Sign me up for all the latest razzmatazz about the Chronicles books and the 1920s and get the novella DESTINATIONS for FREE!!Don't miss out!

Come at King- Review

Independent Book Review- May 1, 2019

The finale is here, and it’s got it all.

Come at the King is the fifth and final book in Sherilyn Decter’s The Bootleggers’ Chronicles series. After introducing us to all of the gangsters and independent women of Prohibition Philadelphia, Decter masterfully concludes her series at its peak: with its highest stakes and its darkest consequences.

We enter Come at the King in the midst of the Great Depression. Jobs might be hard to come by, but thanks to Mickey Duffy’s empire, booze is always just around the corner. However, Mickey is stuck at home with Edith in this one, zoning out on prescription drugs to stop his mood swings, and Eddie Regan is running the company in the wrong direction. As you might expect, Mickey won’t be able to sit idly by for long. But he’s got to watch out, too; the Bailey brothers are out of jail, creeping just outside of the Duffy home, debating on whether or not to strike.

Meanwhile, Maggie has her hands full with her new clients, boarding house, son, and new boyfriend. But as you know, that won’t stop her from staying out of investigations with her ghost-friend Frank Geyer. Throw in a few cameos of our favorite characters from the previous books, and we’ve got ourselves a very fulfilling story to lead us out of The Bootleggers’ Chronicles series.

Come at the King is the Mickey novel that we’ve all been waiting for. (And the Frank one too, but we’ll get to that.) Now, don’t get me wrong, we still get plenty of time with our favorite lady in Philadelphia Maggie Barnes, but this series opened with Mickey and it will end with Mickey, too. As a reader, this felt so very satisfying. This guy has laid down an incredible legacy in an incredible city, and this book does a phenomenal job of bringing us closer to Mickey and taking us where he is ready to go.

As a whole, this series does an excellent job of educating us on the type of man Mickey Duffy was during Prohibition and how he’s a name that all history buffs should know. If you don’t know him, this series is a great place to start.

Ghost-inspector Frank Geyer also has his time to shine in this one. With all of the breadcrumbs that Decter has been dropping along her way, we were bound to feel excited about whichever direction Decter decided to take with him. I can say confidently that she took the right one. Geyer’s story and his relationship with Maggie is about as emotionally fulfilling as we could have asked for.

Come at the King might be a slower build than what you might expect for a finale, but its climax and resolution really do succeed in making sure that the series leaves a great taste in the reader’s mouth. It gives us the opportunity to spend time with our favorite people and to join them on their last captivating journey before we leave them behind.

Now that this series is all said and done, I have a bittersweet feeling about saying goodbye. On one hand, I’ve gotten so acquainted to this atmospheric time period and these memorable and easy-to-love characters that it’s weird stepping away from it, but on the other, I’m not sure it could have ended in a better way. So I can be happy about it. And after you read it, you can too.

Joe Walters