Legendary heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey in training. Dempsey was an inspiration for the Jack McCloskey character.
Maiden Lane is the sequel to Riverside Drive and the second book in the Border City Blues series of crime fiction stories set in the Windsor/ Detroit area during Prohibition.
Introductions to Riverside Drive's and Maiden Lane's main characters can be found in young Jack McCloskey's smuggling adventure, The Lusty Beg, in a glimpse of the young Vera Maude in Delivery, a humorous tale of novocaine and moving-going in Enough Money For Popcorn, and a view into her life in New York City in Vera Maude's Christmas In the Village.
The follow-up to Maiden Lane and the third novel in the series, Prospect Avenue, was published in October 2018.
There's a chill in the air.
The story begins with an ice-road bootlegging caper gone awry. Shorty Morand is anxious to prove himself not only to his boss, Jack McCloskey, but to the soldiers reporting to him. In the chaos that ensues on the brittle river ice an item is discovered, a key that may unlock the lost fortune of the Border Cities’ first crime lord, the late Richard Davies.
A runaway train nearly misses its stop at Michigan Central Station in Windsor, delivering not only its four shadowy expediters but also the heroine of Riverside Drive, Vera Maude Maguire, fresh from her misadventures in New York City.
In the frigid cold and blowing snow, Detective Campbell pauses to light his cigar at the top of Maiden Lane, and the moment he strikes his match a body comes flying out the window of Madame Zahra’s Astral Attic. Campbell turns just in time to see the body hit the icy cobblestone. Is it a case of murder or suicide?
As the sinister quartet begins to terrorize the city's underground it’s all rumours and panic until bodies start accumulating in Dr. Laforet’s laboratory-cum-mortuary. Campbell reluctantly resorts to otherworldly measures in an effort to find the truth.
McCloskey is undergoing some post-traumatic stress therapy that just might be working. However, complicating matters, a Windsor-born Hollywood starlet with whom he has a loose connection has meandered her way back to the Border Cities, dragging along all of her vices and dropping them at his door.
“Plenty of jaunty dialogue that contributes to swift pace and suspense… It becomes both bold and bewildering.” ~ Joan Barfoot, The London Free Press