Max Hurlock, along with his wife Allison,is the amateur detective in a new series of mysteries set in the Roaring 20s and based on real-life cases. Max and Allison live near St Michaels on Maryland's Eastern Shore, but they get involved in mysteries all over. Along the way they often run into real life figures from that era and deal with bootleggers, flappers, speakeasies, and all the things that made the 20s such a fascinating time in America.
Max is an Eastern Shore native who graduated from the
University of Maryland in Engineering. While in school, he met Allison Winslow,
a Goucher student from the Roland Park area of Baltimore and they fell in
love. Max joined the Navy in World War 1. While a lowly Ensign, Max
solved a murder on his ship and everyone began calling him Sherlock
Hurlock. After the war, Max married Allison and returned to the Eastern Shore.
He bought a war surplus Curtiss Jenny biplane and runs a flying service. Max's
reputation as a detective brings him to the attention of the outside world, and
soon local police are stopping by to ask his advice on their tougher cases. Max
is sure the attention will fade.
As time goes on, however, Max finds his reputation as a detective growing and more and more clients seem to find their way down the oyster shell road and up to his door. By 1923, Max is spending more time on sensational cases and less on flying and engineering work. Max approaches his cases with a combination of country boy common sense and scientific analysis. He never takes sides, being content to simply discover the truth.
Allison is a Goucher graduate from Roland Park who writes free lance magazine articles and has literary aspirations. Allison is still getting used to the slow pace of life on the Eastern Shore and views local customs with a mixture of affection and amusement. Though not an investigator herself, she often supplements Max's investigations with what she learns researching her latest article.
Allison is great at deftly obtaining information from women, and men usually feel a need to tell her everything. This may have something to do with her uncanny resemblance to movie star Mary Miles Minter.
Max's country boy ways sometimes don't quite mesh with Allison's big city sophistication, but together they make a great team. In between cases, they live in St Michaels among such friends as bootlegger Duffy Merkle, gossipy switchboard operator Thelma Lonnigan, know-it-all librarian Isis Dalrymple, and Max's childhood watermen pals J.D. Pratt and Casper "no whiskey" Nowitsky.
So far, Max and Allison have faced a double locked room murder in Moorestown , New Jersey in Death of a Flapper, a poisoning at an exclusive club for millionaires in Jekyll Island, Georgia in Death on a Golden Isle, and a the murder of a Chesapeake Bay lighthouse keeper in Death at the Lighthouse.
Future books in the series will find Max and Allison traveling to different places solving
more sensational cases based on real life crimes.