If you’ve been waiting for a fascinating mob saga, an erotic Hollywood expose, or a political thriller to occupy your reading pleasure, the good news is that you’ll only need one book, Handsome Johnny: The Life and Death of Johnny Rosselli: Gentleman Gangster, Hollywood Producer, CIA Assassin by New York Times Bestselling Author, Lee Server.
(Server’s previous biographical home runs include Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don’t Care and Ava Gardner: Love is Nothing.)
Tracking down the actual name, origin, and early years of Johnny Rosselli, as well as following his rise through the ranks of the Capone organization, and becoming a fixer to Hollywood gold mines occupied hours of valuable G-Men time as well as several years of author Server’s detective skills interviewing eyewitnesses to the Italian opera which evolved into his latest publication.
Collaboration between “lawmakers and lawbreakers” made for strange bedfellows, and Handsome Johnny takes us behind all the bedroom doors, backrooms filled with cigar smoke, and even to the crooked cardgames in the Friar’s Club in Beverly Hills.
Harry Cohn, Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno, Fidel Castro, Howard Hughes, Harry Karl, Sam Giancana, The Kennedys, Frank Sinatra—name a player in Hollywood, Chicago, New York, D. C., Miami, or Cuba and he might be mentioned in this book. As for the women in this book, some are treated well, some are treated swell, and some are not so lucky. Oh, did I mentioned Lucky? Luciano, that is. He makes a few appearances, too.
Assassination theories, covert operations, CIA and FBI involvement, crossed swords of government agencies, and more untaxed cash than you can shake a Federal Reserve at. Ancestry DNA might mark this book with a family crest of a “crossed dagger and gun,” a “pinprick of blood,” and a Sicilian oath.
Publication of Server’s last book occurred in 2006, and the years justified the wait for Handsome Johnny. How long will fans have to wait for the Netflix or HBO Series? It’ll run longer than The Sopranos!
What’s already been written…
Praise for Handsome Johnny:
“No one knew more about the mob, Hollywood and Las Vegas than Johnny Rosselli, and Lee Server got it all in Handsome Johnny.” ―Nicholas Pileggi, author/screenwriter of Goodfellas and Casino
“No one slices and dices true tales like Lee Server. In Handsome Johnny, he cracks the vault of time to reveal long-buried secrets. Maybe even this country’s biggest secret…Fast-paced, insightful, bold, witty, and masterfully told.” ―James Gladstone, Executive V.P. Lionsgate Entertainment and author of The Man Who Seduced Hollywood
“The incredible life of Handsome Johnny, a gangster worthy of the movies….Server’s biography not only provides a window into Rosselli’s life but also contextualizes a time when Hollywood, politics and organized crime were inextricably linked.” ―The Washington Post
“Written in the snappy style of a hardboiled detective novel…an in-depth history of the growth, development and eventual decline of organized crime in America.” ―The Economist
“Based upon years of research, written with compelling style and vivid detail, HANDSOME JOHNNY is a rich rollercoaster of a biography.” ―TCM.com Movie News
“Server employs evocative phrasing to luridly examine the shady underbelly of movies, moguls, and politics from the 1930s through the ’60s, all through the prism of the charming Rosselli. Filled with crackerjack writing and Damon Runyonesque characters, this entertaining page-turner is a rich look at one of organized crime’s most intriguing characters.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A definitive rags-to-riches biography… Paced like a fine piece of fiction, this is a handsomely written chronicle of an interesting mob character.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Author Lee Server has done his homework on Handsome Johnny and no stone is left un-turned. It’s a fascinating look the mob, it’s influence, it’s muscle and some of the biggest names of the day that were involved with the Mafia whether they wanted to be or not. One thing for sure is Johnny Rosselli didn’t lead a boring life.” ―Red Carpet Crash
“Lee Server does a bang-up job with this guy, not allowing endless detail to overwhelm the reader. I enjoyed the thrill ride from front cover to ending.” ―Stuff I Like blog
“If the Mob history is your genre, then add this to the shelves of your library.” ―Melisende’s Library blog