In 1923 ten million families own the Model T, America’s most popular automobile. Ziegfeld Follies comes into its heyday and jazz reigns as king of music. This is the time when prohibition dominates social gatherings, and F. Scott Fitzgerald becomes the Flapper expert.
Welcome to the August 28th stop on the blog tour for The Flapper, the Imposter, and the Stalker by Charlene Bell Dietz with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, more guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
Author Guest Post
The Roaring Twenties: a Prohibition Bash
If The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker had been an 1850 instead of 1923 book, I would have title it The Hatchets, the Ice-cream makers, and Garters
Carrie Nations, in 1901, believed God told her to close all taverns and bars. She took to throwing rocks at establishments selling alcohol. Then in 1909, some crazy man in Topeka, Kansas handed Carrie a hatchet. Carrie began storming taverns, swinging her hatchet while her “do gooder” sisters sang hymns and threw the rocks.
Then WWI started. U.S. officials claimed they needed the wheat, barley, and grains used for making alcohol to feed the troops. The US government shutdown all breweries. Considering our opponents of WWI, think of the names: Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, Miller, and others. They employed thousands of workers and paid heavy taxes.
Coors turned their bottle production into ceramic wares. Anheuser Bush made ice-cream, using their cold-storage trucks to move their frozen products wherever they wanted. Others turned to making malt. It made excellent bread, but add a little yeast, you get beer.
The 1918 Volstead Act push the prohibition movement into law, enacted in1920 by the enforcement of the18th Amendment.
The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker opens with a scene of an upper middle-class, Minneapolis family. Their college-bound daughter studies upstairs, while her parents enjoy their cocktails downstairs.
If prohibition started in 1920 then how could the parents be drinking in 1923?
The public had one full year to prepare for prohibition. Private citizens built wine cellars, stockpiled wine and liquor, and some bought out liquor stores.
The law prohibited the manufacturing, the sale, and the transportation of alcohol, not the consumption. Therefore, a couple could enjoy a night out in a restaurant and bring their own alcohol.
Also, a person could drink legally if they had a prescription. Your prescription might read: Take 3 ounces every 3 hours for stimulation until. . . stimulated. You could refill your prescription every ten days.
Gangsters stockpiled too, buying complete liquor stores, robbing drug stores, and holding up trains. They smuggled liquor from Canada, bootlegged, made bathtub gin, along with rotgut moonshine. Anyone could make a buck by opening basements, garages, backrooms, and closets where a patron could enjoy a little nip for a few coins. Much of this peddled liquor, foul tasting and dangerous, contained industrial alcohol.
Alleys and closets gave way to nightclubs. To gain access to these up-scale places, a customer had to know someone or have a password to get in. Speakeasies became the happening places.
The federal government didn’t understand why people kept drinking, ordered quinine, methyl alcohol and other toxic chemicals added to industrial alcohol. Many became blind and numerous others died.
When a flapper and her crowd went out on the town for the night, they knew death might be one cocktail away. Some flappers carried booze hidden in a flask, tuck snuggly in their garter.
The young run-away teen in The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker, navigates the thrilling, dangerous streets of Chicago in 1923, and is plunged into an alcoholic world of gangsters, deception, and adventure. All of this seems far removed from the world hatchet-swinging Carrie Nation and the U. S. government had envisioned.
About the Book
The Flapper, the Imposter, and the Stalker
Inkydance Book Club Collection Book Two
by Charlene Bell Dietz
Published 21 November 2017
Quill Mark Press
Genre: Mystery, Historical, Suspense
Page Count: 276
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
A privileged teenager from Minneapolis in 1923, scraps her college scholarship and runs away to become a flapper in dangerous, chaotic Chicago. In her search for illusive happiness, she confronts the mob and then must contrive a way to not be murdered.
In 1923 ten million families own the Model T, America’s most popular automobile. Ziegfeld Follies comes into its heyday and jazz reigns as king of music. This is the time when prohibition dominates social gatherings, and F. Scott Fitzgerald becomes the Flapper expert. Younger women all over the country shun having to wear corsets and trailing Victorian dresses like their mothers. These ladies rebel against waist-length braids in favor of the right to bob their locks. They argue for free speech and equality, beg to wear lipstick, and on occasion, show their knees.
When college-bound Kathleen McPherson, in Minneapolis, pushes her family’s traditional boundaries, she’s horrified to discover a stalker intent on killing her. A classmate, whose romantic life seems to parallel Kathleen’s, is stabbed to death near Kathleen’s home. Gossip implies the murdered girl carried on with an older man.
Kathleen and her best friend run away to Chicago to escape the knife-wielding stalker and to find happiness as Flappers. Instead of an entertainer’s life full of fun and frolic, Kathleen encounters deception, death, heartbreak, and revenge. Not only does the stalker continue to pursue her, but now she must rescue her best friend from gangsters, and Kathleen must make certain she, herself, isn’t murdered by the mob.
May I help?” A man’s voice came from behind. Kathleen glanced at him. A thirtyish man of average build in a brown wool suit and a green-checked bowtie with a brown fedora in his hand nodded at Sophie.
“We’re fine, thank you.”
“Listen, kid,” he said, “lots of you babes come to Chicago hoping to get the big break. Most never get to audition. Heartbreaker, I see it every week.”
He took out a starched, white handkerchief and handed it to Sophie.
“Missy, don’t you worry. You both are real lookers, and with those long gams . . .” He nodded at Kathleen and winked.
“Please, sir, leave us alone.” Kathleen glanced back at Sophie.
“Seriously, I know this guy who owns a club. He’s looking for new talent—”
“Mister.” Kathleen said, “I’ve read about guys like you. Get lost.” Kathleen pulled the handkerchief away from Sophie and shoved it at him. “Come on, Sophie. He’s one of those old men preying on young girls. Pick up your valise.” Kathleen jerked Sophie’s arm and pushed past him toward the exit.
“Hey—no offense. Ladies, I know people who can—”
Kathleen glowered and waved him away with the back of her hand. “We’re respectable women.”
Sophie sniffed, tilted her nose up, and strutted out with Kathleen into the cold sunlight and city noise. Swell. A pimp, and Sophie is hysterical. What in the heck do we do now?
About the Author
Charlene Bell Dietz writes science and historical-suspense, award-winning mystery novels and short stories. Her award-winning short stories have been published in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers 2016 Anthology and SouthWest Writers 2019 Anthology. The Flapper, the Scientist, and the Saboteur combines family saga with corporate espionage. The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker propels readers back into 1923 frenetic Chicago during the Roaring Twenties. Both these novels were named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2018, and each won the coveted Kirkus Starred Review. Her latest novel, The Scientist, the Psychic, and the Nut, gives readers a frightening Caribbean vacation. Her current work in progress, a biographical historical novel, starts in England in 1638 and ends in precolonial Maryland. Charlene, a retired educator, traveled the United States as a consultant for Houghton Mifflin Publishers after a career of teaching little ones, older ones, and college graduates. Surrounded by forests and meadows, she currently lives in the foothills of the mountains in central NM several miles from the small village of Torreon. Charlene is the current president of Croak & Dagger, New Mexico Chapter of Sisters in Crime. She belongs to Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and SouthWest Writers.
Charlene Bell Dietz will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|Kit ‘n Kabookle
|Sandra’s Book Club
|The Avid Reader
|Gina Rae Mitchell
|Aubrey Wynne Timeless Love
|Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
|The Key of Love
|Fabulous and Brunette
|travel the ages
|Long and Short Reviews
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.