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
MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB is now available in Kindle and paperback editions. The first novel in the Galliano Club thriller series debuted in the Number 2 spot on Amazon’s Italian Literature category. Thank you to so many early readers!
Join bootlegger Benny Rotolo and bartender Luca Lombardo as they battle for control of the Galliano Club, a hangout for Italian men in upstate New York in 1926. Beer is king and trouble is always on tap.
Are you a fan of The Godfather, Road to Perdition, The Untouchables, or Boardwalk Empire? If you love historical fiction featuring Prohibition-era stories of Chicago gangsters, Italian mobsters, and bold bootleggers, you’ll love MURDER AT THE GALLIANO CLUB, as well as ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB, the prequel.
Why historical thrillers?
Many readers have asked why this pivot to historical thrillers after writing mysteries set in contemporary Mexico. The short answer is “pandemic.”
After writing so many books set in Mexico, including the award-winning Detective Emilia Cruz police series, the Galliano Club historical thriller series was a real switch for me. But in the midst of the pandemic, writing about cartels and corruption was emotionally tough.
Related post: From New York to Mexico and back again
Turning to family stories–my grandfather was a deputy sheriff during Prohibition–was both a challenge and a labor of love. My hometown of Rome, NY became Lido, NY. I incorporated many of my mother’s fading memories of growing up there. So much love went into this series, which you can read about here.
Seems I traded drug cartels and official corruption for bootleggers, blackmailers, and crooks. Go figure.
Get ready for an exciting trip to 1926!
Prohibition was at its height, with beer cooked up in illegal breweries, speedboats hauling liquor from the Bahamas to the East Coast, and Prohibition Bureau agents playing both sides of the law. Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett claimed to fly over the North Pole but Charles Lindbergh wouldn’t cross the Atlantic until the next year. The Yankees lost the World Series when Babe Ruth was tagged out trying to steal a base. And that’s just for starters.
The Galliano Club thriller series has it all. Expect authentic details, unforgettable characters, layers of deception, and relationships with heat.
All three full-length novels in the Prohibition-era Galliano Club series are scheduled for release:
16 February 2023: BLACKMAIL AT THE GALLIANO CLUB
The gift of historical fiction
When I started in the midst of the pandemic, I didn’t realize where the Galliano Club would lead. Now I’ve met some wonderful historical fiction authors, reignited my love of research, reconnected to my Italian roots, and learned about my hometown which served as the inspiration for Lido, New York.
Related: Behind the Galliano Club
All because my grandfather told stories from when he was a deputy sheriff during Prohibition . . . and yes, I’ve written him into the series.
The Galliano Club is my first foray into historical fiction but it won’t be the last.
This project has truly been a gift.
While you wait
The prequel, ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB is out now! Read the backstories of the unforgettable characters of the Galliano Club thrillers: bartender Luca Lombardo, dancer Ruth Cross and bootlegger Benny Rotolo.
From the mean streets of 1920’s Chicago, to a coal town in Pennsylvania, all the way to the a village in southern Italy, three roads converge at the Galliano Club, where trouble is always on tap.
Grab it on Amazon here.
Are you a food blogger? Love to cook Italian? Are you looking for a fresh, fun collaboration opportunity?
The Galliano Club series of historical thriller books will be released this coming Fall 2022.
The hunt is on for Italian-loving food bloggers and Instagram accounts to help promote the book series and grow their own audience at the same time.
About the Galliano Club books
The Galliano Club thriller series consists of a prequel and three full-length novels that tell a Prohibition-era saga of murder, blackmail and revenge. The year is 1926. The place is Lido, New York, a blue-collar kind of place inspired by my upstate hometown of Rome, New York.
The Galliano Club is a social hub for Italian mill workers in Lido. Club members drop in for bootleg beer or one of bartender Luca Lombardo’s famous sandwiches.
But trouble is always on tap at the Galliano Club . . .
The prequel, ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB is out now.
More about the series here: Inside the Galliano Club thrillers
As part of the launch activities for the books during October-December 2022, author Carmen Amato (me) will be collaborating with food bloggers to create tie-ins that highlight the books’ Italian roots.
Collaborations are planned around Italian food, kitchen merch, and Prohibition cocktails.
Collaborations will be highlighted in press releases, interviews, etc.
1. Instagram contests to grow both our account followers. (“follow these accounts and tag a friend, etc) Prize bundles to include Galliano Club books, Italian cookbooks, kitchen merch from your store if available, Williams Sonoma cocktail kits, etc.
2. The free companion Galliano Club Signature Sandwich Cookbook featuring favorite recipes for Italian-style sandwiches from popular food bloggers and authors. There are 4 slots left. If selected, your recipe will be included with attribution and links to your blog/website. You get press release language/blog post draft and PDF copy to showcase on your website. Perfect as a lead magnet to grow your email list.
3. Signed copies of the Galliano Club books to sell in your online shops (US only).
How to participate
Want to take advantage of this collaboration opportunity? Email carmen(at)carmenamato.net with the subject line “Collaboration with Italian food blogger.”
Here’s what to include:
Your name, website, Instagram, and email
Tell me a little about yourself and why you love Italian food.
Plus, answer these questions:
1. Do you have a mouth-watering recipe for an Italian sandwich to be included in the Galliano Club Signature Sandwich Cookbook?
2. Do you have items from your shop that you are willing to provide for an Instagram contest? Think about easily shipped items like apron, potholder, napkin set, salt and pepper shakers, etc.(You’ll ship to me. I’ll add to prize bundle shipped to winners. All bundle contributors listed.)
3. Are you interested in up to 5 free signed copies of Galliano Club books to sell in your store? (US addresses only)
4. Who else would be interested in this opportunity? Please provide their email or Instagram.
That’s it! Fire off that email! Let’s collaborate!
In case you were wondering, yes, I’m Italian.
I’m also the author of the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco, the Galliano Club historical thrillers, and standalone novels of suspense.
A 30-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, personal experiences are occasionally disguised as fiction.
With complex plots, fast action, and an exotic location, the Detective Emilia Cruz series includes CLIFF DIVER, HAT DANCE, DIABLO NIGHTS, KING PESO, PACIFIC REAPER, RUSSIAN MOJITO, NARCO NOIR and numerous short reads. All the novels contain Mexican food recipes, too.
The series is a 2-time recipient of the Outstanding Series Award from CrimeMasters of America, and won the Silver Falchion from Killer Nashville in 2019. It has been optioned for television.
A recipient of both the National Intelligence Award and the Career Intelligence Medal, I’ve been a judge for the BookLife Prize and Killer Nashville’s Claymore Award. Nonfiction has appeared in Publishers Weekly, Criminal Element, The Rap Sheet, Mamiverse, and other national-level publications.
My previous collaborations led to two chart-topping books: THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE BEST OF MEXICO and THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE BEST OF MEXICAN HOLIDAYS.
I guide readers through must-read mystery and deception every other Sunday in the Mystery Ahead newsletter. Get it here: https://carmenamato.net/mystery-ahead/
Don’t forget! Email carmen(at)carmenamato.net with the subject line “Collaboration with Italian food blogger.”