Weaving a ghost into historical fiction.
We’ve all stood there- sometimes it feels like a precipice, sometimes a crossroads, sometimes a fork in the road with a narrow, stone-filled trail branching off from a well-traveled road. Time stops. What do you choose? Do you go willingly or are you, like Maggie, pushed?
In Innocence Lost, Maggie is a young widow struggling to raise her son in Philadelphia during Prohibition. There’s a whole lot of razzmatazz going on around her because of the Roaring Twenties, but Maggie, her back to the wall financially, is cut off from enjoying those pleasures. Instead, thoughtfully and deliberately, she concentrates on putting one foot in front of the other: raising her son, putting food on the table, paying the bills, and dealing with the loneliness and isolation of young widowhood.
Her world is small and very contained. Despite all her best intentions as a young girl, she has begun to sound like her mother. She is suspicious of ‘outsiders’ and resentful of distractions. What to do, what to do?
Standing at that precipice, that crossroad, Maggie decides to become a landlady and rent out rooms. Her world suddenly has three loud, strange men in it and she is nudged a bit closer to beginning a new journey in her life.
The tragic disappearance of a friend of her son causes an uproar in her neighborhood. Pulled reluctantly into assisting with the search, her world gets even larger. Cracks are beginning to appear in her well-ordered existence, and through one of these cracks wanders an elderly gentleman, a retired police detective, who is searching for the boy.
What Maggie doesn’t know is that the Inspector retired from the force about a hundred years earlier. Her new companion and mentor is the ghost of a famous, long-dead police inspector who is searching both for the boy as well as the reason why he continues to serve the people of Philadelphia and search for justice.
Maggie’s former small, contained world has now burst wide open. How does she handle it? How would you handle it?
Beating at the heart of The Bootlegger Chronicles series, a meticulously researched and suspense-filled crime mystery, is Maggie. Standing at the edge, at the fork in the road, and then stepping forward into the unknown. For the safety of her son, and to answer the call of an awakened drive for fulfillment and self-confidence in her new investigative abilities, Maggie and Inspector Frank Geyer take on Philadelphia’s criminal underbelly- the bootleggers as well as the corrupt cops and politicians that make those heady Roaring Twenties roar.
If you like feisty and determined heroines, complex cover-ups, 1920s stories about Prohibition criminal underworlds, and just a touch of the paranormal... then you'll love Sherilyn Decter's grand gangster tales.