Last Call to the Nightingale by Katharine Schellman. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-83182-8

Catherine Schellmann. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-83182-8

Vivian Kelly, the courageous protagonist of this excellent series launch which takes place in 1924 in Manhattan of Schellman (the mysteries of Lily Adler), shares an apartment with her older sister, Florence. Florence is serious and practical, but Vivian, who likes to drink and dance, is a regular at Rossignol, a speakeasy, and often comes home at dawn before having to work as a seamstress during the day. Her friends at the Nightingale, all of whom are distinctive characters readers will care about, include bartender Danny Chin, waitress and singer Bea Henry, and Nightingale owner Honor “Hux” Huxley. When Vivian and Bea find a dead man in the alley behind the club, they wonder if he was a smuggler, but Hux forbids them to talk about it. After the cops raid the speakeasy, Hux breaks Vivian out of jail. In return, Vivian agrees, after the cops find the victim’s wallet with her ID card, to spy on the dead man’s family to determine if they can help track down the killer. Schellman vividly evokes Jazz Age Manhattan as Vivian proves to be a most imaginative detective. Readers will eagerly await his return. Agent: Whitney Ross, Irene Goodman Literary. (June)

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