A tall frosty glass of Prohibition, ballplayers and mobsters? I drank up a dozen books while researching 1926 for the Galliano Club thriller series. Now that MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB has hit your favorite bookstore, I highly recommend the following:
SCARFACE AND THE UNTOCHABLE by Max Allen Collins and A. Brad Schwartz
Far and away the best accounting of the infamous rivalry. The book “draws upon decades of primary source research—including the personal papers of Ness and his associates, newly released federal files, and long-forgotten crime magazines containing interviews with the gangsters and G-men themselves. Collins and Schwartz have recaptured a bygone bullet-ridden era while uncovering the previously unrevealed truth behind Scarface’s downfall. Together they have crafted the definitive work on Capone, Ness, and the battle for Chicago.”
Find on Amazon https://geni.us/colsc
LUCKIEST MAN: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig
A beautifully written and fulsome account of baseball legend Lou Gehrig, from his German roots and domineering mother to his rocky friendship with Babe Ruth to his sad demise of a baffling and uncurable disease that now bears his name. Did you know that he auditioned in Hollywood to play Tarzan? Or that his last words were “All my pals”?
Find on Amazon https://geni.us/elou
ONE SUMMER: America 1927 by Bill Bryson
Written in Bryson’s wry style, the book recounts everything of note that happened in the summer following Charles Lindbergh’s historical flight across the Atlantic. From the adoring crowds that nearly crushed the shy aviator to pole sitters, murder trials, a baseball tour featuring Ruth and Gehrig, and floods along the Mississippi, a patchwork of events is given wonderful context.
Find on Amazon https://geni.us/1br
LAST CALL by Daniel Okrent
A brilliant, authoritative, and fascinating history of Prohibition during 1920 to 1933, when the U.S. Constitution was amended to restrict alcohol. From the legal challenges to rumrunners, each chapter is full of insights and observations as to how Prohibition impacted the national character.
Find on Amazon https://geni.us/last2022
THE BLACK HAND by Stephan Talty
One of the first books I read in preparation for the Galliano Club, it’s the fantastically well-researched and gripping account of the Italian murder and extortion ring that terrorized Italian immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the determined New York City cop, Joseph Petrosino, who fought them. Petrosino is still a legend in both Italian and law enforcement circles.
Find on Amazon https://geni.us/hand2022
1926 in Fiction
The first book in the Galliano Club thriller series, MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB begins in August 1926. Hollywood hearthrob Rudolph Valentino died that month, only 31 years old but mourned by millions. New York governor Al Smith ran for re-election on a “wet” ticket opposing the enforcement of Prohibition in the state. Chicago bootleggers Al Capone and Hymie Weiss were locked in a battle for gang supremacy.
In MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB, Chicago bootlegger Benny Rotolo locks horns with bartender Luca Lombardo. They both want the club, where beer is king and trouble is always on tap.
Just ask the dead man in the alley behind the club. Find it on Amazon: https://geni.us/mur2022