Velma Gone Awry


8 Ballo is a private investigator in Brooklyn, New York during the roaring 1920s. He’s hired by a wealthy German businessman to locate his daughter and have her returned home. 8 shows undeniable confidence (born the eighth child, never renamed legally, and is a highly educated man) which takes him far with the bootleggers, gangsters, and unsavory characters of the times. His best friend, Pearl, is a successful black businessman who always has his back while on his investigative adventures. Often his cases intersect, and create more work to find the answers. Velma, the daughter of the businessman, is living her best, most wild life. Can 8 locate her, keep her safe, and keep them all out of the sights of a gangster’s crosshairs?

“Velma Gone Awry” is an entertaining read which includes many famous names we know from the roaring 1920s. The mixture of iconic authors, musicians, mobsters, and a certain baseball player all play significant roles in this story. The flawless writing style along with a plot that flows at a steady pace is a page flipper. The subplots that are built into the book as a whole are well balanced. Although many of the characters named throughout the story may or may not have comingled in actuality is hard to say. Mr. Cost has captured them in a way that realistically reflects what we may have learned or read about this iconic era. For the living, “life goes on…” which Mr. Cost creatively brings the past into the present while representing diversity.

Viola Robbins