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