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Nellie Coker, based on the real-life club maven Kate Meyrick, is not to be messed with. She’s just been released from Holloway women’s prison after an illegal raid on her night club, and she finds herself surrounded by threats to her nightlife empire. It’s 1926 in post-World War II London, and Detective Chief Inspector John Frobisher is hot on Nellie’s tail, hellbent on a moral crusade to shut her down. At the same time, Gwendolen Kelling, a librarian from York and a former war nurse, is missing two female friends who may or may not have worked for Nellie. A glittering period piece with a bit of mystery, Kate Atkinson’s Shrines of Gaiety will keep readers captivated to the very last drop. —Laura Zornosa

Correction, November 28

The original version of this story misstated the war after which the story takes place. It was World War I, not World War II.

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