The novella is centered on Eddie Durante, owner of a speakeasy that’s supported by Eddie’s mobster uncle, the boss of the Durante family. The back story is that Eddie is a young widower after his family’s rival, the Caprice family, murdered his wife over a territory dispute. After devising a plan that retaliated against four of the rivaling capos, Eddie is left with the daunting task to try and move on, until a family member notifies him that the Caprices have put a hit man in the speakeasy – and Eddie’s name is on the list. But things take an unexpected turn when Eddie and his close friends start to find the dead bodies of Eddie’s relatives, the ones who had helped in the retaliation.
Behind the backdrop of the jazz music and glistening flappers, murder after murder begins to unravel as revenge takes center stage, and Eddie soon learns that some secrets can’t be taken to the grave.
10 things you didn’t know about Speakeasy: A Novella:
1. Up until a year and half after it was published, Speakeasy had the highest body count out of all my stories.
2. From the time I got the idea for the plot to the time it was published took 5 weeks.
3. Speakeasy was not only the first book I published or the first novella I ever wrote, but the first book I actually finished (editing and all).
4. Despite the fact I enjoyed writing all the characters, there was only one character I couldn’t kill off because I liked him too much.
5. I researched the time period by reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Otherwise, I turned to the movies I had grown up with in order to get a feel for the era and the gangsters, which included the films Thoroughly Modern Millie, Goodfellas, and The Untouchables.
6. Part of the reason why the story moved at such a quick pace is that I had just come out of writing a Victorian-era mystery novel that I had started eight and half years prior. Switching from Victorian London to 1925 New York was a breath of fresh air, and for the first time I understood why the 1920’s were roaring.
7. The flapper outlined with bullet-holes on the cover was hand-drawn by me. I was too impatient to learn how to digitally create them (and they actually looked worse when I did try).
8. There are only three characters that were inspired by real people: Ryan Gosling for Eddie, a young Ray Liotta for Anthony, and Mickey Rourke for the gangster in the last chapter. The rest of the characters were literally made up.
9. Because of the formality I had used in writing the Victorian Era novel, the dialogue in Speakeasy was first written too clean, and I had to dirty it up by forgetting about English grammar. The way I wrote the accents was by listening to New York accents on Youtube and in movies, and writing the sentences the way I heard them.
10. For the audiobook, I listened to countless voice actors and found only one that I wanted to narrate the book. I knew he’d be spot on with the narration and character expressions. To my excitement, he accepted my offer, and it was Nick Sarando who became the voice behind the book.
About the Author
A. M. Dunnewin inherited her love for mysteries and thrillers from her family, which helped her pursue a BA in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. Although her stories cover a wide range of genres, she primarily writes historical fiction and thrillers. An avid reader at heart, she’s also a passionate collector of both antique books and graphic novels. She lives in Sacramento, California.