by Susanna Calkins
Series: Speakeasy Mystery #1
Narrator: Sarah Naughton
Length: 9 hours and 11 minutes
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups Speed: 1.4x
The first mystery in Susanna Calkins’ captivating new series takes readers into the dark, dangerous, and glittering underworld of a 1920's Chicago speakeasy.
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.
A murder-mystery and 1920s Chicago Speakeasy? Come to momma. Murder Knocks Twice by Susanna Calkins, narrated by Sarah Naughton delivered a well-crafted tale that quickly transported me to Chicago and the world of a speakeasy.
Gina Ricci lands a job at Chicago’s most notorious speakeasy, the Third Door. There she works evenings as a cigarette girl. It’s a different world from the one she has grown up with, but Gina needs the job to help support herself and her ill father.
The job brings her new friends and acquaintances. She observes the other girls and listens to the gossip about the murdered girl she replaced. When she unknowingly witnesses a murder and the victim gives her his camera before expiring, Gina doesn’t know who to trust. The tale that unfold was both fascinating and frustrating.
I’ve enjoyed Calkins mysteries before and love how she brings the period to life through, clothing, drinks and details. She brought the speakeasy to life and took us into the inner working of this underground speakeasy during prohibition.
The murder had plenty of twists and suspects and I wanted to listen to just a few more chapters. Gina was tenacious and not afraid to learn new things which I admired. However, she made me crazy with the risks and sometimes naivety she exhibited. To be fair, I think a lot of her reactions came from not knowing who to trust. Nevertheless, I wanted to shake her or slap the silly out of her a few times.
Sarah Naughton captured Gina from tone to personality and did a fair job with the male characters. I thought her voice for the club’s imposing owner, Signora Castallazzo, was stellar.
Fans of historical murder-mysteries and the Roaring Twenties will want to add Murder Knocks Twice to their bookshelf. I am looking forward to the next audio in the Speakeasy Mystery series.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I love a good historical mystery. This one sounds good and I like that it is a first in series. I will have to check it out. I like that the author had so many twists and turns that you just wanted to listen to another and another chapter. That is always fun!
Aleen @ Lampshade Reader
Yay so glad you enjoyed it. Might have to try the audiobook version too. 😉
Anne - Books of My Heart
Well I don’t do a lot of historical – I say – but I do historical in fantasy and often in a mystery like this. It’s more historical romance, except in fantasy that I ignore. You make everything sound good with your excellent reviews.
Great review Kimberly, sounds like a fun series. The Chicago speakeasy setting sounds like fun.
I’ve been loving Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries lately and this sounds like something I am absolutely going to love as well. It sounds like the author transports the reader to the Chicago’s speakeasy setting so well 😀 And that it is pivotal to the murder mystery unfolding as well!
Maureen @ Maureen's Books
This sounds like an interesting one Kimberly. I love it when a mystery has many different twists. And I’ve been wanting to read more mysteries..
This sounds like a fun series. All while I was reading I could hear Queen Latifa singing in the Chicago movie.
Combine this time period with a murder mystery and you’ll hook me in every time. Bummer about the naivete, but oh well. 😉
Oh the setting and all looks fun!
I definitely love the era for this! Prohibition was so interesting and really so silly. It caused way more issues than it ever solved. The 20’s though is still one of my favorite times to read about in the US though.
I don’t think I’ve read many books set in the Roaring 20s! This totally screamed “Kim book” to me and I can see why you enjoyed it. Gina sounds like an outgoing personality who will probably have me yelling at my Kindle! Glad you enjoyed it, Kim.
And then Gina becomes a private investigator, that pays a lot better ! Happy endings