Martha Conway, "Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery" (Noontime Books, 2016)


It's 1921, and Prohibition is in full swing, but you wouldn't know it from the nightclubs and speakeasies of Chicago, where bathtub gin mingles with homemade bourbon distilled from trainloads of corn sugar shipped up from Southern farms. A young man named Al Capone is on his way up, the bar owners squabble over control of the sugar trade, and the police know to turn a blind eye. So when a drive-by shooting ends in murder, two young women--Eve, a black jazz pianist, and Lena, a white nurse--band together to find Eves missing stepsister and the killer of Lena's brother in Sugarland: A Jazz Age Mystery (Noontime Books, 2016) a fast-paced, twisty, riveting journey through the seedy back alleys of the Windy City, where the Great Migration has only just begun to break down the barriers of racial segregation. Out of these disparate elements Martha Conway--the winner of numerous awards for her previous historical novel, Thieving Forest--blends a scintillating cocktail set to the thumping rhythms of jazz, directed by a mysterious kingpin known only as the Walnut.
C. P. Lesley is the author of six novels, including Legends of the Five Directions (The Golden Lynx, The Winged Horse, and The Swan Princess), a historical fiction series set in 1530s Russia, during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible. Find out more about her at

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C. P. Lesley

C. P. Lesley is the author of two historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible and four other novels. Her latest book, The Merchant's Tale, co-written with P.K. Adams, appeared in November 2023.

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