Monday, August 7, 2017


Title: Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play 
Author: Ellen Mansoor Collier 


Before Las Vegas, Galveston, Texas was called the “Sin City of the Southwest.” Real-life rival gangs fight over booze and bars during Prohibition in this soft-boiled Jazz Age mystery, inspired by actual events. Jasmine Cross, a 21-year-old society reporter, feels caught between two clashing cultures: the seedy speakeasy underworld and the snooty social circles she covers in the Galveston Gazette. After a big-shot banker with a hidden past collapses at the Oasis—a speakeasy secretly owned by her black-sheep half-brother, Sammy Cook—Jazz suspects foul play. Was it an accident or a mob hit? Soon handsome young Prohibition Agent James Burton raids the Oasis, threatening to shut it down if Sammy doesn’t cooperate. Suspicious, he pursues Jazz, hoping for information and more, but despite her mixed feelings she refuses to rat on Sammy. As turf wars escalate between the Downtown and Beach gangs, Sammy is accused of murder. To find the killer, Jazz must risk her life and career, exposing the dark side of Galveston’s glittering society.

Be sure to pick up the entire series! Flappers has also been newly revised, so even if you've read it before, it's worth checking out again to see what's new! 


From the Novel: 

All heads turned as I looked up to see Prohibition Agent James Burton parade through the newsroom in my direction like the new sheriff in town—badge, hat, holster gun and all....

He was hard to ignore: All six feet-plus of golden skin and hair, he towered over my desk.

“I need to ask you a few questions. Can we talk in private?”

“What for?” I adjusted my cloche, acting nonchalant.

“Police business.” Burton scanned the hushed room. “You don’t mind discussing it here, out in public?”

He had a point. Did I want the whole staff listening in on my personal conversation? He probably wanted to ask about Sammy, who was no one else’s business.

“Let’s go outside.” Head down, I followed him past a leering Hank, feeling like a naughty kid going to the principal’s office.

Outside, I felt safe among the throng of people and automobiles passing by in a rush. 

“How was lunch?” In broad daylight, Prohibition Agent James Burton didn’t seem quite as menacing or intimidating. A group of nosy reporters peered out the newsroom, ogling us like we were a penny arcade peep show.

“Fine.” I crossed my arms, partly to cover my growling stomach.

“Sorry to barge in.” He tugged on his hat. “But I had to get your attention. You wouldn’t give me the time of day the other night.”

“Can you blame me? A raid isn’t exactly the best way to meet new people.”

“I think we got off on the wrong foot.” Burton stuck his hands in his pockets, jingling some change. “Perhaps we can talk over dinner, instead of standing out here on the sidewalk?”

Was he serious? “Dinner? Just like that?” I snapped my fingers. “You waltz in as if you owned the place—like you did at the Oasis—and expect me to dine out with you, a total stranger, because of your badge? You’ve got a lot of nerve, mister.”

“I wouldn’t be a Prohibition agent if I didn’t.” He looked smug. “How about tonight?”

“Tonight? I usually work late.”

“Every night? Don’t they let you off for good behavior?”

“For starters, I hardly know you and what I do know, I don’t like at all.” I squinted in the sun. “And I don’t appreciate the way you bullied us at the Oasis that night. I thought people were innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around.”  I wasn’t usually so bold and blunt with strangers, especially lawmen. Maybe it was his youth, or maybe I’d finally found my moxie.

“You must mean Sammy. Fair enough.” He held up his hands. “If it makes you feel any better, my gun wasn’t loaded that night.”

“Small comfort now, after you scared everyone half to death.”

The art covers and links to buy the rest of the series are listed below, starting with the sequel, Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets!
(Ellen’s Jazz Age mysteries are available @ regional hotels, gift shops and book stores, as well as Barnes & Noble.)

Buy it now!

Leave a comment saying which cover you prefer - art or contemporary? One of the commenting readers will receive a free eBook from the author! 

About the Author 
Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles, essays and short stories have been published in a variety of national magazines. During college summers, she worked as a reporter for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries. 

A flapper at heart, she's worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine and as president of WICI (Women in Communications). 

Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets, released in 2013. Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns, the third book in the trilogy, came out in May 2014, followed by Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville in 2015.

Collier lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible. 
In her fantasy life, she’s a real-life flapper and journalist who splurges on Art Deco purses and compacts when she’s not investigating crime and corruption. 

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1 comment:

  1. Summer, thanks so much for featuring Jazz and the gang!
    Hope your readers like the new covers with vintage photos.
    Can't wait till your new book comes out!
    Best, E


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