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Fiction Historical

Riverside Drive

Border City Blues

by (author) Michael Januska

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
May 2013
Historical, Historical, Hard-Boiled
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2013
    List Price

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Prohibition takes the battle, along with the party, to the streets.

Jack McCloskey returned to Windsor, Ontario, from the Great War shell-shocked and battling inner demons. Channeling his energy into amateur fights, he’s noticed by a gangster sidelining as a boxing promoter. After a brief professional stint, Jack is invited to join the crew. It’s the early days of Prohibition along the Detroit River. Feeling trapped, Jack often tries to escape by throwing himself into relationships that are doomed from the start. Complicating matters further, a crime lord descends on the Border Cities, taking over all smuggling activity to finance his covert political agenda.

In sharp contrast is the story of Vera Maude, a young librarian also yearning to escape, but to the cafes of Greenwich Village or the Left Bank. All she lacks is will. The climax occurs in a gripping battle at the crime lord’s house on Riverside Drive and its surprising aftermath the following morning.


About the author

Michael Januska was born in Windsor, Ontario. He has worked with books his whole life, both as a bookseller and for several book publishing companies. Stories from Januska's Prohibition-era series of novels and short stories have won the Scene of the Crime short story prize. The previous Border City Blues book is Riverside Drive. He lives in Toronto.

Michael Januska's profile page


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Editorial Reviews

This is a writer to watch.

Globe and Mail

The book is well-written, it’s a great read and at fewer than 300 pages it can be finished in a relatively short time. . . [Januska] appears to be on his way to becoming a nationally recognized figure.

Windsor Life Magazine

Windsor may look and feel a bit more like HBO’s Boardwalk Empire after reading Riverside Drive, the latest release from Michael Januska.

The Drive Magazine

It’s powerful material for a novel, and Januska shows great strengths for plotting and dialogue.

This is a gritty, stylishly written novel. The tale has a Boardwalk Empire feel, and the story itself, which finds Jack searching for a killer and accidentally finding out some things about himself, is . . . dramatic and occasionally moving. It’s the author’s first novel, but readers will hope it isn’t his last.


Revealing the history of the Border Cities, as the story unravels, gives insight as to what it was like to live in Windsor during that time.

Other titles by Michael Januska