The Great Gasp

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Mystery Overview

It is 1922 –just after World War I and a time of unprecedented economic prosperity in the United States. This era will see the evolution of jazz music, a women’s right to vote and the rise of the “flapper” culture, accompanied by Prohibition, bootleggers and a variety of criminal activities. It is a roaring good year. Rick Carron is newly arrived to New York, seeking a future as a Hoover Brush salesman. He rents a small bungalow in the “new money” section of Great Neck, Long Island, across the bay from the “old money” Manhasset Neck where is cousin, Rose, and her wealthy husband now reside. He soon meets his mysterious millionaire neighbor, Jackson Gallant. Gallant recognizes Rick as battalion mate from The Great War and invites him to a lavish, perpetual party at his leased mansion. The illegal booze is cold and the jazz is hot, but things are about to get hotter. Rick is not the only person from Gallant’s past who is present and all reunions are not happy ones…

Main Characters

Anika Lossius (F): Gallant’s mysterious personal assistant. If she wasn’t so efficient, one would be suspicious that he only kept her around for her pin-up girl good-looks.

Elliot “The Boarder” Keynes (M/F): A sponger who lives at Gallant’s mansion. Came for a party and never left

Goodwill (M): Gallant’s chauffeur and “muscle.” Has made a reputation for himself in the amateur boxing circle.

Harvey A. Wallbanger (M): A mechanic and owner of the town’s garage. Before WWI, he and his wife, Miriam, lived in Cuba where he promoted car racing events. He has been very wealthy in the past, but lost it all when he fled Cuba. He is most anxious to make it back; by any means possible.

Jackson Gallant (M): A mysterious millionaire who has recently rented a McMansion in the prestigious “new money” section of the Long Island town, Great Neck, New York. He is host to this perpetual party.

Madison Hooch (M/F): Mayor of New York. Always a favorite at Gallant’s parties. Known for long speeches and a short memory.

Mercedes Lincoln (F): Rose’s BFF, a world class biathlete (skiing & shooting), who is in New York this summer for an exhibition. She is referred to by Tate as a “charity girl.”

Miriam Wallbanger (F): Harvey’s wife – she grew accustomed to their life in Cuba and is anxious to return to her previous affluence -doesn’t seem too particular about the method.

Rose Bodewell (F): An attractive, effervescent, shallow and self-absorbed young woman – a flapper. Rick’s second cousin and the wife of Tate. She briefly dated Gallant before he left for the trenches when he was a penniless soldier.

Richard “Rick” Carron (M): WWI Veteran and Yale graduate, he has recently arrived in New York City to pursue a career as a Hoover Brush salesman. He is a second cousin to Rose Bardwell and a former college chum of her husband, Tate. He is also Gallant’s newest neighbor.

Tate Bodewell (M): A millionaire from “old money,” his family is at the top of the exclusive New York social ladder. He is married to Rose, having been introduced by his Yale chum, Rick Carron. Between a legacy and his athletic prowess, it was a no-brainer Tate would graduate from Yale. Unfortunately, Tate is a little on the “no-brainer” side himself.