There's a particular kind of book that comes along maybe once or twice a year that defines the enthusiasm that our staff and customers share in reading. We can sell hundreds of copies by simple handselling alone. The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder that Transfixed Los Angeles by Donald H. Wolfe [Regan Books, Jan.] is such a book. I thought I had read it all on Elizabeth Short and the hysteria that her 1947 murder created. But Wolfe's story reeled me in again and made me question aspects of the case. After barreling through the near 400 pages, I passed the copy on to three other employees. Each had the same reaction: sheer amazement at what wouldn't have been released if not for the Freedom of Information Act's unsealing of these documents, including 65 boxes of FBI files concerning Short, the Italian Mafia and the vicious corruption of our political institutions. It would be unfortunate if this masterful book got lost in the Ann Rule genre of tabloidal true crime books. It's a gem.
Volume 252 Issue 48 12/05/2005