my interest, so I gave it a whirl. And WOW what action! Mystery writer Jake Donovan returns home to New York to finish his latest Blackie Doyle book only to get sucked into a murder, attempted murder, and assassination investigation. The one time Pinkerton agent and detective must use all his knowledge to save himself and longtime love interest, Laura, I don’t normally review (or for that matter get a chance to read) adult books, but Mr. Murphy writes children’s books as well so this one peaked my interest, so I gave it a whirl. And WOW what action! Mystery writer Jake Donovan returns home to New York to finish his latest Blackie Doyle book only to get sucked into a murder, attempted murder, and assassination investigation. The one time Pinkerton agent and detective must use all his knowledge to save himself and longtime love interest, Laura, from this huge mess. Being set in New York during prohibition, with gangsters, speakeasies, history, mysteries, and tons of action this book has something for everyone, it is just totally amazing, another homerun for Michael Murphy.
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  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    *ARCIt has been a long time since I have read a book in a single sitting, but I just couldn't put this one down. The classic noir was just as cheesy as could be, but it worked and I loved it. The way Murphy put the cigarette girl, the prostitute, and the starlet in the same place several times really took you to a place in New York when the class system began to fall apart. Every character had a part and no part was unimportant. With hints to organized crime, action happening at familiar land ma *ARCIt has been a long time since I have read a book in a single sitting, but I just couldn't put this one down. The classic noir was just as cheesy as could be, but it worked and I loved it. The way Murphy put the cigarette girl, the prostitute, and the starlet in the same place several times really took you to a place in New York when the class system began to fall apart. Every character had a part and no part was unimportant. With hints to organized crime, action happening at familiar land marks and events, as well as cameos of famous people during the 1930, I was safely transported to the speakeasy for the day. I hope there are more Jake Donovan novels in the future.
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  • Barb
    January 1, 1970
    Set in NYC in 1933, this book reminds me of the Sam Spade and Mickey Spillane books. Lots of dames, speakeasies, fistfights, men with questionable backgrounds and more of the classic noir elements. Once I got into the story, I had a hard time putting the book down, although the namedropping -- Cole Porter, Joe Kennedy, Babe Ruth, to name a few -- made the believability issue a little harder to accept. That said, I would definitely read another book about Jake and his exploits if this becomes the Set in NYC in 1933, this book reminds me of the Sam Spade and Mickey Spillane books. Lots of dames, speakeasies, fistfights, men with questionable backgrounds and more of the classic noir elements. Once I got into the story, I had a hard time putting the book down, although the namedropping -- Cole Porter, Joe Kennedy, Babe Ruth, to name a few -- made the believability issue a little harder to accept. That said, I would definitely read another book about Jake and his exploits if this becomes the first book of a series :) I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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