Review 32. The Canary Club by Sherry D. Ficklin

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Title: The Canary Club
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing [I received a review copy via NetGalley]
Published: October 16th 2017
Pages: 325 pages

"“Bad Luck” Benny is a fella from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.

Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.

Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Have I ever told you that the roaring 20s is one of my favourite times? All the Jazz and bright lights and flappers. Oh, and the Lost Generation! I love the Lost Generation –I’ve a soft spot for Zelda Fitzgerald who is very misunderstood. Anyway, in The Canary Club, Sherry D. Ficklyn brought the twenties back to life with all the good and bad.

Plot: After three months in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Benjamin “Benny” Fleisher is back on the streets of New York. He wants to stay away from trouble, but his family is going through difficult times –and to make everything worse is little sister is very sick and in need of special medical care. When no respectable business gives Benny an opportunity to earn an honest salary, Benny finds himself working for a notorious crime boss, Dutch Schultz. Quickly climbing through the ranks after saving Dutch’s life, Benjamin has to struggle to keep his integrity while losing his heart of gold to the only girl he shouldn’t, the daughter of his boss, Masie Schultz, a flapper with the voice of an angel whose only desire is to set free from her father’s bloody schemes and gang war. When the world of Benny and Masie collide nothing ever will be the same again…

Writing: I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of New York during the prohibition time. The use of slang from the time made the story seem ever more real. I’d like to stress that it is clear the author did a lot of research –from the language to the medical procedures for mental illness.

"Prohibition has turned good people into criminals, and criminals into modern gods."

I must confess that the ending felt a little bit rushed –the author could have taken a little bit more time to develop it since it was the big finale. But since there is going to be a sequel, I’m not going to complain much. 

Characters: Benny has a golden heart. He wants to do what is right, but his bad luck always drags him to very complicated situations. One of Benny’s characteristics that I enjoyed the most was how far he would go to protect those he loved –no matter how difficult was the path he had to follow to do it. Masie was a flapper in every sense of the world. Although a few times I found her insufferable, and a little bit entitled, I did warm up to Masie when it was revealed how much she had suffered (and still was suffering) at the hands of her father. Also, I enjoyed how she understood the world isn’t black and white and how she walked in those grey areas.

Romance: As it can be read in the synopsis, the plot of the The Canary Club centres very much on the romance between Benny and Masie. I must confess I'm a sucker for stories about forbidden love. And, although I don’t mind instalove as much as I mind love triangles, I was disappointed when it happened. I wanted Benny and Masie to slowly fall in love in world of crime and mobsters. Moreover, I felt it was out of character for Masie to fall instantly in love with Benny because, as she pointed out, she had never loved anyone before. It would shown character growth if the relationship between them had grown slowly.

TRIGGER WARNING! There is mention of rape as well as of physical and physiological abuse.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I hate rush endings, but it sounds like this still worked. I hope you love the sequel!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. Rush endings are always disappointing. Many times it's the ending that influences my opinion -if I like a book or not. But as I mentioned, there is sequel, so maybe all the loose strings will be tied up. Happy readings Tracy! ;)