New Historical Fiction: The Jazz Palace


Part of being a book blogger is receiving more novels than you could ever read, especially when you’re on deadline. (Ahem.) One that intrigues me, that I plan to pick up in the future, is a new period piece called THE JAZZ PALACE by Mary Morris, which releases today. It looks like it would appeal to those who enjoyed THE GOOD AMERICAN by Alex George, or either of Renee Rosen’s historical Chicago-set novels.

Publisher Synopsis:

Acclaimed author Mary Morris returns to her Chicago roots in this sweeping novel that brilliantly captures the dynamic atmosphere and the dazzling music of the Jazz Age.

In the midst of boomtown Chicago, two Jewish families have suffered terrible blows. The Lehrmans, who run a small hat factory, lost their beloved son Harold in a blizzard. The Chimbrovas, who run a saloon, lost three of their boys on the SS Eastland when it sank in 1915. Each family holds out hope that one of their remaining children will rise to carry on the family business. But Benny Lehrman has no interest in making hats. His true passion is piano—especially jazz.

At night he sneaks down to the South Side, slipping into predominantly black clubs to hear jazz groups play. One night he is called out and asked to “sit in” on a group. His playing is first-rate, and the other musicians are impressed. One of them, the trumpeter, a black man named Napoleon, becomes Benny’s close friend and musical collaborator, and their adventures together take Benny far from the life he knew as a delivery boy. Pearl Chimbrova recognizes their talent and invites them to start playing at her family’s saloon, which Napoleon dubs “The Jazz Palace.”

But Napoleon’s main gig is at a mob establishment, which doesn’t take too kindly to freelancing. And as the ’20s come to a close and the bubble of prosperity collapses, Benny, Napoleon, and Pearl must all make hard choices between financial survival and the music they love.


The publisher sent me one hardcover copy I’ll provide for a giveaway. To be entered in the drawing, simply comment below with your favorite novel set in the early twentieth century, and share on social media. You have until Friday, April 10th at 9 PM ET. US residents only, please. Good luck!


16 thoughts on “New Historical Fiction: The Jazz Palace

  1. My favorite would definitely be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s _Tender Is the Night_! Morris’ new novel sounds fantastic, though–I’ll have to add it to my Amazon wish list!

  2. My favorite early twentieth century book is and always will be The Great Gatsby. The story is so engrossing that if I pick it up I can’t put it down. The writing is absolutely splendid as well! F. Scott Fitzgerald has a delicious way of describing a scenario. I may have to read it again now 🙂

  3. Mariana Cotromanes says:

    My favorite novel– one that was recently published– set in the early twentieth century is Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole. I read it over a year ago and I still think about it.

  4. Bonnie K. says:

    One of my favorite early 20th century reads are the Anne of Green Gables books.

  5. Rhonda says:

    Love the Anne of Green Gable books still collect them

  6. Cindy Stephens says:

    The Dressmaker and any other books set on the Titanic!

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