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  • Location: New York City, Harlem

The Mobster’s Lament

The Mobster’s Lament

Why a Booktrail?

1947: It’s never easy working for the mob in New York City. Not even if you’re one of them.

  • Genre: Crime, Hitman/Gangster

What you need to know before your trail

Mob fixer Gabriel Leveson’s plans to flee the city are put on hold when he is tasked with tracking down stolen mob money by ‘the boss of all bosses’, Frank Costello. But while he’s busy looking, he doesn’t notice who’s watching him . . .

Meanwhile, Private Investigator Ida Young and her old partner, Michael Talbot, must prove the innocence of Talbot’s son Tom, who has been accused of the brutal murders of four people in a Harlem flophouse. With all the evidence pointing towards him, their only chance of exoneration is to find the killer themselves.

Whilst across town, Ida’s childhood friend, Louis Armstrong, is on the brink of bankruptcy, when a promoter approaches him with a strange offer to reignite his career . .

Travel Guide

The Mobster’s Lament is the third in the series which charts the history of jazz and the mobster’s of New York.


The novel opens with a bang and a murder scene which is as gruesome and gory as they come. The building in question in a Harlem flophouse (deragatory name for a doss house) where the most undesirable of undesirables tend to stay and hide away from the world. There are drug deals going on here which the owner turns a blind eye to.

Mobster’s New York

The city might never sleep but it gives plenty of people nightmares. The mob rule everything and if you’re part of their inner family, you will never leave them…alive at least. Given a job by the boss, he has no chance to refuse it and it takes him to some dark, dark and dangerous places.

The Majestic Apartment is opposite the Dakota building and this was where many of the mobsters of the time would hang out. Not a hotel now, but its history is fascinating. The Dakota is of course best known for being  a celebrity home and where John Lennon was murdered. The Hotel Teresa was a former hotel in 1920s – 1950s which was used frequently by gangsters.


This the land of clubs, bars, mob deals and more. Each city and area of America has its own mob presiding over it. New York’s is run by Costello and the mob rules the hotels, businesses and congregate around the clubs here. The Copacabana club in the novel is here and the scenes inside are within dark corridors, dimly lit rooms and dubious back corners.

New York and Jazz

The music of Louis Armstrong ,who is just back from a tour and in New York, sounds from every page. He is not doing too well now however since jazz is not as popular as it was and other kinds of music are coming onto the scene. However, he soon finds a way to revitalise his career and take on the musical challenge of the city that never sleeps.

Rikers Island

The island where even today there is a prison and where even the little man on the map above can’t go. Ida and Michael visit here to meet with the accused man. It’s a dark, dreary place with a single narrow roadway taking you away from the mobster mainland.

Streetview Maps

A) 61st Street Upper East Side
C) Majestic Apartment and the Dakota Building
G) NYC - Hotel Teresa
H) Last mainland stop before Rikers Island

BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Mobster’s Lament

Destination/location: New York City  Author/guide: Ray Celestin   Departure Time: 1947

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