Hoxie, Illinois, 1921. When jazz pianist Eve Riser witnesses the accidental killing of a small-time sugar farmer, she unwittingly places herself in danger. Trying to help cover the crime, Eve agrees to take money and a letter to a man named Rudy Hardy in Chicago. But when Eve arrives in Chicago she learns that her stepsister Chickie, a singer, is pregnant by the owner of the nightclub. That night, Rudy Hardy is killed in front of Eve’s eyes in a drive-by shooting, and Chickie disappears. Accompanied by Rudy Hardy’s sister Lena, a lonely nurse who is drawn to the music clubs, Eve sets out to find Chickie, while Lena tries to discover who killed her brother and why. A tense and engaging mystery, SUGARLAND offers a rare glimpse into the first days of Prohibition, the lives of early jazz musicians, and the bonds that cross or enforce racial barriers in 1920s’ America.
May 12, 2016  |  316 pages
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Average Grade: B+    (switch to numeric scale)
L/E Ratio: 60% Entertainment, 40% Literature
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