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Whiskey River (Detroit Crime Mystery #1)
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Whiskey River (Detroit Crime Mystery #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  18 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.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 11th 1991 by Scribners (first published September 1st 1990)
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Best Historical Mystery
289th out of 1,014 books — 2,706 voters
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Books set in Michigan
27th out of 252 books — 80 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
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
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.
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
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.
John Wood
Sep 15, 2013 John Wood rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Tom Saunders
Possibly Estleman's best work, in a career that is knee deep in "bests".
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
A good read for those of us in Southeast Michigan. It slowed a bit in the middle, but the history & characters kept me reading.
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.
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
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
Loren Estlemen is an excellent author. His books are well research and well paced. And.. he does a great job with character development
This book started out great, but unfortunately it really slowed down at the end...still interesting, but not a "must read" for me.
Good book about Detroit during prohibition. For anyone who knows the city, you really can imagine where things are happening.
Classic, old-school detective novel, set in 1930's Detroit.
Great mystery set in Prohibition-era Detroit.
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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...
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