Devil’s Garden by Ace Atkins (2009)
Fatty Arbunkle was a silent movie comic at the top of the box office when he was accused of murdering a young starlet in a drunken debauch. Sam Hammett (later known as Dashiell) was a Pinkerton operative hired to work on the case. Those two sentences are true. What author Atkins does with them is to develop a marvelous feel for the time, early 1920s, the place, San Francisco, and the characters, real and imaginary.
Pick up a copy of the book at Indian Prairie or the Woodridge Public Library and join the Crime Readers Book Club discussion on December 16, 2010, 7 p.m. at the Downers Grove Wine Shop, 1240 75th Street.