In 1926, thanks to Prohibition, it’s hard to find a beer in Lido, New York. But trouble is always on tap at the Galliano Club.

The 4-book Galliano Club series is based on my grandfather’s tales from his time as Deputy Sheriff of Oneida County. The setting draws inspiration from my hometown of Rome, New York.



Three very different people each flee the secrets of their past in this novella-length collection of character backstories. But all roads lead to the Galliano Club, promising a high-stakes collision that will end up in murder, blackmail, and revenge.

You’ll meet:

Ruth Cross escapes a dead-end life in a Pennsylvania coal mining town for the bright lights of Broadway, only to be caught in a life-changing scandal that will follow her all the way to the apartment over the Galliano Club.

Luca Lombardo grows up in Italy as the outcast son of an army deserter. Emigrating to America comes with a cruel price. By the time Luca goes to work as the barman at the Galliano Club, he will have nothing left to lose.

Benny Rotolo rises from street thug to trusted bodyguard for Chicago’s North Side Gang. But when Al Capone puts a price on Benny’s head, he leaves Chicago, determined to build his own bootlegging empire no matter what it takes.




2023 Silver Falchion award for Best Historical from Killer Nashville!

Luca Lombardo is the jack-of-all-trades at the Galliano Club, a hangout for Italian mill workers. The club is both home and family for Luca and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep it afloat, including staying silent about a murder.

From her apartment over the club, Ruth Cross witnessed the crime, but a scandalous past keeps her quiet.

Could hitman Benny Rotolo be involved? Run out of Chicago by Al Capone, Benny fled to Lido determined to establish his own bootlegging empire. Turning the Galliano Club into a speakeasy is Step 1.

The longer the murder at the Galliano Club goes unsolved, the bigger the trap of lies.

Who will get out alive?​




The heat is on in Lido, New York, when blackmail letters land on the Galliano Club’s doorstep. The message is simple: Pay or die.

Explosions follow. Will the club burn before Luca Lombardo, the club’s jack-of-all-trades, figures out who is behind the threats?

Warning: Blackmail is contagious. Police officer Sean O’Malley uses Ruth Cross’s past against her to get what he wants. Chicago hitman Benny Rotolo dabbles in the extortion racket, too.

As blackmail terrifies everyone connected to the Galliano Club, murder may be the only way out.



The body of a strangled woman is fished out of the Mohawk River near Lido, New York. With the help of Galliano Club members, she is identified as a waitress from Chicago.

Hanna Gorski travels to Lido, determined to find her sister’s killer. She’ll bring him to justice any way she can.

Luca Lombardo would help, but he’s in jail facing kidnapping charges. This is good news for Chicago hitman Benny Rotolo, who figures he can finally steal the Galliano Club and expand his bootlegging empire.

But Benny didn’t bargain on Hanna Gorski.

Neither did anybody else.

Inspiration for the setting

My hometown of Rome, New York, inspired the fictional city of Lido, the setting for the Galliano Club series. At the crossroads of the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River, Rome occupies a prime spot in upstate New York south of the Adirondack Park where the wealthy flocked to deluxe lodge hotels in the 1920’s.

Once upon a time, Rome supplied 10% of all copper used to build American’s electrical grids, telephone network, ship hulls and bridges. Immigrants from Italy and Poland provided the workforce. The city’s 5 Catholic churches met the needs of its rapidly expanding population.

Postcard of Rome 1919

Colorized postcard from 1919 showing the main thoroughfare of West Dominick Street. All the buildings were razed in the 1970’s to build a replica of Fort Stanwix.


Rome court house

The imposing courthouse in Rome, the seat of Oneida County, and the statue to Col. Peter Gansevoort, defender of Fort Stanwix during the Revolutionary War. When the British demanded his surrender, his reply began: “I reject with disdain.”


Trolley tracks in Rome, New York

Colorized postcard showing trolley tracks going up North James Street, a major street leading into downtown Rome.


Rome, NY circa 1921

In 1921, Rome was a bustling city. My grandparents had a collection of glass insulators from electrical poles.


Rome NY 1927 awaits Charles lindbergh

Draped in bunting to greet Charles Lindbergh after his historic flight across the Atlantic in 1927, Rome was so patriotic that a major intersection was known as the “American Corner.”


Rome NY hails Charles Lindbergh 1927

Cars lined the streets when Charles Lindbergh stopped in Rome as part of his barnstorming tour in the summer of 1927.


Copper City sign

Every night, lights over the bridge announced that 10% of all the copper used in the USA was manufactured in Rome, mostly thanks to the Revere Copper and Brass Rolling Mill.


Steeples in Rome NY

5 churches served Rome’s heavily Catholic blue-collar population.



The original Galliano Club still stands today

The original Galliano Club still stands today with its twin doors. I took tap dance lessons in the dance studio on the 2nd floor.


More about the Galliano Club thrillers


I think of you

I think of you

This week, the Rome Arts Hall of Fame from my hometown sent out their annual call for nominations to previous inductees, including me (Hall of Fame Class of 2019.) The letter came from Maria Rich, who scribbled a note in the margin of the letter: “I think of you every...

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Winning an Award, Losing My Mother

Winning an Award, Losing My Mother

Murder at the Galliano Club, the first novel in the Galliano Club historical fiction thriller series won the Silver Falchion Award for Best Historical at the 2023 Killer Nashville International Writer's Conference. I’m still shell-shocked.   The Galliano Club...

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While chatting with fellow author Shelley Blanton-Stroud (grab her free book, COPY BOY) for an upcoming episode of Mystery Crew Reviews, she asked if my villainous great-grandfather was the impetus for my love of mystery. “No,” I replied, because I was well into my...

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At my induction into the Rome Arts Hall of Fame in 2019, I was asked if I would ever write a mystery set in Rome. And so I have, sort of.

My thanks go to Arthur Simmons III, Executive Director of the Rome Historical Society, James R. Guy, president of Rome’s historic Galliano Club, the Oneida County Historical Society, and the board of the Rome Arts Hall of Fame for putting ideas in my head.


You scrolled all the way to the end! Your reward is a page of fun book extras! from lost chapters to photos and maps.

Author Carmen Amato

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