Join us at City Lit for a discussion with three Chicago authors of Crime Fiction: Susanna Calkins, Layne Fargo, and Tracy Clark Friday, July 19th, at 6:30PM.
Susanna Calkins latest novel, Murder Knocks Twice, the first mystery in her captivating new series, takes readers into the dark, dangerous, and glittering underworld of a 1920s Chicago speakeasy.
Gina Ricci takes on a job as a cigarette girl to earn money for her ailing father—and to prove to herself that she can hold her own at Chicago’s most notorious speakeasy, the Third Door. She’s enchanted by the harsh, glamorous world she discovers: the sleek socialites sipping bootlegged cocktails, the rowdy ex-servicemen playing poker in a curtained back room, the flirtatious jazz pianist and the brooding photographer—all overseen by the club’s imposing owner, Signora Castallazzo. But the staff buzzes with whispers about Gina’s predecessor, who died under mysterious circumstances, and the photographer, Marty, warns her to be careful.
When Marty is brutally murdered, with Gina as the only witness, she’s determined to track down his killer. What secrets did Marty capture on his camera—and who would do anything to destroy it? As Gina searches for answers, she’s pulled deeper into the shadowy truths hiding behind the Third Door.
Susanna Calkins is the author and the award-winning Lucy Campion series. She holds a PhD in history and teaches at the college level. Her historical mysteries have been nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha awards, among many others, and The Masque of a Murderer received a Macavity. Originally from Philadelphia, Calkins now lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two sons.
For fans of the high-stakes tension of the NYT bestseller Luckiest Girl Alive and Indiebound bestseller You Will Know Me, Layne Fargo’s debut novel Temper is a razor-sharp page turner about female ambition and what happens when fake violence draws real blood. This timely, heart-in-your-throat psychological thriller will leave you breathless.
"In her dark, sultry debut, Layne Fargo delves deep into the psychological war zone of the theater, perfectly capturing its hothouse world of rivalries, dalliances, and duels--both onstage and off. Toying with the line between victim and villain, real life and fantasy, Temper revels in its mind games, delivering twist after twist as it races toward a Shakespearian climax. The final page will leave you gasping."
- Amy Gentry, author of Last Woman Standing
Layne Fargo is a thriller author with a background in theater and library science. She’s a Pitch Wars mentor, a member of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the cocreator of the podcast Unlikeable Female Characters. Layne lives in Chicago with her partner and their pets.
In Tracy Clark’s electrifying new mystery, Borrowed Time, featuring Cassandra Raines, the former Chicago cop turned private investigator looks into a suspicious death as a favor to a friend—and makes some powerful enemies.
Sitting in cold cars for hours, serving lowlifes with summonses . . . being a P.I. means riding out a lot of slow patches. But sometimes the most familiar paths can lead straight to danger—like at Cass’s go-to diner, where new delivery guy Jung Byson wants to enlist her expertise. Jung’s friend, Tim Ayers, scion of a wealthy Chicago family, has been found dead, floating in Lake Michigan near his luxury boat. And Jung is convinced there’s a murderer on the loose . . .
Cass reluctantly begins digging only to discover that Jung neglected to mention one crucial fact: Tim Ayers was terminally ill. Given the large quantities of alcohol and drugs found in his body, Ayers’ death appears to be either an accident or suicide. Yet as much as Cass would like to dismiss Jung’s suspicions, there are too many unanswered questions and unexplained coincidences.
Why would anyone kill a dying man? Working her connections on both sides of the law, Cass tries to point the police in the right direction. But violence is escalating around her, and Cass’s persistence has already attracted unwanted attention, uncovering sinister secrets that Cass may end up taking to her grave.
Tracy Clark is a native Chicagoan who writes mysteries set in her hometown while working as an editor in the newspaper industry. She is a graduate of Mundelein College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned her MA. Since reading her first Nancy Drew mystery, Tracy has dreamed of crafting mysteries of her own, mysteries that feature strong, intelligent, independent female characters, and those who share their world.