Atkinson did her homework before reproducing the details of England in the raucous 1920s. Britons released from the devastation of WW I and the influenza epidemic of 1918 are eager to displace horrors of the past with jazz, drink, and dancing. Nellie Coker obliges Londoners with a series of marginally legal nightclubs, each decorated and catering to a different crowd. Corrupt police forces protect her investments while rival money-grubbers take aim at her properties and her riches. Nellie’s adult children and a lone, incorruptible police officer swarm about her like moths at a gas-lit lamppost. Taken together, Atkinson draws light into the shadowy recesses of an era, but there is not much suspense across its 416 pages. It’s like we are watching dancers jitterbug in a black and white clip with the sound off. At first all that motion is riveting, but the titillation isn’t sustaining.