The best true crime of the Roaring Twenties

Who am I?

The author, editor, or ghostwriter of more than 100 book titles, Glenn Stout loves to mine microfilmed newspaper archives and specializes in deeply reported historical narrative non-fiction that brings the past to life.  Many of his titles have intersected with the Roaring Twenties, including Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Changed the World, now in development for Disney+ as a major motion picture starring Daisy Ridley.  A long-time aficionado of noir and true crime, Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid was the culmination of more than fifteen years of dogged research, a story The Wall Street Journal called “a hell of a yarn--worthy of an HBO hoodlum epic like Boardwalk Empire.”

I wrote...

Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid: America's Original Gangster Couple

By Glenn Stout,

Book cover of Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid: America's Original Gangster Couple

What is my book about?

Before Bonnie and Clyde there was Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid - smarter, more successful, and better looking. In the wake of war, a pandemic, and an economic depression, Margaret and Richard Whittemore, two love-struck working-class kids from Baltimore reached for the dream of a better life. In the heart of the Jazz Age, they headed up a gang that in less than a year stole over one million dollars' worth of diamonds and precious gems - over fifteen million dollars today.

Set against the backdrop of the excesses of the Roaring Twenties, their story takes the reader from the jailhouse to the speakeasy, from the cabarets where they celebrated good times to the gallows where their story finally came to an end... and left Tiger Girl pining for a final kiss. Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid is a tale of rags to riches, tragedy, and infamy.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

Why did I love this book?

This page-turner dives into the underbelly of old Hollywood and the circumstances surrounding the lurid and still unsolved 1922 murder of actor and director William Desmond Taylor, with more than a splash of sex, drugs, and decadence spilling over everything. It breaks new ground in what was already a well-documented case.

By William J. Mann,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tinseltown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller Edgar Award winner for Best Fact Crime The Day of the Locust meets The Devil in the White City and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in this juicy, untold Hollywood story: an addictive true tale of ambition, scandal, intrigue, murder, and the creation of the modern film industry. By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America's new favorite pastime, and one of the nation's largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood's glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies-including the murder of William Desmond…

Book cover of The Bobbed Haired Bandit: A True Story of Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York

Why did I love this book?

In 1924 husband and wife team Celia and Ed Cooney, with a new baby on the way and not enough money, turned stick-up artists, with meek-looking, bobbed-hair Celia wielding the gun. The tabloids couldn’t get enough of the “flapper turned bad” storyline and for a time every bobbed-hair flapper and her swain in New York was under suspicion.

By Stephen Duncombe, Andrew Mattson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bobbed Haired Bandit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Illuminates the life and image of one of New York City's most fashionable criminals-Celia Cooney
Ripped straight from the headlines of the Jazz Age, The Bobbed Haired Bandit is a tale of flappers and fast cars, of sex and morality. In the spring of 1924, a poor, 19-year-old laundress from Brooklyn robbed a string of New York grocery stores with a "baby automatic," a fur coat, and a fashionable bobbed hairdo. Celia Cooney's crimes made national news, with the likes of Ring Lardner and Walter Lippman writing about her exploits for enthralled readers.
The Bobbed Haired Bandit brings to life…

Book cover of Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend

Why did I love this book?

In 1920 Italian immigrant Charles Ponzi tapped into the era’s unmatched appetite for greed. The Boston-based swindler and con artist created a pyramid scheme that in a little over a year allowed him to live the high life while fleecing his money-hungry investors of more than $20 million – over $250 million in 2021 dollars.

By Mitchell Zuckoff,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ponzi's Scheme as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was a time when anything seemed possible–instant wealth, glittering fame, fabulous luxury–and for a run of magical weeks in the spring and summer of 1920, Charles Ponzi made it all come true. Promising to double investors’ money in three months, the dapper, charming Ponzi raised the “rob Peter to pay Paul” scam to an art form. At the peak of his success, Ponzi was raking in more than $2 million a week at his office in downtown Boston. Then his house of cards came crashing down–thanks in large part to the relentless investigative reporting of Richard Grozier’s Boston Post.…

Book cover of The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America

Why did I love this book?

The Roaring Twenties wouldn’t have roared quite as loud without Prohibition. And without George Remus, who cornered the bourbon market while enjoying a lifestyle pulled from the pages of The Great Gatsby – and who probably murdered his wife along the way - the era would have been a lot less liquid.

By Karen Abbott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ghosts of Eden Park as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The epic true crime story of the most successful bootlegger in American history and the murder that shocked the nation, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

“Gatsby-era noir at its best.”—Erik Larson


In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he's a…

Book cover of For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz Age Chicago

Why did I love this book?

A chilling account of the era’s most notorious murder, the 1924 thrill-killing of fourteen-year-old Bobbie Franks by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two brilliant young men… who just wanted to know how it felt to murder someone. The case inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Rope.

By Simon Baatz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked For the Thrill of It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was a crime that shocked the nation: the brutal murder in Chicago in 1924 of a child by two wealthy college students who killed solely for the thrill of the experience. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were intellectuals—too smart, they believed, for the police to catch them. When they were apprehended, state's attorney Robert Crowe was certain that no defense could save the ruthless killers from the gallows. But the families of the confessed murderers hired Clarence Darrow, entrusting the lives of their sons to the most famous lawyer in America in what would be one of the most…

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