Mike Fargo never expected to be meeting Texas Guinan on a hot August day in 1926. But when the real-life, irrepressible hostess at the 300 Club, one of New York City's swankiest speakeasies, asks for a detective to check on a missing girl, Fargo gets the call. The missing girl, Brandi Collier, is one of several young hostesses working at the club. Despite Texas's obvious concern, Fargo can't be sure if the girl has been kidnapped, killed, or perhaps just walked off into the sunset with one of the high rollers that frequent the club.
Fargo starts with the usual suspects – the jilted boyfriend, a kitchen worker with hand trouble, and an ex-husband, but he can't get a handle on the case. With no ransom demand and no real clues, he is at a dead end. Then he receives a phone call that changes the entire direction of the investigation. A mystery caller – with an apparent ax to grind with the resolute detective – informs Fargo that he has seven days to find him and his captive, Brandi Collier. If he fails, Brandi will die. He sends Fargo a photograph of a tied up Brandi, confirmed by Texas as the missing girl.
Thus begins the most tension filled week of Mike Fargo's life. Not only does he have to revisit some vengeful, murderous mugs who have threatened him in the past, but he also gets a minefield of clues from his caller, several of which also put his life in danger. With the days dwindling down and Texas Guinan pressing him to find Brandi, Fargo has to walk a fine line until a fortuitous clue and a stunning development brings the case to a dramatic end.
About the Author
Bill Gutman has been writing for more than four decades. His writing life has seen him publish some 200 books for both children and adults, fiction and non-fiction alike. He has written many biographies and sports histories, as well as ghosting a family memoir. His biographies include such diverse personalities as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, football coach Bill Parcells, Venus and Serena Williams, jazz great Duke Ellington and former president Andrew Jackson. He has worked with sports figures Kevin Kennedy, Pepper Johnson and Bobby Thomson on as-told-to books, and co-authored a series of sports books for young girls with current Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts. And he has interviewed countless athletes, musicians and others. Mr. Gutman's current passion is a series of novels and novellas featuring a tough detective working in 1920's New York City. The Mike Fargo Mysteries bring to life a wild period sparked by Prohibition, which banned the trafficking and sale of alcoholic beverages. But it was also a time when sports flourished, as did Broadway shows, jazz music and the movies. The popular culture dictated that women no longer had to stay at home and the flapper was born, a new age woman who smoked and drank, partied, and danced the Charleston, Black Bottom and the Shimmy. It was the era of hip flasks and speakeasies, and also organized crime. Mike Fargo navigates the City not only chasing murderers and crime bosses, but interacting with real characters such as Babe Ruth, Texas Guinan, Mae West, Mayor Jimmy Walker and others. There are six books in the Mike Fargo series thus far – the novel Murder on Murderer's Row and novellas Death of a Flapper, Murder on Broadway and Seven Days to Murder, A Mike Fargo Trilogy that includes the three novellas, and Roaring Twenties Cop, Mike Fargo's Own Story.