Cover Image: Murder Knocks Twice

Murder Knocks Twice

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I have to admit I didn't know much about Chicago during the prohibition era, but I feel like I do now. Gina Ricci has got to find a job. Her father isn't well and she luckily finds employment at The Third Door, and establishment that is illegally selling alcohol. As you would imagine there are always people who will walk on the wrong side of the law, and Gina meets a lot of interesting people.
Unfortunately, Gina witnesses a murder and it's up to her to solve it. Lots of unique characters are introduced in this wild mystery ride. I love how the author made me feel like I was there and part of the action. Gina was a great character and I'm looking forward to her next adventure as this book is the first in a planned series. This was a fun read that kept my interest and kept me entertained from beginning to end.
I received a  DRC from St Martin's Press through NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars
This historical mystery is set in the speakeasy era, in Chicago, and has some noirish elements. The main character, Gina Ricci, lives with her invalid Italian father. Her late mother, an upper class Irish girl, was disowned by her family when she married out of her circle.

Gina takes a job as a cigarette girl at an after hours club to replace a young women who was murdered. Almost immediately, there is another murder -- this time the club photographer who turns out to be Gina's cousin.

The novel has the feel of an old Bogart movie and lots of atmosphere. Gina is a spunky and determined woman who is trying to take care of her father. The characters have some depth and the narrative, clunky at first, smooths out as the story progresses. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an advanced digital read copy of MURDER KNOCKS TWICE by Susanna Calkins. This book features Gina Ricci as the central character who obtains a job in a speakeasy in her  neighborhood during prohibition. The cast of characters at the speakeasy range from the autocratic, demanding Signora who runs the speakeasy to Ned, the drunken piano player, Rourk the war veteran turned policeman who is currently on leave because of an injury, and several female employees who wait tables and sing and dance as well as two bouncers and a bartender.
	The author has spent time researching speakeasys and this one has both a tea shop and a drugstore that serve as cover and a place for the employees and patrons to be during raids. Big Mike, the Signora’s husband has all the earmarks of being involved in shady dealings and is known to pay police money to look the other way.
	When Gina gets the job, she learns the photographer there, Marty, is actually her cousin on her mother’s side. When her mother, an Irish Catholic in Chicago, married Gina’s father, an Italian boxer, the family disowned her. Her mother died when Gina was young and she is now caring for her father who has developed palsy and can no longer work.
	These are just a few of the threads running through this book. It was difficult for me to get into the novel because I was unclear where the story was going. It is difficult to determine who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in the story. About halfway through the book there is a murder and Gina gets drawn into it as a witness no one knows about. She is given evidence by the victim before he dies and told to hide it. She doesn’t know who she can trust or what to do with the evidence she has.
	As Gina stumbles through events, she sets a course of action and the book becomes a little easier to follow. It was hampered somewhat by what felt like over-use of “gangster speak” throughout. Probably this is best defined as belonging to the noir sub-genre. However, Gina seems to be such an honest, straightforward young woman that she doesn’t quite fit that definition. Most of the other characters are more on the hard-boiled side, making it seem as if Gina is almost a fish out of water.
	If you like the prohibition era and enjoy being immersed in the speech and activities of that era, this may be more enjoyable for you. While the murder is not particularly gory or even given much space in the novel, it is not what I would define as a cozy. Since the murder doesn’t happen until almost half the book is over, it is not what I would consider a classic mystery story either. In short, I am at odds as to how to define this book and the audience for whom it would be appealing.
Was this review helpful?
Murder Knocks Twice is the first in a new series set in the seedy world of 1920's Chicago, full of mob bosses and speakeasies, and plenty of crime and terror.  Gina Ricci needs a job in order to support her father and upon the word of a friend, she finds one at 3rd door, a speakeasy full of excitement and secrets.  The biggest mystery of all involving the girl who held the very same position she is currently occupying before she died unexpectedly.  Gina finds herself the only witness to a murder and feels strongly that she must solve it quickly, before she is next.  Murder Knocks Twice is full of the historically accurate and rich details readers have grown to expect and seek out in Susanna Calkins other series.  She is an expert at creating such rich, vibrant worlds full of bold characters fitting for the times. There was plenty of adventure thrown in around the mystery and the subplots that kept the plot moving along at a good clip.  Gina is a strong heroine, perfect for the leading role in a time when women were often constrained by the social norms of the times.  I sincerely hope that there are other adventures to follow in this exciting new historical series.
Was this review helpful?
Murder Knocks Twice is a great mystery with a solid female lead. This is the first time I have read this author and I can't wait to read more.
Was this review helpful?
Delightful!  Great characters and a great story set in a time frame that's always fun to read about (if not to live in.) Further, Calkins does such a beautiful job writing about Chicago in 1929 that you feel like you're there. It's clear she's done the research for the era. 

I hadn't heard of Calkins before this book. Now I have to go back and check out her other series!
Was this review helpful?
I was given a ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Susanna Calkins goes in a wonderful new direction with this series. It's her classic style in the 1920's. I loved the setup of this new series. You'll be on your toes waiting for more too.
Was this review helpful?
A NetGalley ARC that sounded interesting the mystery was fine, but I wanted Gina to be more...something. This is the first in a series that I hope will include many more adventures of this protagonist
Was this review helpful?
This is the first in a series that I hope will include many more adventures of this protagonist. I always love seeing a strong, female lead who gets the job done without looking like a silly, slapstick caricature of a female. I loved reading about 1920's Chicago and the speakeasy world where this mystery takes place. The plot is well written and it held my interest until the end. In fact, I was sad to see it end! This book was a treat! Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
Was this review helpful?
historical-fiction, historical-places-events, historical-research, mystery, Chicago 

Prohibition, Al Capone, Babe Ruth, Hull House, the very rich and the walking dead returned from The Great War, it's the 1920s in Chicago. A young woman gets a job as a cigarette girl to support herself and her father but understands little when she starts, only to learn far more than she ever wanted before long. 
Well researched and crafted to make you feel like you are there, and the characters are engaging and interesting. I really enjoyed reading it! 
I requested and received a free ebook copy from St Martin's Press via NetGalley. Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
Murder Knocks Twice is a  mystery story. The characters are likeable and engaging. The story is intriguing and entertaining and unfolds at a good pace with plenty of twists and turns. Overall, it's a cute fun read. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I have read this author’s other books, and although it’s a new series it did not disappoint. The novel is extremely well written and fun to read. Both the characters and storyline are interesting and entertaining. I hope there are more additions to this new and fabulous series. I highly recommend!
Was this review helpful?
Susanna Calkins has done it again! She has created another absorbing mystery series featuring a strong female lead character who does not feel confined by the norms of the times. This book is clearly very well researched. I loved all of the details about Chicago in the 1920s. I can't wait to see what Gina gets into in the next book, but I hope she runs into Jane Addams and Amelia Earhart again. I received this title as a galley from Netgalley and I really liked it. I highly recommend reading this book, but make sure you have a lot of time because you won't be able to put it down. I read it in two sittings.
Was this review helpful?