By Ace Atkins
San Francisco, September 1921: Silent-screen comedy megastar Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle is throwing a wild social gathering in his suite on the St. Francis Hotel-girls, jazz, bootleg hooch...and a useless actress named Virginia Rappe.
The D.A. says it was once Arbuckle who killed her- beaten her lower than his weight-and brings him up on manslaughter fees. William Randolph Hearst's newspapers fan the flames of the general public and insist a accountable verdict.
In desperation, Arbuckle's safeguard group hires an operative from the famed Pinkerton detective organisation to enquire and, they desire, detect the reality. The agent's identify is Dashiell Hammett... and what he discovers will swap American criminal history-and his personal lifestyles- forever
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Extra resources for Devil's Garden
All surface details—the long lanky figure, the minor public-school tie, the pipe—abet this impression. He sat with his head back, the pipe held out in front of him, and an expression of annoyance on his swarthy face. I remember being at a dance once, at which Andy, then aged twenty, was squiring a romantic young lady aged eighteen. I remember passing a balcony where the two were talking on a romantic summer night: the young lady remarking on a fine yellow moon, and Andy proceeding to give her a long scientific explanation as to why it was yellow.
Tess asked quickly. “To Mrs. Logan. ” We shook our heads. “Mrs. Logan is Welsh,” said Clarke. “Or at least so I should judge from her Christian name, which is Gwyneth. She is much younger than her husband; extremely attractive physically; and not, I should have thought, of the temperament to enjoy this. But she seems keen to go. And in any case”—here a 41 curious smile spread across Clarke’s face, showing teeth as white and strong as a dog’s—“I think her husband will persuade her to go. Logan himself you will like.
Then, with a solemnity matching Andy’s own, she reached out and tweaked his nose. ” “And when I say ‘anything wrong with it,’” continued Tess, “don’t pretend to misunderstand. You know perfectly well I don’t mean anything wrong with the roof or the drains. ” “Sit down,” said Andy. ” The fading sunset light was full on Andy’s face as he blinked round. It seemed to me that his eyes under thick eyebrows that almost met in the middle, moved away; they assumed a kind of bursting stolidity. He sniffed.