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31st May

Francis Spufford: Cahokia Jazz

A thrilling tale of murder and mystery in a city where history has run a little differently from the best-selling author of Golden Hill, which won many prizes, including the Costa First Novel Award.

It’s 1922 and Americans are drinking in speakeasies, dancing to jazz, stepping quickly to the tempo of modern times. In the ancient city of Cahokia – a teeming industrial metropolis, a tinderbox of every race and creed – peace holds. Just about.

But on a snowy night at the end of winter, two roughshod detectives are called to the roof of a skyscraper. Their investigation will spill the city’s secrets and bring it, against a soundtrack of wailing clarinets, either to destruction or rebirth.

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