Hi, everyone. The Old Depot in Keokuk will be hosting an open house and book signing on Saturday morning. Details are below. Hope to see you there.
From: The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation
The Keokuk Union Depot has scheduled an open house for Saturday, February 28 from 9:00 am – Noon. St Louis author, Dean Klinkenberg, will be at the depot to tell us about his new novel Rock Island Lines. He will be available for book sales and signing all morning and will give a short presentation about the book at 10:00 am. Many of you will remember Dean from his program about music and the Mississippi River which he gave at the depot last year.
The new photograph and framed cane of William “Midnight” Richardson which was recently donated to the depot will be on display along with the model of the depot showing what it will look like after restoration. Coffee and muffins will be served.
About the Book:
Mystery Set In Quad Cities Draws Inspiration from Legacy of Gangster John Looney
Gangster John Looney may have died 70 years ago, but stories of the chaos he created in Rock Island, Illinois live on. Author Dean Klinkenberg draws inspiration from those stories in a new mystery, Rock Island Lines.
“I’ve been intrigued by the story of John Looney’s life since I first came across it,” Klinkenberg said. Looney controlled much of the vice trade, and many Rock Island officials, in the 1910s and early 1920s, and was one of the first gangsters to build a national syndicate. He served eight years at the Joliet prison beginning in 1926 and died, nearly forgotten, in south Texas in 1942.
“While we know a lot about Looney’s life and crimes, we don’t know much about his family. If he has any living descendants, they’ve kept a very low profile, so I decided to invent a direct descendant of Looney and bring him back to the Quad Cities.”
The book’s protagonist, writer Frank Dodge, goes to the Quad Cities to track down the descendant, Miguel Ramirez, to feature him in a story he wants to write. The morning after they meet, Ramirez is found dead in the Mississippi River, and the police suspect that Dodge might have been involved in the murder. The book explores much of the history of Looney’s life as Dodge tries to prove his innocence. Dodge ultimately discovers that the Looney legend lived far longer than the man himself.
Rock Island Lines, released January 3rd, is the first in a series of mysteries that will be set in Mississippi River towns. Travel writer Frank Dodge, it seems, has a knack for getting into trouble.
Rock Island Lines is available through on-line retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple’s iBooks, and at www.MississippiValleyTraveler.com.
Klinkenberg, the Mississippi Valley Traveler, lives in St. Louis. He is the author of the Mississippi Valley Traveler guidebooks.