MIKE FARGO SAYS HELLO
My name is Mike Fargo and I’m a New York City detective. Or more accurately, I was a New York City detective. You see, my beat was the 1920’s, a time that very few remember and not everyone today knows all that much about. But the “Roaring Twenties,” as they were called, was a wild time when crime flourished thanks, in part, to one of the worst and most unenforceable laws ever enacted. It was called Prohibition, and it made the manufacture, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages illegal. It lasted from 1920 to 1933, when it was mercifully repealed. But during those years bootlegging became a new and illegal industry, and the speakeasy was a place you could get a drink almost anytime you wanted. By 1925, if I remember correctly, it was estimated that there were between 30,000 and 100,000 speakeasies just in New York City alone.
But I didn’t pay much attention to the speaks, unless I wanted a drink myself, something we all did. No, my main concern was crime, and there was plenty of that. Let the Feds worry about the bootleggers. I had to deal more with illegal gambling, prostitution, numbers running, blackmail, racketeering, robbery and murder. There was always plenty of that to go around. And if there was one thing I didn’t like, it was the arrogant sonofabitch who thought he was above the law.
Don’t get me wrong. There was a lot more to the New York City of the 1920s than just chasing the bad guys. In my mind, it was the greatest city in the world. There was art, music, great restaurants, clubs, places to dance, burlesque, the legitimate theater, and a huge number of new Broadway Shows. The Times Square area was jumping with cars, trolleys, buses and cabs – with lights and life, day and night. And then there were the New York Yankees, let by their flamboyant star, the one and only George Herman “Babe” Ruth, the biggest name in what was a golden age of sports. In fact, I got to know the Babe personally. It was in 1927, the year he hit his epic 60 home runs. What many people don’t know is that it could have ended quite differently for the Babe that year. And that’s what the book Murder on Murderer’s Row is all about. It’s the first of the Mike Fargo Mysteries. And in case you’ve already forgotten, that’s me.
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