- Series: The Canary Club Novels (Book 1)
- Paperback: 325 pages
- Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing (October 19, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1634222504
- ISBN-13: 978-1634222501
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,014,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Canary Club (The Canary Club Novels) Paperback – October 19, 2017
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"This vivid tale of organized crime, coming-of-age escape and romance will linger in your mind long after the final page is read. Highly recommended for fans of Prohibition/Gatsby-era historical fiction, historical romance and anyone who gets a little weak in the knees when they come across a dangerous man in a swanky suit, Canary Club is a worthy addition to your TBR shelf!" -USA TODAY HEA
Ms. Ficklin does an amazing job of transporting one back to this era and fans will not be disappointed! One can almost hear the big band striking up a swanky tune, smell the taboo libations of the speakeasy clubs, and see the glittering gowns of dames dressed to the nines. She weaves in these details so seamlessly it is not cumbersome, making this an incredibly fun read! -InD'tale Magazine
Canary Club pulls all the punches with witty writing, action at every turn, interesting characters, and intriguing dialogue that will make you tempted to keep reading from the first page onward. Overall, a satisfying conclusion to a well-rounded story.
- Marissa Vine for RomCon Reviews
In 1920s Manhattan, fair-haired, white mobster's daughter Masie Schultz is the embodiment of a flapper: she's reckless, fearless, and bold. Despite her brazen bravado, she's treated as little more than a commodity to either be traded or displayed as needed. When her father hires Benny, a kindhearted and loyal young man, to be her bodyguard, the chemistry is undeniable. However, as the danger around Masie and her family intensifies, will Benny be able to keep her safe and ultimately help her escape her dangerous life? Ficklin's offering paints a vivid picture of the Jazz Age, dropping details of glamorous flappers and raucous speak-easies, and it boasts cameos from Zelda Fitzgerald and Lucky Luciano. The role of women is explored, with a keen eye to their lack of choices; alongside these issues, there are also some rather intense scenes of physical abuse against women. Benny and Masie's romance is formulaic however, most romance aficionados should find the starry-eyed glances and lush historical details swoonworthy. -Kirkus Reviews
From the Author
If you love the glitz and glamour of the Gatsby era, this book is for you! For more goodies, free downloadables, a digital speakeasy, party tips, and a members only area, check out the official website, thecanary.club.
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On the other hand, I did not care for Masie at all. It really annoys me when a character talks about how bad she is or how dark she is, but there is no evidence to support this. So she calls her former friend to beat up the guy who beat up her best friend? So, what? That does not make her a dark, twisted individual. Her need to be with Benny so he can make her a good person was not believable to me.
The most important part of any romantic story isn't the plot or the setting, it's the romance. If the relationship isn't captivating then the overall story line won't be either. This book needed a Rose and Jack or a Clary and Jace. Instead, it had Masie and Benny, two characters who have no chemistry and whose instant attraction leaves no room to develop a believable romance. When you aren't invested enough in the relationship between the main characters, it's hard to care whether they get a happily ever after.
Unfortunately, my overall feeling about the story was that it was just so-so. Once Benny and Masie’s relationship started to heat up, my enthusiasm for the story cooled down. Plot wise, everything became a little too cookie-cutter for me. Nothing surprising happened. This felt like a story I have read a dozen times before. New background, new character names, same old story. I kept hoping something refreshing and unexpected would happen. Like, maybe Masie would kill her father and take the family business for her own (now that would be dark and twisted) or maybe Daddy’s hired killer would carry out his plan and leave Benny with nothing but emptiness and vengeance. That also did not happen. No, the whole story dissolved into an underdeveloped plot to help the canary escape her cage. The ending was wrapped up in way too neat packaging and tied off with a tiny little bow that left me wanting a lot more.
The epilogue left things open for a sequel, but there simply wasn’t enough to The Canary Club to interest me in reading more. If you want a cut and dry love story, I think you’ll enjoy this book. If you want more, this is not the story for you.
"Legs" Diamond, Dixie Davis, and Otto Berman. His son J.D. (John David Flegenheimer in real-life) also plays a big role in the book, but in reality he was Anne's little brother being just a few months old at the time of his father's death, and not a grown adult as in the book. Dutch's fictional daughter, Maisie falls for naive Benjamin "Benny" Fleisher who get innocently drawn into the racket out of desperate need for money to help support his family fallen on hard times. He is also fictional (though I have suspicions that his character is comprised of two real life mobsters Benjamin "Benny" "Bugsy" Siegal and Eddie Fleisher, but that is just a guess). The book ends with Dutch going to prison rather than being killed by his associates. The book should have a forward, telling the reader that some of these people did in fact exist, but that the author had taken literary license with the story, and written a "what if" instead. Because no thought to educating the reader to the real facts, it can be misleading-- if the reader is ignorant of the real people, then they may believe that the entire story is purely a product of the author's imagination, and if they had heard of Dutch Schultz, but not entirely aware of the story of his dealings and friends, they could be misled into thinking that it is accurate as far as bare bone facts and that the author had just fictionally filled in details. I believe if the author would include some sort of clarification, it would improve the book as a whole. I would surely given it a higher rating had it been present.
Benny is a good guy, trying to help his mother and siblings out. Masie is the daughter of a powerful gangster. When fate brings the two together, the chemistry is impossible to deny. But the world of crime, violence and manipulation not only makes it impossible for them to come together, it threatens to drag both of them under.
Opening the first page is like stepping back in time. The prohibition period reveals itself in all its sparkle, desperation and glory. The author has done her homework and masterfully lets the scenes come to life through carefully and cleverly dropped details, which never threaten to hinder the flow of the plot. The dialogue snaps with each character's personality, and these characters definitely have personality. Not only Masie and Benny pull attention to their situations and problems, but the side characters bring in their own spice and make the tale vibrant and alive.
Every page adds to the quick pace and tosses a bit more into the plot. There's never a boring moment as the layers of intrigue, secret power plans and desperation to survive breathe from every scene. This is not a subtle tale, but lets the violence and hunger for power unfold in its chilling reality.
The ending plan lacks a little clarity, but it does it's job and promises much more excitement to come. In other words, this is a read fans of gangster history, romance and crime are sure to enjoy.
I received a complimentary copy and loved diving into this world so much that I wanted to leave my honest thoughts.