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Blind Moon Alley: A Jersey Leo Novel Paperback – August 19, 2014

8 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Jersey Leo Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Jersey Leo has only three good memories of childhood: his father, a boxing champion, who raised him; schoolmate Aaron Garvey, who protected Jersey from bullies intent on tormenting a mixed-race albino; and classmate Myra, who suffered similar treatment because she had a clubfoot. In the sequel to Sugar Pop Moon (2013), Jersey comes to the aid of both Myra and Garvey. Reluctantly, he concludes that he must bring down a corrupt, sadistic police detective without being dismembered by Philadelphia’s most violent gangster. Florio’s Prohibition-era dialogue is appropriately hard-boiled. The Ink Well, a tiny basement speakeasy where Jersey tends bar, “softens the edges of a hardened city, . . . a place an albino can call home.” It’s also a place that serves an Aunt Roberta, a stupefying cocktail of absinthe, brandy, gin, vodka, and blackberry liqueur. But it is Jersey who makes Blood Moon Alley shine. Unflawed heroes are uninteresting, but Jersey’s flaws are as obvious as his “shimmying” eyeballs (a common affliction of albinos) and scorched skin. Even so, Jersey abides. --Thomas Gaughan


“Hits a comfortable niche between hard-boiled and breezy.... Blind Moon Alley is a fun, fast read that bodes well for another Jersey Leo installment.”
-Philadelphia Inquirer

“Compelling….Florio has an unerring feel for the era and people, and we believe in these characters. Readers will cheer for Leo, a tough guy with a heart of hurt.”

-Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

“Jersey's second caper, which finds room for several quirky characters in its crannies, is hard-boiled enough to remind readers of Hammett and Chandler.”

-Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Sugar Pop Moon:

"Don't miss this absolutely riveting, gritty debut coming-of-age tale. Absorbing and briskly paced."

-Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

"A fast-paced tale where you never know what's coming next…. One of those good, old prohibition-style mob stories that brings a tear to the eye and a laugh out loud…. Readers will definitely hope [for] more Jersey Leo stories."

-Suspense Magazine

"This is a hard-boiled, Prohibition-era novel and Jersey Leo is a well-developed, engaging character…."


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Product Details

  • Series: Jersey Leo
  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Seventh Street Books (August 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161614887X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616148874
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,677,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Florio was raised in Flushing, NY. He credits the streets of Queens as one of his biggest influences, along with black-and-white movies, old superhero comics, Sports Illustrated, Humphrey Bogart, and the Hardy Boys.

A student of literary and pop fiction, Florio includes the hallmarks of each in all of his writing, regardless of its genre. He plays classical piano, which explains why his work includes numerous musical references, and he's no stranger to a chilled martini, which could account for his creation of Jersey Leo, the albino bartender who stars in Sugar Pop Moon and Blind Moon Alley.

Florio is a graduate of Fordham University; he also holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine, an MA from New York University, and an MBA from St. John's University. He has taught writing at St. John's University, the College of Mount St. Vincent, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Visit John Florio at his website:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I love that fact that author John Florio is able to tell the story of characters like Jersey and make it relevant for any year you can imagine. That is exactly what he achieves with the book BLIND MOON ALLEY. The book not just engages you with the characters but the situations that they face, too.

For me the big messages of the book were family, friendship and the importance of belief, especially in oneself. Jersey has to be careful not to allow his feelings towards his friends to sweep him up into events that could dramatically change his life forever. Will he be able to keep a clear head and stay focused on being the best that he could be? That is just part of what the reader will discover as they go throughout the book.

Florio has given us the "perfect" imperfect main character in Jersey. He is flawed, he is complex... he is US. That is why you want to root for him, because the life he is living could very well be our own.

With a book that keeps you engaged like BLIND MOON ALLEY you have to wonder what Florio and Jersey might have in store for us next.

I guess we will have to wait and see.
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Format: Paperback
Jersey Leo is an albino bartender at the Ink Well, a Philadelphia speakeasy. His boyhood friend, Aaron Garvey, is sentenced to be executed for killing a cop. Garvey invites Leo to attend his final dinner before the execution. Leo visits Garvey and later finds out that he escaped that same night.

Garvey is on the run, and he shows up at Leo's speakeasy. Leo hides Garvey from the cops. Jack "Sarge" Reeger is a crooked cop who is particularly interested in locating Garvey. Reeger is running a loan sharking scheme and Myra, a dancer and Leo's childhood crush, is caught in the middle. Myra wants Leo to protect her against Reeger. In the mean time, Garvey, who needs money, wants Myra to repay him the $20,000 he loaned her to buy a share of the speakeasy where she dances.

Can Leo save his friend Garvey and protect Myra? Can he stave off Reeger?

Author John Florio creates some interesting characters while delivering some crackling dialogue and well-turned phrases in this gritty novel set in the 1930s.
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By Edie on August 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Blind Moon Alley is the second novel in John Florio's gritty novel. The noir style story hits the spot for those who enjoy the genre. The quirky characters animate the fast-paced plot. Twists and turns will keep readers wondering what is going to happen next.

The novel addresses how things were during prohibition, the challenges of race, class and who had to endure the cruelty of those in power. The mean streets of the city took its toll on those who could not fight back.

Readers will relish how the Jersey Leo character reacts to the situations around him no matter how dire life seems. He has a resiliency of an underdog who tries his best to do right by those who also struggle.

This review was based on a complimentary copy of Blind Moon Alley for our review in exchange for our honest opinion.
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Format: Kindle Edition
John Florio is a fine writer with a smooth, taut style and tone that quickly bring to mind Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and even Robert B. Parker. Jersey Leo, however, is not a detective. He is a bartender in a well-hidden, Depression-era speakeasy, serving drinks to just about anyone who can find their way in, including crooks and crooked cops looking for booze and bribes. Jersey Leo might shoot you if he has to. Or, he might give you his last dollar if he knows you are having a harder time surviving than he is. It is that second part of his character that gets him into deep trouble once he tries to help a woman from his past escape from Philadelphia's underworld. (My thanks to Seventh Street Books for providing a review copy of this novel.)
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