Devil's Garden

( 13 )

Overview

San Francisco, September 1921: Silent-screen comedy star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle is throwing a wild party in his suite at the St. Francis Hotel-girls, jazz, bootleg hooch...and a dead actress named Virginia Rappe.

The D.A. says it was Arbuckle who killed her- crushed her under his weight-and brings him up on manslaughter charges. William Randolph Hearst's newspapers stir up the public and demand a guilty verdict.

In desperation, Arbuckle's ...

See more details below
Paperback
$13.42
BN.com price
(Save 16%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (37) from $1.99   
  • New (16) from $1.99   
  • Used (21) from $1.99   
Devil's Garden

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

San Francisco, September 1921: Silent-screen comedy star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle is throwing a wild party in his suite at the St. Francis Hotel-girls, jazz, bootleg hooch...and a dead actress named Virginia Rappe.

The D.A. says it was Arbuckle who killed her- crushed her under his weight-and brings him up on manslaughter charges. William Randolph Hearst's newspapers stir up the public and demand a guilty verdict.

In desperation, Arbuckle's defense team hires an operative from the famed Pinkerton detective agency to investigate and, they hope, discover the truth. The agent's name is Dashiell Hammett... and what he discovers will change American legal history-and his own life- forever

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The 1921 rape/manslaughter trial of silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle provides the gritty backdrop for Atkins's outstanding crime novel, in which Dashiell Hammett, then a Pinkerton operative living in San Francisco, plays a significant role. A wild party Arbuckle throws at San Francisco's posh St. Francis Hotel results in tragedy after an actress, Virginia Rappe, is mysteriously injured and later dies. As the author explains in a "behind the story" introduction, the future creator of Sam Spade was actually assigned to help the defense on the Arbuckle case. With enviable ease, Atkins (Wicked City) brings to life Hammett, Arbuckle, William Randolph Hearst and other real figures of the period. Those familiar with the historical case will be impressed by how well the book meshes fact and fiction. Genre fans who enjoy the grim realism of James Ellroy's post-WWII Los Angeles will find a lot to like in Atkins's Prohibition-era San Francisco. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In September 1921, silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was tried for the murder of budding actress Virginia Rappe after a wild, boozy bash at a San Francisco hotel. The case was particularly notorious because William Randolph Hearst unleashed the full force of his media empire on it, allegedly tainting evidence and claiming Arbuckle crushed Rappe under his immense weight. A key private investigator for Arbuckle was none other than a young Pinkerton agent named Sam Dashiell Hammett, who turned up much more than a botched police investigation and an unethical autopsy. On the margin of the case was a web of Hollywood intrigue and corruption worthy of its own scandal, fueled by the looming demise of the silent film and Hearst's desire to preserve mistress Marian Davies's acting career. Atkins's (Wicked City) latest noir historical thriller showcases one of the most infamous Hollywood murder trials with a compelling style and a deft blend of fact and fiction. Sure to appeal to Hollywood buffs and mystery readers alike, this is recommended for popular fiction collections.[See Prepub Mystery, LJ12/08.]
—Susan Clifford Braun

Kirkus Reviews
Facing a manslaughter rap, big-time movie star Fatty Arbuckle gets the Pinkerton agent Dashiell Hammett working on his behalf. In September 1921, you can argue endlessly about who's funnier, Chaplin or Arbuckle, whose face shines with ersatz innocence as he takes those earthshaking pratfalls. But there's nothing funny about Arbuckle's private life, which runs to nonstop booze, floozies and wild parties. The saturnalia at the St. Francis Hotel is merely typical until the girl in Suite 1219 turns up dead, causing the San Francisco authorities to pay particular attention. Arrest and indictment follow in short order. According to the prosecution, Virginia Rappe met her untimely end crushed under the importunate bulk of Roscoe Arbuckle. It's an allegation lurid enough to enchant the whole avid world of yellow journalism. Though the evidence against Arbuckle is far from overwhelming, the defense is jumpy. Enter ace Pinkerton operative Sam Hammett, who's not yet calling himself Dashiell. Coughing blood, obviously suffering from TB, he remains every skinny inch a detective's detective, slogging toward some kind of truth through the moral and ethical despond known as the Arbuckle Case. Atkins (Wicked City, 2008, etc.) writes so well that some readers-but not all-will forget to ask if that's enough to validate time spent with irredeemable lowlifes in a modern-day Sodom.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425232668
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/30/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 387,271
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ace Atkins
Ace Atkins earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 2001 while at The Tampa Tribune for his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s that later became the basis for White Shadow. The Alabama native, also the author of four Nick Travers novels - Crossroad Blues, Leavin’ Trunk Blues, Dark End of the Street, and Dirty South - lives on a farm outside Oxford, Mississippi.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Is Hollywood the Devil's Garden?

    Silent screen comedy actor Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle is in very big trouble! Rolling in some very big money and throwing wild parties with booze (during Prohibition) and babes, he's caught in a party gone way too wild. An uninvited guest, an actress, Virginia Rappe, shows up drunk, parties very briefly and winds up screaming, writhing and tearing off her clothing in an adjacent hotel room, dying very shortly thereafter despite the efforts of some to revive her. Now Roscoe is on trial for manslaughter and the case at first seems clear-cut but has many problems that seem to indicate more than Fatty's hand is at play in this death.

    Part of his defense team includes Dashiell ("Sam") Hammett, a gritty Pinkerton detective who's very quick on his feet and mentally astute but who also is suffering from TB he picked up during his WWI Army service. He's also married and about to become a father, a fact not conductive to his poor salary as a detective in the famous Pinkerton Agency. Be that as it may, however, the reader will love how this famous detective is depicted with all his gritty flaws, foibles and charm. Because of who he knows and his ability to work those sources, he discovers innumerable questions about this case that will keep the reader guessing to the very last page.

    Why is the famous publisher, Randolph Hearst, so interested in this case? What lies in the checkered past about Virginia Rappe that might indicate she was very sick for some time before she arrived at this fatal bash? Why were parts of her body removed during her autopsy and by whom? Why are so many witnesses being paid to perjure themselves with an expected and scripted testimony? And why is Sam Hammett removed from the case just when he is solidly sure he's on to some facts that would definitely clear Roscoe?

    The pace is slow and easy in part, rapid and dangerously thrilling in others as Ace Atkins presents the details about this infamous case in 1920's San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. He is faithful in describing the famed detective, Sam or Dashiell Hammett's actions and thinking, not your usual TV crime drama style but presented in a jazzy, gangster-style mode reminiscent of the way things really were in crime scenes and the acting world of that er a. Readers will come to appreciate the ambience of these cities in their plushest and seediest sites and people.

    Ace Atkins has done a splendid job and offers the reader a fascinating look into a bygone era of fame and fortune that could be destroyed in the wink of an eye, in a time when criminal investigations were not always on the side of fairness and justice. Very nicely done for sure!

    Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on March 25, 2009

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    Roscoe's Wild Ride Explained!

    The story of Fatty Arbuckle's fall from being one of the most adored celebrities of his time to being hated and unemployable is something that has always fascinated me. The trouble is, there are a lot of holes in the tale that have never been filled in.

    I guess it's also true that Dashiell Hammett was involved as a detective on the case. Ace Atkins does a masterful job of fleshing out the plot and bringing to life the real people involved.

    It's a fictionalized account, which means you have to expect a bit of speculation about what happened thrown in with the facts. All in all, it's more satisfying than the usual sketchy, cartoonish representation of Roscoe Arbuckle.

    If you are interested at all in this period of Hollywood's history, I highly recommend Devil's Garden.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting

    I'd actually rate this 3-1/2 stars, but they don't give you that option. This is the first book I've ready by Ace Atkins, and I really enjoyed Devil's Garden. Knowing nothing about Fatty Arbuckle or this scandal, I found it a very interesting story (even a fictional version). The author's style of writing really made me visualize the time period and cast of characters, and the story moved along quickly. I did find the ending a bit of a let down. Not sure what I was expecting, but it did feel a little anticlimactic to me. However, overall, I liked the book a lot and will definitely read more by this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sounds like a great book, but

    I am intrigued by what sounds like a very good book, but I thought this was a review spot for readers to contribute and the one review above is clearly written by a professional or someone promoting and summarizing this book. I don't get it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)