FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Celebrate Valentine's Day Mobster-Style with the Hudson Lake Book Launch Party
Historical Novel Celebrates Its Debut at the Jazz Club Co-Owned by the Novel's Villain, Alleged Al Capone Henchman and Planner of St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Machine Gun Jack McGurn
(Chicago, IL – February 1, 2007)—On Valentine's Day, Chicago's literary scene will take a step back in time, to the 1920s, with the launch party for Laura Mazzuca Toops's Jazz Age historical novel, Hudson Lake, at The Green Mill. A classic Chicago jazz club, dating back to 1907, The Green Mill is actually one of the settings for the novel, having been co-owned in the 1920s by Machine Gun Jack McGurn. Reputed to be a both a mobster and the man most responsible for the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, McGurn appears in Hudson Lake as a villainous emissary of Al Capone.
"The Green Mill is icon in the Jazz world," says author Toops, who will be signing her novel while sitting in the booth favored by Scarface Al Capone, himself. "This is a truly historical setting, and is such an ironic place to be on Valentine's Day. It's not often you can appear in the same place your book is set, on a day with such significance to one of the characters. It's also great that The Book Cellar is our bookstore for this event. We're keeping it local for the evening."
The party will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., after which The Green Mill will return to their regular Jazz schedule with Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan, and the Frank Catalano Trio playing that evening.
Time: 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Place: Green Mill Jazz Club (4802 N. Broadway, Chicago)
About Hudson Lake
In the summer of 1926, jazz lovers from all over the Midwest go where the weather is hot and the music hotter—the Blue Lantern Inn on Hudson Lake, a rural Indiana dance hall where the season's resident jazz band features a young cornet player named Bix Beiderbecke.
Meticulously researched, Hudson Lake creates a snapshot of the Jazz Age, following the brilliant, but doomed, Bix through the speakeasies and music halls of Prohibition Era Chicago and Indiana.
Seen through the eyes of the two women vying for Bix's affections, the haze of bootleg liquor parts to reveal a world where Louis Armstrong and Al Capone haunt the nightlife. Where a nod to the soda jerk gets you an altogether different drink. Where jazz brings the Chicago Mob out to the country and on a collision course with an angry mob of locals who don't much care for the amoral ways of city folk, alcohol and musicians.
"Captures the intoxicating mix of energy and danger that defined the early days of jazz."
—Bill Ott, Booklist
"Hudson Lake is a vivid, poignant, sexy tale of the Jazz Age, built around one of America's greatest and most intriguing musicians. Laura Mazzuca Toops knows her music, and her history."
—Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland