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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It’s 1929 and the gangs are ripe for action in Chicago. Al Capone’s Chicago outfit is expecting a delivery of illegal whiskey and the bootleggers are planning a bloodbath which will include some corrupt cops. John McQueen is one of those cops, but he doesn’t want to be. He needs the money so he can marry his sweetheart, Mary Jane, but he doesn’t feel comfortable working with the bootlegging gangs. Caught between a rock and a hard place, John is looking for a way out, without getting himself and his sweetheart killed. Mary Jane has faith, but John lost his a long time ago. But an angel and a Catholic priest haven’t lost their faith in John. Will love and divine faith be enough to prevent a bloodbath on Valentine’s Day?
Clabe Polk’s short story/novella, A Valentine for Mary Jane (Charlotte’s Diary Book 1), is an interesting story set in the Prohibition years in Chicago. The plot is intense as it traces Mary Jane’s desire to marry her sweetheart who, as a city cop, is faced with the temptation to become a corrupt cop working with the bootlegging gangs, a parish priest who truly cares for his flock, and a solitary angel who knows all and wants to set things right before it’s too late. The characters are believable and well developed; the dialogue is used well and this alternate scenario of the infamous Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929 makes for an interesting read. Lots of drama carry the plot along to an exciting resolution.