Saturday, December 29, 2018


Author: Ellen Mansoor Collier
Genre: Historical Cozy Mystery
Series: A Jazz Age Mystery #5
Publish date: 12/18/2018
Pick it up: HERE ON KINDLE!

About the Book:

When young Galveston Gazette society reporter Jazz Cross hears rumors of grave robbers at the Broadway Cemetery, she and photographer Nathan Blaine investigate, hoping to land a scoop. The newshawks witness meetings held by clandestine gangs, and enlist her beau, Prohibition Agent James Burton, to help capture the elusive gangsters red-handed.

Meanwhile, the supernatural craze takes Galveston by storm, and Jazz is assigned to profile the society set’s favorite fortune teller, Madame Farushka.  Sightings of a ghost bride haunting the Hotel Galvez intrigue Jazz, who sets up a Ouija board reading and séance with the spiritualist. Did the bride-to-be drown herself—or was she murdered?
Luckily, Sammy Cook, her black-sheep half-brother, has escaped the Downtown Gang and now works at the Hollywood Dinner Club, a swanky nightclub owned by rival Beach Gang leaders. During a booze bust, Downtown Gang leader Johnny Jack Nounes is caught and Jazz  worries: will Sammy be forced to testify against his former boss? 

Worse, when a mystery man turns up dead, Sammy is framed for murder and Jazz must find the real killer and clear Sammy’s name. As turf wars between rival gangs rage on, Jazz relies on her wits and moxie to solve both murders before the Downtown Gang exacts its revenge. 

Catch up on the first 4 books of the series HERE.
Special Excerpt, 
Courtesy of the Author

The plump gypsy woman caressed my hand, studying my palm as if it held the map to Lafitte’s pirate treasure, rumored to be lost in Galveston Bay. Madame Farushka certainly looked the part in her colorful scarf, flowing hair, a fringed shawl wrapped over her peasant blouse and skirt. Was she an actress or a clairvoyant or a fake?

Flickering candles dotted the dimly-lit room, strands of sparkling beads and crystals criss-crossed the windows, the scent of sandalwood floated from an Egyptian bronze incense burner. A crystal ball gleamed in the center of the table, beckoning like a jewel from King Tut’s tomb.
The fortune-teller cleared her throat. “You face a lot of struggles as a working woman, with many challenges ahead.”
I bit my tongue to keep from blurting out: So what else is new? Every dame I knew had problems.
“I see a lot of changes in your life,” the seer chanted, gazing into the crystal ball.  “Upheaval, uprooting.” She closed her eyes, swaying from side to side. Suddenly her dark eyes flew open and she looked up in alarm. “Someone close to you is in danger. Are you married?” Her kohl-rimmed gaze bore into my skull, as if reading my mind, daring me to reveal my secrets.  Wouldn’t she already know them if she truly was clairvoyant?
I shifted in her silk slipper chair, tapping my fingers. “No, why?”
“A loved one then, perhaps a sweetheart or a family member. A young man. He’s in grave danger.” Madame Farushka gripped my hand, her voice a hoarse gasp. I tried not to be fazed by her theatrics, but I admit I was worried.
“What kind of danger?”
She peered into the crystal ball. “Terrible danger. Life or death.”
“Can you be more specific?”
“I’m sorry, but that’s all I foresee.”
OK, so now I was curious.  “What does the man look like?”
She stroked her temples, rings of gold bracelets jingling on her arms. “He’s tall, handsome, young...with a dangerous occupation.”
That described my two favorite fellas: my fair-haired Prohibition agent beau, James Burton and Sammy Cook, my black-sheep half-brother. Sammy served as maître d’ of the Hollywood Dinner Club, the swankiest spot on the Gulf Coast.
“Is he blond or dark?”
The seer shook her head. “I’m sorry. I lost the vision.”
In other words, my dollar was all used up.
What a load of hogwash. Sadly their risky jobs always put Sammy and James  in danger. This phony-baloney hadn’t told me anything new.
“Is that all?” I stood up, annoyed that I’d wasted a whole dollar on ten minutes of trivia.
“You’ll have to come back for a second reading.” She held out her palm, fishing for a tip. When I gave her a nickel, she scowled, as disappointed as I was. Now I wondered: Was she a fortune-teller or a fortune-hunter?
About the Author 

Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance writer and editor whose articles and essays have been published in several national magazines. She's interviewed Suze Orman, Nancy Brinker and many unsung heroines and heroes for various publications including: FAMILY CIRCLE, BIOGRAPHY, MODERN BRIDE, FIRST, GLAMOUR, COSMOPOLITAN, COUNTRY ACCENTS, NATION'S BUSINESS, PLAYGIRL, etc. Several of her short stories, both mystery and romance, have appeared in WOMAN'S WORLD. Set during Prohibition in 1920s Galveston, her Jazz Age mystery series was inspired by real-life gangs and historic events, but the plot and details were changed to protect the guilty—as well as the author.

Formerly Collier has worked as a magazine editor, a substitute teacher, a community newspaper reporter and in advertising/marketing as well as public relations. During college, she once worked as the world's worst cocktail waitress, against her mother's wishes. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism, and served as president of WICI (Women in Communications, Inc.) and as an editor on UTmost, the UT Magazine, her senior year. FLAPPERS, FLASKS AND FOUL PLAY is the first novel in her Jazz Age mystery series, followed by BATHING BEAUTIES, BOOZE AND BULLETS, GOLD DIGGERS, GAMBLERS AND GUNS, VAMPS, VILLAINS AND VAUDEVILLE and DECO DAMES, DEMON RUM AND DEATH.

"After a “gangster tour” in Chicago where we visited Al Capone’s old stomping grounds, I found out Galveston had its own share of turf wars between rival gangs and bootleggers. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s."

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