Title: Tasting the Apple (The Bootleggers' Chronicles #2)
Author: Sherilyn Decter
Genre: Historical Fiction
A young widow on the edge. A policeman back from the dead. Together, can they take down the city’s most notorious bootlegger?
Philadelphia, 1925. With a son to raise and boarders to feed, Maggie Barnes is at her wit’s end. But when a criminal element infiltrates the police force, the single mother puts her cares aside to help. As she tries to dig up dirt on bootlegger mastermind Mickey Duffey, Maggie realizes she can’t take on the case alone…
Inspector Frank Geyer used to patrol the streets of Philadelphia before Maggie was born. As he attempts to clean up crime from beyond the grave, the spirit uses his Victorian sensibilities to fight back against lawbreakers. But with corruption throughout the police force, can the phantom informant save his city and Maggie’s livelihood?
With the roof leaking and the lawlessness spiraling, Maggie and Frank have one chance to take down a criminal and prevent the unthinkable…
Excerpt from Tasting the Apple
©2019 Sherilyn Decter
The handsome Russian lieutenant gazes down at the helpless woman supine before him. She trembles. His eyes smolder with desire. He is tall, dark, brooding. His Cossack uniform, ripped from his muscled body, lies scattered on the carpeted floor of the Czarina’s palace bedroom. She doesn’t struggle, caught by his magnetic eyes. He lowers his head, her lips part…
“Oh, Rudy,” Edith says. She breathes his name.
“Shh,” Maggie says.
“Oh, shh yourself.” Edith never takes her eyes off the screen until ‘The End’ flashes, and the theater lights come on. The Eagle is Rudolph Valentino’s latest silent movie to hit the theaters. The lineup to get tickets had been around the block.
“Oh, isn’t he just the dreamiest?” Maggie is standing, eyes shut. Raising a languid hand to her forehead, she pretends to swoon.
“Oh, you goof. Come on, let’s go grab a coffee before I run you home.” Edith slips into her fur coat, then links arms with Maggie.
Leaving the movie theater, adjusting to the afternoon light—despite the gathering clouds—the two women are a study in contrast. Edith Duffy, a tall, sleek beauty in her early thirties, has that pampered languidness that wealthy women often get. Her movie companion, Maggie Barnes, a few years younger, is not quite so well-turned out: a cloth coat to Edith’s fur; sensible shoes rather than satin pumps; a plain brown knit hat compared to Edith’s saucy garnet number that sports a jaunty feather.
Maggie is solid; some would say dependable. She’d cringe at that; aspires to something more glamorous. Where Maggie is steady, Edith is flamboyant. Where Maggie is cautious, Edith is devil-maycare. Where Maggie carefully counts out her pennies to pay for the movie, Edith throws a tenner onto
the counter, picking up the tab. Maggie looks forward to the day when she’ll be able to treat Edith. There’s a running tally in her head, keeping track of the obligation.
About Sherilyn Decter
The Roaring Twenties and Prohibition were a fantasy land, coming right after the horrors and social upheaval of World War I. Even a century later, it all seems so exotic.
Women got the vote, started working outside the home, and (horrors!) smoked and drank in public places. They even went on unchaperoned dates (gasp)! Corsets were thrown into the back of the closets, and shoes were discovered to be an addictive fashion accessory after hemlines started to rise. And thanks to Prohibition, suddenly it was fashionable to break the law. The music was made in America- ragtime, delta blues, and of course jazz. Cocktails were created to hide the taste of the bathtub gin. Flappers were dancing, beads and fringes flying. Fedoras were tipped. And everyone was riding around in automobiles (aka struggle buggies and I leave it to your imagination why- wink.)
Bootleggers’ Chronicles grew out of that fascination. Writing as Sherilyn Decter, I will eventually have a series of historical crime fiction novels dealing with the bootleggers, gangsters, flappers, and general lawlessness that defined Prohibition. The Bootlegger blog rose out of all the research that I’ve been doing about this incredible era.
Growing up on the prairies and living next to the ocean, I am a creature of endless horizons. Writing allows me to discover what’s just over the next one. My husband and I have three amazing daughters, a spoiled grandson, and two bad dogs.
Sherilyn Decter is enthralled with the flashing flappers and dangerous bootleggers from the Roaring Twenties and Prohibition. Through meticulous research, that lawless era is brought to life. Living in a century-old house, maybe the creaking pipes whisper stories in her ear.
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