Review of Presentation to the California Writers Club

Reviews for The Johnny Casino Casebook 2 - Looking for Johnny Nobody

Just Another Day in Paradise for Johnny - LA NOIR/Paul D. Marks - White Heat

Johnny Casino, G.B. Pool's imperfect knight errant P.I. is back in another series of cases. Seven this time that work together and add up to a casebook of crime.

Once again, each case might be seen as a long short story or even a novella or mini-novella, though maybe they don't quite hit that length. And every story stands on its own, though it helps to read them in order since they do go through a progression in time. The interconnected stories - cases - is an interesting concept. One thing I particularly like about it is that, unlike in many detective novels, we see that Johnny has multiple cases and bounces from one to the next. Probably more like a real P.I., at least one who has business walking through his door.

Johnny still loves Old Hollywood. He spent his youth watching old b/w movies...and it shows. He sometimes sees the world as an old movie, as when "All the color drained from the scene and it looked like an old black and white movie."

I like the old movie and TV references, and everybody from Jim Rockford to Bonita Granville, the original Nancy Drew in the movies, make an appearance. Johnny even finds himself at the Motion Picture Retirement Home...where movie people go to die.

My favorite story in this collection is probably "The Snuff Dreams Are Made Of," a witty play on the line from "The Maltese Falcon."

Every picture tells a story and every story has a message of one sort or another. Johnny learns that "Crime doesn't have its own zip code," something that seems more and more evident all the time.

If you like the classics, Chandler, Hammett, et al, if you like the hardboiled detective genre, you'll love Johnny C. The real fun in the stories is tagging along with Johnny, a real "character" in every sense of the word. I look forward to Johnny's continuing adventures. And, as Pool - a former P.I. herself - says, each case has Johnny looking for something, he just doesn't realize he's looking for himself. A fun read!

Hollywood Ambience - M.M. Gornell - Council of Ravens

I really liked Casebook 1, and I was wondering if Johnny Casino 2 would continue to hold my interest. It did!!! I've really taken to Johnny--there's something about his personality that is just so likeable. Added to that are the supporting characters who are well drawn and quite unique. It was also fun visiting Hollywood movie-land, past and present, and G.B. took me right there! I'm not familiar with Hollywood etc., so I really enjoyed the visit. I also liked that I could read the book as a "book," and as short stories. The author's style is perfect for the genre and protagonist, and the dialogue was snappy and done with wit. The stories and book never dragged. Highly recommend.

Johnny Casino is back!

By Alice Zogg (Alice of La Crescenta), author of Murder at the Cubbyhole and other R.A. Huber Mysteries

I liked G. B. Pool's first book of the series, and the second, The Johnny Casino Casebook 2, is just as engaging.

Again, this work is a collection of short stories told in P.I. Johnny Casino's unique voice: tough, yet considerate; smart and sure of himself; and every so often his sense of humor emerges. Each case is a separate tale, but they are all linked together. Throughout the book, Johnny is trying to "find" himself and he finally succeeds as he solves the last case.

Definitely a satisfying read.

Looking for Johnny Casino

By jennyd35 (Dee Ann Palmer, author of Where Eagles Cry)

Smart writing by an author who combines subtle humor and PI experience with knowledge of classic films, old Hollywood and Noir in this second Johnny Casino book. Casino is a modern day Hollywood detective and an ex-mobster who changed his name to escape his past. Whether or not his past was real is the question threading through the seven interesting cases he solves in this collection. If you don't know his history, Case 2 lays it out in more detail.

I enjoyed this book and readily recommend it.

Reviews for The Johnny Casino Casebook 1 - Past Imperfect

Mysterical-E on-Line E-Zine

The Johnny Casino Casebook 1 by G.B. Pool

Johnny Casino, a character with a history as a mob player, has ditched all that and is trying to make it as a private investigator in Holllywood. His background gives him lots of what he needs to know to succeed in his new line of work but it also gives him a few headaches. Casino is tough and direct but, like all tough guys, he’s got a soft spot. Casino is also a real blend of interests and behaviors that makes him one interesting character. This series of interconnected stories tells Johnny’s story as he tries to put his mob past away and do something to make up for his misdeeds.


By LA Noir (Paul D. Marks)
A Real Detective Writes About a Fictional Detective:

G.B. Pool's Johnny Casino, in "The Johnny Casino Casebook 1 - Past Imperfect," certainly has an "imperfect" past as a Mafia hood, though he does seem to be trying to make up for it. Despite his checkered past, in his new life as a private detective in Hollywood he is a chivalrous throwback to the likes of Philip Marlowe, the Knight Errant. His background as a Mafia enforcer gives him the knowledge (read 'street smarts'), muscle and confidence to handle any situation. And yes, he's put that past behind him to become a private eye. Or has he?

But the past has a way of catching up to us, as we know. And Johnny's no exception. So on occasion he must use those old skills to solve a case. But he also knows when to put on the charm, as when his chivalry bubbles up with an aging actress. As Johnny says, "Putting out my hand, I took hers and for some reason I leaned over and kissed it."

Johnny Casino is a tough guy, very sure of himself - tough when he needs to be. Considerate when that's called for, as when on another case he charges another old-time actress $30.52, even though it's 2002, because that's what Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe would have charged way back when in 1939 when "The Big Sleep" novel was released.

The book has some comic relief and black humor as when Johnny says: "I love morgues. As an investigator I saw my share of dead bodies. Sometimes they were my clients. They usually don't pay when they're in that condition."

Johnny's also a guy who likes old movies; they became the family he wishes he'd had. And the Casebook is filled with old movies references, everything from "Bus Stop" to "The Godfather". From Darla in the old "Our Gang" shorts to Blanche in "A Streetcar Named Desire". Even Archie Leach.... As someone who loves old movies that was an extra added attraction.

Johnny has a couple of houses in the L.A. area, but lives in the one in a place called Logjam. I'd never heard of it so I had to look it up to see if was real. He's got a whole different life up there, above the smog and crowds of Los Angeles. I think he would prefer never to have to leave and go down into the muck and mire of the city.

And instead of being a novel with one single through line, the Casebook is just that - a series of interconnected stories, or cases, that involve Johnny. They jump around a little bit in time, but the overall flow moves forward and we see Johnny as he moves out to L.A. and tries to leave his past behind and become a detective. The Casebook idea works well here.

Johnny knows that "life isn't a movie." He also knows that sometimes "the truth doesn't fit the story." But in the end, there's something he doesn't know; a question still nagging at him: "Who the hell am I" he asks himself. And though we've been given some background and hints as to the answer I guess we'll just have to wait till the next Casebook comes out to find out more of the answers.

G.B. Pool is - or was - a real private detective, so she knows what she's writing about and it shows. She's given us a romp with a tough but fun character, who finds himself involved with interesting and quirky people on a variety of cases. And I look forward to Johnny's next casebook, both for his adventures and to find out more about him and to see if he answers the question he asks himself at the end of the book. Johnny Casino is a detective for our time. If you like Chandler and Marlowe you'll like Pool and Casino. Highly recommended!


Such Fun
By Gornell

I liked Johnny Casino after Case #1, and by Case #10, I really liked him! Which was a surprise--because of his supposedly unsavory mob background, family, and connections. Well, by books end, I couldn't NOT like Johnny, which says a lot about the character and the author's skill. I also liked many of the supporting characters, villains, and back stories that were playing themselves out in the present. It was also great having a book that was one story, but at the same time many stories, so I could read a case a night and not lose the thread. And the book's end has me wanting more. Good book, well done, enjoyable!


Johnny Casino Takes A Gamble August 4, 2012
By Diane Vallere

I loved this fresh take on the noir. It's not a novel so much as a series of cases that PI Johnny Casino works on, all connected by threads that lead him to knowing his next bit of detecting is going to be figuring out who he really is. Admittedly I'm drawn to characters with issues of identity, but Johnny was a fresh take on that internal dilemna: he's confident, smart, and independent. He's not looking to figure out anything other than the cases that arrive on his doorstep until one of those cases raises questions he never knew he'd have to answer.

This book gives you a taste of the mob mentality, old Hollywood, private investigators, and secret pasts, all with Johnny's sarcastic and engaging voice. Each chapter/novella delivers a cast of characters that spring off the page. The stories are the perfect length, wrapping up the individual cases but making you want to know what comes next for Johnny. I'm glad GB Pool tells us that there will be more cases in Johnny Casino's casefile; I for one am looking forward to reading more about him!

Reviews for Just Like Old Times

Reviewed by Liz
May 3, 2007

These are all well-written stories and I was absolutely delighted with Just Like Old Times!,
By Liz at "Because life is too short for mediocre books. (Cedar Springs, Michigan, USA)

(editied review. See entire review on

LAndmarked for Murder is an anthology of mystery short stories written by some of the members of the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime. The central theme of the book is Los Angeles landmarks and the stories all occur near or relate to a landmark.

Reading a mystery anthology is akin to going to a new restaurant and ordering the sampler dinner. You get to try a small bite of many different things and expand your horizons beyond your usual fare. LAndmarked for murder offers the reader ten tidbits for all different tastes.

Just Like Old Times by G.B. Pool - a group of aged Hollywood actors get the chance to show they have still got it when uninvited guests crash their dinner party.

These are all well-written stories and I was absolutely delighted with Just Like Old Times.

Did I guess them? Some. Due to their brevity, short stories are different from novels and have fewer characters to use as suspects. The authors need to have different tricks in their bags and there are some delightful twists in this anthology that I didn't see coming.

Favorite character? The geezers in Just Like Old Times are great and the thief in Making it With Gammy is also a favorite.

Will I read another? Absolutely. I love anthologies because I discover authors who are new to me. I often search out an anthology author's books if their style or characters appeal to me.


LAandmarked for Murder - a great collection of crime stories, November 11, 2006
By Jackie Houchin (Sun Valley, CA USA)

LAndmarked for Murder is the Sisters-In-Crime's newest anthology; a wonderful collection of ten short stories, each containing mystery, murder, malice or mayhem at some well known Los Angeles landmark.

The stories range from darkly noir to madcap comedy, from the realistic to the bizarre, and from the present day to the summer of 1942. They have druggies, newspaper reporters, lawyers, jazz piano players, marathon runners and race track employees as protagonists, criminals or victims.

In "Just Like Old Times" a group of zany, geriatric Hollywood stars - some in wheelchairs - successfully foil a bank robbery and return a dead body to its source. In "Setup" a white cop curiously hires a black lawyer to defend him for killing a black athlete. In "It Doesn't Take A Genius," a chilling justice is meted out, and in "Making It With Grammy" you'll find crosses and double crosses and a kick at the end.

You'll never visit Venice again without remembering the creepy characters in "Some Creatures I Care About." And "Running Venice" is a non-stop, heart-pounding, terror-inspiring thriller.

At the old Biltmore Hotel or the ultra modern Bonaventure, on the campuses of USC and Caltech, or at the Santa Anita Race Track ... nowhere is safe from the criminal mind. And to help you navigate this perilous city, Susan K. Berry introduces the collection and sets the scene for each story with a paragraph of local color or history.

LAndmarked For Murder is the best of the Sisters-In-Crime anthologies so far.

Reviews for Media Justice

From an Ebay site selling my book; owner is from Arizona (learco)

This book is guaranteed to be a true First Edition and First Printing copy and have authentic signature.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get this terrific book. It is "Media Justice" by G. B. Pool
and this is the hard to find TRUE First Edition and First Printing and this copy is HAND-SIGNED by Pool!
See picture of the signature above.

This is a very, very good read, and is the first book EVER to star the superb character Ginger Caulfield!

"Filled with a superb cast and a very interesting plot, it is suspenseful, intriguing, and very entertaining!"

This is an exceptional book and read.

Reviewed by Jackie Houchin
with The Foothill Paper


Media Justice - Relevant for today!

Media Justice, written G. B. Pool, is a mystery novel with all the excitement, conflict and deception of the classic "whodunit" story. It is also a book that questions the way our legal system tries its cases.

Just how much influence do the various media have on the outcome of trials, especially those involving celebrities? Who regulates the headlines, the news flashes, the interviews with questionable witnesses? Who verifies the anonymous tips and the leaked information from "undisclosed sources" before it's presented as fact to the public? And most of all, how does all this media hype influence the jury pool? Can a case be tried by a truly impartial jury?

Pool's protagonist in Media Justice is retired private investigator, Ginger Caulfield. She happens to be serving on jury duty when the "Murder of the Century" trial comes up and she is selected as a juror. What follows is conspiracy, homicide, and a little bit of "gangbusters" as Ginger takes on the system. The term "jury tampering" will take on new meaning, and you might hereafter question the security of a "sequestered jury."

Pool knows her subject and is good at developing a mystery plot. Her crisp dialogue, snappy court room scenes and authentic media-speak make this book a fast, but enjoyable read. She has a colorful cast of characters, some reminiscent of recent celebrity trials, including a veiled reference to the infamous Jayson Blair of the New York Times plagiarism scandal.

Media Justice is light reading on a heavy subject. It's a candid look into how broadcast and print journalism can manipulate public opinion and "convict or acquit" the accused before the jury even begins to deliberate. Is this Justice...or Injustice?



Reviewed by Roundtable in their Archives Section under the Letter P

MEDIA JUSTICE is the first of the Ginger Caulfield series. If this series turns out to be as good as the first book, it will be worth a “must read” rating.

Just how does a famous defense attorney go about keeping his famous client from prison? What tactics does he employ? How does the media go about gathering data for their stories? How can the prosecution recover from the damages spread by unethical people? These are some of the questions raised in the book. Though fictional, I could see a parallel between the book and some of the notable trials now in process.

I found the book to be one of the best murder mysteries I have ever read. I’ll be looking for G. B. Pool’s next book in the series.


Review on Ebay of book for sale


"This book is guaranteed to be a true First Edition and First Printing copy and have authentic signature.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get this terrific book. It is"Media Justice" by G. B. Pool

and this is the hard to find TRUE First Edition and First Printing and this copy is HAND-SIGNED by Pool!

This is a very, very good read, and is the first book EVER to star the superb character Ginger Caulfield!

"Filled with a superb cast and a very interesting plot, it is suspenseful, intriguing,
and very entertaining! This is an exceptional book and read."

Review by Learco



Reviewed by Angela McQuay

Celebrity trials have been the source of much media attention throughout the years, culminating with the media circuses of the O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson trials. G.B. Pool investigates this phenomenon further with her book Media Justice, which takes a case very much like the O.J. one and looks at what happens not only in the eye of the media, but also behind the scenes.

The country is shocked when famous actor Desmond Williams' ex-wife Marcella is murdered in her home, along with her gay companion Adrian. After questioning, Desmond is arrested for the murders and the frantic media coverage begins. Desmond retains high-priced defense lawyer Malvin Shepherd while Johnnie Greer, an African-American prosecuting phenom, takes the opposing side.

Seeing this all from the outside is Ginger Caulfield, a retired private detective who now spends her time in the garden and on various hobby projects. Ginger becomes more than a mere spectator when she is chosen for jury duty on the case and almost immediately starts getting threats.

Those who enjoy watching media coverage on high-profile cases will enjoy the work Pool puts in to find out what happens behind the scenes. By alternating between Ginger's point of view, the media's coverage and what the lawyers' experience, Pool gives a comprehensive and fascinating account of everything that goes into a trial of this magnitude.

This is the first in a series featuring Ginger Caulfield and is a good introduction to the former P.I. as well as a successful standalone mystery. Recommended to those who like series mysteries with strong female protagonists.

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