Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
About the Book
Title: Wings in the Dark
Author: Michael Murphy
Genre: Historical / Cozy Mystery
Witty and stylish in the classic Dashiell Hammett tradition: in Michael Murphy’s latest high-flying Jake & Laura Mystery, their Hawaiian honeymoon is interrupted when their friend Amelia Earhart is accused of murder.
Hawaii, 1935. Mystery novelist Jake Donovan and actress Laura Wilson are in gorgeous sun-soaked Hawaii, but their best laid plans for canoodling on the beach are interrupted by a summons from famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart. It seems a local businessman has been gunned down next to her plane. In just days, the famous pilot intends to fly from Honolulu to Los Angeles, making aviation history over the Pacific. But now, without Jake and Laura’s help, Earhart’s flight might never take off. Trailing a killer, the newlyweds’ sleuthing leads to a jealous pilot, a cigar-chomping female officer of the “Royalist Militia” and a notoriously disagreeable lieutenant colonel named Patton. With a sinister killer lurking in the shadows, it’s safe to say the honeymoon is over . . . and the danger has just begun.
WOW! Superb mystery story that I thoroughly enjoyed! The writing style is witty and very appropriate to the era in which the mystery is set. I loved the references to actual historical characters and events like Amelia Earhart, Patton, Hoover, the depression, Japanese expansionism, and the like which are interwoven throughout the story. I hadn’t realised that Hawaii used to have a royal family so learnt whilst enjoying the mystery. An enthralling mystery with strong characters, a complex plot and fantastic ending tying things together superbly. My first move after reading this was to go purchase “All that Glitters” one of the earlier book in the series, so watch out for me reviewing that in the not too distant future!
Set in Hawaii back in 1935, Amelia Earhart is going to be attempting to fly across from Honolulu to Los Angeles and, at the same time, mystery novelist Jake Donovan and his new wife, actress Laura Wilson are honeymooning on the island. Laura and Amelia are friends so when a prominent local businessman is murdered next to Amelia’s plane, it is Laura and Jack that Amelia and her husband call to help investigate the murder and help clear Amelia’s name. That’s the start of a great investigation, involving a jealous pilot, royalist militia, Lieutenant Colonel Patton and a Japanese assassin, complete with so many unexpected twists and turns, a real roller coaster full of suspense and angst! What a great recipe for a winning read that I have no hesitation in highly recommending to anyone who enjoys thrillers and mysteries!
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley too, for letting me read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Historical mystery writer Michael Murphy, author of the Jake and Laura mystery series, is a full-time writer and part-time urban chicken rancher. He began his first novel in 1999, lives in Arizona with his wife of more than 40 years, their four dogs, a feral cat, a few chickens, and in the past year they also adopted five of their grandchildren. He suggests that his life and writing has been a fabulous journey. 2014 saw his Woodstock novel, Goodbye Emily, selected by Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (the site of Woodstock) as their first summer book club read. He also traveled there and met a great group of people including a number of people who attended the festival in 1969.
2014 also saw the release of his first Jake and Laura novel, ‘The Yankee Club‘, by the publisher, Random House Alibi and this received fabulous reviews. The second in the series, ‘All That Glitters’, finds Jake and Laura in Hollywood in 1933, the naughtiest and bawdiest year in Tinseltown history. That novel was released in 2015 and was his tenth published novel. Now it is time for his third novel in this series to be released – ‘Wings in the Dark‘. He’s active in several local writers’ groups and conducts novel-writing workshops at bookstores and libraries and is currently working on the fourth book in the Jake and Laura series, ‘Blackie Doyle‘.
Other books in this series:
Title: The Yankee Club – A Jake and Laura Mystery #1
Published: January 1st, 2014
In Michael Murphy’s action-packed Prohibition-era novel of suspense, a mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.
In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.
Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever.
Published: January 6th, 2015
In Michael Murphy’s rollicking new Jake & Laura mystery, the hard-boiled writer and the aspiring movie star head for sun-drenched Los Angeles, where a cold-blooded murderer lurks behind the scenes.
Just arrived from New York, Broadway actress Laura Wilson is slated to star in Hollywood’s newest screwball comedy. At her side, of course, is Jake Donovan, under pressure to write his next mystery novel. But peace and quiet are not to be had when an all-too-real murder plot intrudes: After a glitzy party, the son of a studio honcho is discovered dead from a gunshot wound. And since Jake exchanged words with the hothead just hours before his death, the bestselling author becomes the LAPD’s prime suspect.
In 1930s Tinseltown, anything goes. Proving his innocence won’t be easy in a town where sex, seduction, and naked power run rampant. With gossip columnist Louella Parsons dead-set on publicizing the charges against him, Jake has no choice but to do what everyone else does in the City of Angels: act like someone else. Blackie Doyle, the tough-talking, fist-swinging, womanizing hero from Jake’s novels wouldn’t pull any punches until he exposed the real killer—nor will Jake, to keep the role of a lifetime from being his last.