The Starlight Club 13

The Old Doll

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
246 Pages
Reviewed on 12/23/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Starlight Club 13: The Old Doll by Joe Corso is a historical fiction crime-drama novel set in Corona, Queens, in the early 1960s. After former Ziegfeld Follies member Elizabeth Nagel (Betsy) helps an injured soldier of the Queens' mob boss Big Red Fortunato, saving his life by providing him with sanctuary, Red is determined to return the favor. However, Betsy hasn't ventured outside her home in Corona in over forty years after her husband's death. Red convinces her to act in a movie and flies her to Hollywood to work under his studio, Starlight Productions. But when the Cleveland faction of the Irish mob pressures one of his fighters to throw the championship fight, Red finds himself facing a dangerous threat. None other than Malcolm X apprises Red of a contract on his head.

If you're a fan of mafia-centered crime-drama thrillers, such as Mario Puzo's The Godfather, you'll have a blast reading The Starlight Club 13: The Old Doll. Author Joe Corso seamlessly incorporates actual historical events and personages into an absorbing narrative that keeps you glued to the pages. This is a character-driven drama. The plot moves at a brisk pace, with twists and turns that you never see coming. Red is a charismatic protagonist, and despite his criminal background and rather flexible morals, you can't help but root for him. His conversations with Malcolm X were some of my favorite scenes from the book. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction will find The Starlight Club 13: The Old Doll a rewarding reading experience.