The families of Salvatore Leone and Luigi Agnello had already been long-time bitter enemies in Sicily by the turn of the twentieth century.
In 1914, Vincenzo Leone, Salvatore’s oldest son, emigrates to Philadelphia to start a new life for himself and his family in the promised land. Several years later, Giuseppe Agnello, Luigi’s eldest, secretly marries Francesca Leone, Vincenzo’s sister, and the couple escape to New York City. Giuseppe leaves to serve his new country during the First World War. Francesca, alone and in need of support for herself and their infant son, Louis, travels to Philadelphia to live with her brother, his wife, and his two daughters.
The Spanish Flu takes the lives of Vincenzo’s wife and sister in 1917, and Leone moves with his daughters and Francesca’s son to San Francisco. Vincenzo Leone decides to raise Louis Agnello as his own child.
When Giuseppe returns from the war, he finds his wife and son gone. It takes more than five years for Agnello to learn the whereabouts of his family. Giuseppe travels to San Francisco with hopes of a reunion with Francesca and Louis, and becomes a victim of the hatred between the two families that has been recently transplanted in America by Vincenzo’s younger brother, Roberto. Vincenzo learns that Giuseppe had traveled to San Francisco to locate his wife and son, but Agnello had never reached Vincenzo’s door. Vincenzo begins to worry about the safety of sister’s son, and decides Louis will accompany him to New York City and to Sicily.
A failed attempt on the boy’s life results in Vincenzo’s death, and instigates a fresh and fierce hostility between the Agnello and Leone families that rivals the hatred and vindictiveness experienced in the old country.
American History is the epic, generational saga of the Agnellos and the Leones (in the Italian language the lambs and the lions)—a one-hundred-year conflict between Giuseppe’s descendants in New York City, law enforcers, and Vincenzo’s descendants in San Francisco, lawbreakers.
Praise for AMERICAN HISTORY:
“J.L. Abramo’s novel American History is a thrilling epic tale of two families crossing an ocean and a continent and spanning a century. An ambitious undertaking skillfully executed by a writer deserving wide recognition.” —Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-winning author of Dead Man Running
“American History is a beautifully written, ambitious crime epic. J.L. Abramo delivers an immersive, emotional and suspenseful gem that spans eras and nations and reminds us of who we are. A page-turning pleasure.” —Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of How It Happened
Lives are taken in the name of greed, retribution, passion and the lust for power—and the only worthy opponent of this senseless malevolence is the uncompromising resolve to rise above it, rather than descend to its depths.
The heart pounding sequel to the acclaimed novel GRAVESEND— from Shamus Award-winner J. L. Abramo—CONEY ISLAND AVENUE continues the dramatic account of the professional and personal struggles that constitute everyday life for the dedicated men and women of the Six-One and of the saints and sinners who share their streets.
“As Chandler brought life to sun-drenched Los Angeles with his rich and vivid descriptions, and Hammett’s Continental Op gave you a San Francisco where you could taste the gin and feel the fog, Abramo paints an equally richly textured portrait of Brooklyn. You taste the lasagna, smell the coffee, hear the sound of the elevated train. CONEY ISLAND AVENUE is an emotionally packed chronicle of good and evil, triumph and tragedy and—just below the surface—Abramo’s narrative is a universal tale of fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.”
—The Denver Review
Praise for GRAVESEND
“In our top five for best of 2012 is J. L. Abramo’s GRAVESEND. This is a remarkable book that will tie you in knots as you wait to see how it all plays out. A truly exceptional novel.”
Lefty Wright had it all figured. In fact he was doing the math as he crawled into the deserted house through the kitchen window. Get to the bedroom, crack open the wall safe, grab the envelope, fifteen minutes. One thousand dollars a minute. Nice score.
What Lefty neglected to factor in were the unknowns. And when the police nab him red-handed and discover the dead body of a prominent Criminal Courts Judge stuffed beneath the bed, Lefty finds himself charged with first degree murder with no shoes, no one believing in his innocence, and one phone call. He calls Jake Diamond.
In his second outing, Diamond attempts to prove Lefty’s innocence while investigating a recent kidnapping and a fifteen year old homicide which may or may not be related to Lefty’s dilemma. From San Francisco to the avocado fields of central California to the sound stages of a film shoot in Denver, Diamond’s suspects seem to have one thing in common; they are in no condition to talk by the time Jake gets to them.
Praise for CLUTCHING AT STRAWS:
“A worthy successor to Catching Water in a Net, Abramo’s second in the San Francisco based Jake Diamond series is a clever and well-crafted detective novel, gritty enough to satisfy hard-boiled readers but not so dark that it will put off more traditional mystery fans.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“This workmanlike second entry in the Jake Diamond series finds the San Francisco PI searching for the real killer of an unpopular local judge after one of Diamond’s clients, an accomplished burglar having a very bad night, is fingered for the murder. Although the story is light on action and suspense, it’s comfort food for PI fans.” —Booklist
When a Chicago thug known as Ralph Battle bursts into the office of Diamond Investigation waving a 44 magnum at Diamond and his trusty assistant, Jake has the distinct feeling that missing his lunch of fried calamari may not be the worst of his problems.
Jake accompanies Battle to Chicago at the mandatory request of Max Lansdale, a mob-connected attorney, who asks Jake to search for a pair of ghosts and will not take no for an answer. Pushed to the edge, Jake is ready to put his rusty .38 to use to get Lansdale off his back. Running between San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles, Diamond tries to stay one step ahead of the man who will have Jake killed with no remorse as soon as Diamond proves useless.
With the help of Joey Russo and a team of Jake’s familiar cohorts, including Vinnie “Strings” Stradivarius, Darlene Roman and Sonny “The Chin” Badalamenti, Jake may be saved from becoming a murderer himself. May be. Trying to escape the wildest ride of his life; Jake is counting on luck, counting on a group of unlikely heroes, and counting to infinity.
Praise for COUNTING TO INFINITY:
“Fans of Mafiosi fiction should be the most satisfied.” —Publishers Weekly
Private investigator Nick Ventura knows trouble—but not how to keep his nose out of it. A pool of blood spreading across a casino poker table, a Buick plowing through a storefront with a dead detective aboard, a fatal rendezvous in the shadow of a Coney Island landmark, a childhood friend gunned down walking his dog in the wrong place at the wrong time, a film distributor who thinks he can get away with murder through intimidation and violence, a mob boss assassinated leaving a neighborhood restaurant, and the particular brand of retribution necessary to level the playing field in the fourth largest city in America—J.L. Abramo serves it all up with a vengeance.
Nominated for the 2017 Anthony Award for Best Anthology/Collection
*** Proceeds from the sales of Unloaded will benefit the nonprofit States United To Prevent Gun Violence (CeaseFireUSA.org) ***
For the first time, more than two dozen crime and mystery authors have joined together to use the strongest weapon at their disposal—words—in a call for reasonable gun control in the U.S.A. In this collection you get all the thrills and excitement you come to expect from a great crime story, but without any guns.
From best sellers and writing legends to the brightest stars of the next generation of crime writers, the twenty-five authors here have taken pen in hand to say enough is enough. Gun violence has got to stop and this is our way of speaking out—by showing that gun violence can be removed from the narrative, and maybe from our lives.
It's not anti-gun, it's pro-sanity. And above anything else, these are thrilling crime stories that will surprise and shock, thrill and chill—all without a gun in sight.
The writers are from both sides of the political aisle and many of the authors are gun owners themselves. But everyone felt it was time to speak out. Featuring the talents of J.L. Abramo , Patricia Abbott, Trey R. Barker, Eric Beetner, Alec Cizak, Joe Clifford, Reed Farrel Coleman, Angel Luis Colón, Hilary Davidson, Paul J. Garth, Alison Gaylin, Kent Gowran, Rob Hart, Jeffery Hess, Grant Jerkins, Joe R. Lansdale, S.W. Lauden, Tim O’Mara, Joyce Carol Oates, Tom Pitts, Thomas Pluck, Keith Rawson, Kelli Stanley, Ryan Sayles, and Holly West.
Praise for UNLOADED…
“The 25 short stories in this thought-provoking theme anthology prove that clever crime writers can generate just as much mayhem, weirdness, and chills without the use of firearms.” —Publishers Weekly
The Giants are hanging on to the slim hope of a spot in the Major League baseball playoffs.
The Forty-Niners are hoping for their first win of the season after three losses.
Vinnie “Strings” Stradivarius is in the intensive care ward at St. Francis Memorial Hospital—and Jake Diamond is hoping Vinnie will both survive and avoid a homicide indictment if he pulls through.
Vinnie has been double-crossed, shot and left for dead at a crime scene, and he is the chief suspect in the murder of one of the city’s most influential businessmen.
Anyone who knows Vinnie knew he wouldn’t hurt a fly.
But the District Attorney and the San Francisco Police Department brass don’t know him—and they don’t care. Pressure from the Mayor’s Office and the public is calling for a quick indictment and conviction—and Vinnie is handy.
Jake Diamond has a strong dislike of the double-cross. If asked why the chicken crossed the road, Jake would suggest the road had crossed the chicken.
In a race against time—with the help of Darlene Roman, Detective Sergeant Roxton Johnson of the SFPD, Sonny “The Chin” Badalamenti, bookmaker William “Big Bill” Conway, and Mob Underboss Tony Carlucci—Jake frantically scrambles to find answers before the case is closed with Vinnie taking the fall.
In Abramo’s first Jake Diamond mystery since the Shamus Award-winning Circling the Runway, Jake is determined to prove that you cross the chicken at your own risk.
Praise for the Jake Diamond mysteries:
“One of my all-time favorite PI series.” —Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-winning author of The Lock Artist
“Think it’s impossible to find a new take on the wise-cracking San Francisco PI? Meet Jake Diamond and think again…sharp and smart, convincing and complex.” —S.J. Rozan, Edgar Award-winning author of Absent Friends
“With Catching Water in a Net, Abramo shows a clear flair for the private eye genre and wisely keeps the twists coming fast enough that readers have no choice but to keep turning pages.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“J.L. Abramo’s Circling the Runway takes up where Black Mask boys like Hammett, Gardner, and Carroll John Daly left off. It’s loaded with tough guys and hard-boiled action—emphasis on the hard.” —David Housewright, Edgar Award-winning author of Unidentified Woman #15
Clowns are like politics; everyone has an opinion on them. In this collection of short stories you’ll find numerous takes on the world of the painted harlequin entertainer. Often maligned in today’s day and age, the institution of the clown means something to everyone.
And sure, most of these clowns are armed. They’re less than concerned about the moral ramifications of their actions. Hell, they might be demonic. We’ve got it all. Clown cars, rodeos, adultery, robbery, mayhem, balloon animals, self-immolation, big red noses, cremation chambers, a funeral and kids’ TV shows, just to name some.
But for a dad who dresses as the most infamous clown ever to sneak into his son’s party or a woman who uses her costume as a ruse to rob and cheat to a man who’s lifelong companion is a clown apparition, the hair and make-up are just a means to an end.
An untimely end.
Edited by Ryan Sayles and featuring stories by Patricia Abbott, J.L. Abramo, Jen Conley, Jeffery Hess, Grant Jerkins, David James Keaton, Ed Kurtz, R. Daniel Lester, Marietta Miles, Warren Moore, Chuck Regan, Scotch Rutherford, Liam Sweeney, Richard Thomas, James R. Tuck, and Lono Waiwaiole.