Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Whiskey River (Detroit, #1)” as Want to Read:
Whiskey River (Detroit, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Whiskey River (Detroit #1)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  189 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In Detroit in 1925 prohibition has been in force for a year longer than the rest of the States, police corruption is so rampant no-one notices the stench in City Hall. Into this scene comes Constantine Minor, a young and ambitious reporter. The author has twice won the Shamus Award.
Mass Market Paperback, 321 pages
Published July 1st 1991 by Crimeline (first published September 1st 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Whiskey River, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Whiskey River

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 399)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Larry Bassett
This book and the six others in the series take place in Detroit, Michigan. I grew up near Detroit so that is the draw for me. I enjoy reading books that happen in familiar territory. Each book covers one decade from the 1930s to the 1990s. In this first book the protagonist, a newspaper journalist for a fictitious Detroit tabloid The Banner, tells the stories of the mobsters in the city, gathering information by talking with his sources on the battlefields of the underworld and befriending some ...more
This was one of those books you pick up for the heck of it on your way out of the library. You didn't go in for it, but you walk out with it. It's like going to the grocery store for one or two things, but 200 dollars later, your basket is full.

I liked this book. It was set during prohibition times in Detroit. So of course there were bootleggers which I always find fun because I have bootleggers in my family tree. Albeit, not very good ones because my family members spent time in a state peniten
It really wasn't my kind of book although I read it to the end.
It is set in Detroit in the 1930's when bootlegging was big business and the cops were grossly corrupt. The main character is a newspaper reporter. He gets in with the gangsters, they seem to like him. He goes on a bootlegging trip to Canada with some of them, he carries large amounts of money as a favor for one of them. He gets caught in crossfire and sees quite a lot of dead gangsters. The main gangster here is Jack Dance, a charm
Thomas E.
Feb 22, 2015 Thomas E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Whiskey River is a story about a newspaper reporter who becomes involved with gangsters during the Prohibition Era in Detroit, Michigan.

What I liked most about the book is the descriptive detail about the times. The author's descriptions of the city of Detroit, the characters in the book, the clothes they wore, driving from Canada to Michigan across the ice in cars loaded with booze, and so on, are excellent. Yet I also thought that the attention to detail came at the expense of the story in th
Nov 10, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very entertaining and fast paced novel laced with colorful gangsters of 1930s Detroit. The story was well written and since I love anything Detroit, it gets five stars. I've already got the next book in this series on reserve at the library.
Jul 17, 2010 Naomi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A very authentic look at the prohibition era in Detroit with a lot of detail concerning the city and enivrons. A confusing number of characters and dialogue made the story so involved that it was hard to keep track of everything.
Tom Saunders
Sep 10, 2014 Tom Saunders rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly Estleman's best work, in a career that is knee deep in "bests".
Jul 29, 2011 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this is a fun way to learn Detroit 1930's history.
The first novel in the 'Detroit Crime Series' in which the city is treated as an organic entity through various decades of the 20th century, "WHISKEY RIVER" spans from the Prohibition Era to the late 1930s.

Constantine ("Connie") Minor is a Detroit-based journalist who has made a name for himself covering the crime beat in the late 1920s/early 1930s. This was a time in which bootleggers and mobsters carved out Detroit into spheres of influence over which they exerted and established firm control
John Wood
Sep 15, 2013 John Wood rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the Prohibition Era
Having never read Michigan author Loren Estleman and being interested in the history of the Detroit underworld, I decided to give this one a shot. By using an authentic sounding narrative tone and mixing in actual events and people with his fictitious cast, the author creates an engaging story. It was easy to imagine the atmosphere of Prohibition Era Detroit. I was always fascinated by my mother's accounts of playing upstairs with all of the other kids at her "uncle's house" when her parents wer ...more
Todd Stockslager
A novel of Detroit. (1928). Not Estleman's best. Good start, flat ending. Too much description not enough action to wrap it up.
Aug 16, 2014 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had particular interest for me. It's a story about organized crime in Detroit during Prohibition, and the historical context was a great backdrop for Estleman's novel. I spent much of my life in the Detroit area including living in Ann Arbor and Toledo, both cities mentioned in the book. Other books in Estleman's Detroit series apparently take place in other decades, which I'm hoping will each contribute toward a good history lesson of organized crime (and other interesting things) in ...more
Zeb Kantrowitz
Apr 04, 2015 Zeb Kantrowitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are all interconnected stories about Detroit in the years prior, during and just after prohibition. The city was expanding exponentially as the auto industry expanded. With the coming of prohibition, it was all out warfare between the authorities and the bootleggers. It was hard to tell the corrupt politicians and cops from the gangsters, and the yellow press thrived.
A good read for those of us in Southeast Michigan. It slowed a bit in the middle, but the history & characters kept me reading.
May 17, 2010 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
This is the first in the Detroit series that Mr. Estleman wrote. It has all the elements of an old radio private eye. Gangsters, dolls and told through the eyes of a wise cracking newspaper reporter.
Mar 25, 2013 Mjackman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this not long after W.A. Berger's "The Purples." Both books concern organized crime in Detroit during prohibition. I liked the story of "The Purples" better, but this is the better-written book.
Francie Shoemaker
Oct 25, 2011 Francie Shoemaker rated it really liked it
This one is a good companion to the other book I read about Prohibition, Last Call. It is a novel concentrated in Detroit and added a few details I did't know such as the origin of Black Bottom.
Bob Eilenfeldt
Oct 11, 2012 Bob Eilenfeldt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loren Estlemen is an excellent author. His books are well research and well paced. And.. he does a great job with character development
May 08, 2012 Hilary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started out great, but unfortunately it really slowed down at the end...still interesting, but not a "must read" for me.
Feb 18, 2011 Joey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book about Detroit during prohibition. For anyone who knows the city, you really can imagine where things are happening.
Mar 01, 2009 Claudia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic, old-school detective novel, set in 1930's Detroit.
Apr 15, 2007 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Great mystery set in Prohibition-era Detroit.
John Taylor
John Taylor rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2016
MaryAnn Sharp
MaryAnn Sharp marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2016
David Dietz
David Dietz marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Felicia marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Patty Petry
Patty Petry marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Sarah marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2016
Rob added it
Apr 10, 2016
Randy added it
Apr 03, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Speaks The Nightbird, Volume 1: Judgment of The Witch (Matthew Corbett, #1.1)
  • The Double
  • A Double Death on the Black Isle
  • The Singapore Wink
  • Blunt Darts (John Francis Cuddy, #1)
  • Detroit Breakdown
  • Billy Boyle (Billy Boyle World War II, #1)
  • The Cincinnati Red Stalkings
  • The Jews: Story of a People
  • Bette Davis: A Biography
  • The Day the Bubble Burst: A Social History of the Wall Street Crash of 1929
  • The Killing
  • The Man Who Never Returned
  • Motor City Burning: A Novel
  • Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans
  • Holy Smoke
  • The Stars Dispose
Loren D. Estleman is an American writer of detective and Western fiction. He writes with a manual typewriter.

Estleman is most famous for his novels about P.I. Amos Walker. Other series characters include Old West marshal Page Murdock and hitman Peter Macklin. He has also written a series of novels about the history of crime in Detroit (also the setting of his Walker books.) His non-series works in
More about Loren D. Estleman...

Other Books in the Series

Detroit (7 books)
  • Motown (Detroit, #2)
  • King of the Corner (Detroit, #3)
  • Edsel (Detroit, #4)
  • Stress (Detroit, #5)
  • Jitterbug (Detroit, #6)
  • Thunder City (Detroit, #7)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »