Book 1 – “The Garden on Sunset”

~~~ THE GARDEN ON SUNSET is now FREE in all ebook formats ~~~

This book is also now available in SPANISH – click here
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"The Garden on Sunset" by Martin Turnbull

“The Garden on Sunset”

Book One in the Hollywood’s Garden of Allah series

Right before talking pictures slug Tinsel Town in the jaw, a luminous silent screen star converts her private estate into the Garden of Allah Hotel. The lush grounds soon become a haven for Hollywood hopefuls to meet, drink, and revel through the night. George Cukor is in the pool, Tallulah Bankhead is at the bar, and Scott Fitzgerald is sneaking off to a bungalow with Sheilah Graham while Madame Alla Nazimova keeps watch behind her lace curtains.

But the real story of the Garden of Allah begins with its first few residents, three kids on the brink of something big.

Marcus Adler has a lot to prove after his father catches him and the police chief’s son with their pants down. He flees Pennsylvania for Hollywood with his mouth shut and his eyes open, and begins to write the lines all those starlets will say out loud. Can a smart, sensitive guy find his own voice in a town that’s just learning to talk?

Kathryn Massey’s childhood was a grinding routine of auditions, but she couldn’t care less about being a movie star. When she takes off with her typewriter, determined to become a newspaper reporter, she finds that breaking into the boys’ club is tougher than breaking free of her bossy mother. To make it in this town, she’ll need some serious moxie.

Gwendolyn Brick is a sweet Southern beauty who’s come a long way to try her luck on the big screen. She’s hoping the same succulent lips the guys want to kiss will land her more than a bit part on a casting couch. She’s going to need some help keeping everyone in line.

Nobody gets a free pass in Hollywood, but a room at the Garden on Sunset can get your foot in the door.

The Garden on Sunset is the first in Martin Turnbull’s series of historical novels set during Hollywood’s golden age.

Read now online: Chapter One.



“Like Nathanael West’s The Day of the Locust, Martin Turnbull’s Garden on Sunset is steeped in Hollywood decadence–yet not so jaundiced and infinitely more fun. It grabs you by the throat and plops you smack down in the middle of Tinseltown during Prohibition, scraping elbows along the way with a constellation of stars, from Tallulah Bankhead to Greta Garbo. It’s one helluva kick-off for a promised series of page-turners. Count me in.” — Sam Irvin, author of Kay Thompson: From Funny Face to Eloise

“What a fun glimpse into old Hollywood and the fabulous Garden of Allah Hotel with its fascinating tenants. The three main characters, Marcus, Kathryn and Gwendolyn mix it up with such legendary names as Ramon Novarro, Tallulah Bankhead and George Cukor–not to mention the exotic Nazimova herself. Made me wish I was there!” — Debra Ann Pawlak, author of Bringing Up Oscar: The Story of the Men and Women Who Founded the Academy

“Hollywood history is my business and I’m here to shout the good news: Turnbull has done his research! The unerring accuracy is such a treat for me to see as I’m so used to seeing the history of Hollywood butchered. Down to nuance and minutiae he’s got it right. The characters, both fictional and historical, are spot on and it’s a rollicking ride they go on! I love being made to feel that I actually got the chance to spend time in late 20s/early 30s Tinseltown.”Philip Mershon, Felix in Hollywood Tour Company

“I eagerly devoured this gem in a few short days. It had everything I wanted in a novel about the Golden Age of Hollywood: exotic film stars, intrigue, and excellent descriptions of locales that were familiar to me via other books and movies like Schwab’s, the Brown Derby, and the Paramount lot. Although some of the content was surprising, it fit very naturally in this plot.”Shylock Book Review

Transport yourself back to Hollywood during its golden days. Follow the characters to the Cocoanut Grove, the Biltmore Bowl and the Brown Derby; experience first hand the stock market crash, the rise of talkies, the reversal of Prohibition, the Long Beach earthquake. As a person who is fascinated with the 1930′s, I ate up every page. – book review

This book — this whole series — is fantastic! The setting, the place and time, the worldbuilding and the detail, is perfect. Not a cup of coffee, not a palm tree, is out of place. Every last detail of life in the twenties and thirties is exquisite. It’s so perfect that it looks effortless, always the intention of authors but as difficult to do as the perfect triple in figure skating. When it’s perfect it looks easy, and Martin Turnbull makes it look easy. … I’ve devoured the first three books in a week, and that over the holidays with family staying and a million things to do. I literally found myself sneaking off to the restroom to finish the second book! They are amazing. They are engaging. They may be the best books I’ve read in all 2014. I am waiting with bated breath for the fourth book! – Goodreads review by Jo Graham, author of The Order of the Air series.

Sample reviews from readers (

“Martin Turnbull combines fiction with history and gives the reader a glimpse into 1920s Hollywood and Los Angeles. I usually finish a book within a day or two, but I took my time with “The Garden on Sunset” and looked up every name and historical location that Martin referenced because I love Hollywood history. I wanted to know more about the people and places. Martin’s historical references are quite accurate and intriguing. The characters in this book take the reader through their trials and triumphs as they try to survive in Hollywood and find fame and fortune. If you have ever wondered what it may have been like to live during the golden age of Hollywood, this book will take you there. Fun read!”

“I just finished “The Garden on Sunset,” what a brilliantly written book – I couldn’t put it down! The story unfolds at a perfect pace, bringing you into this world so fully that you’d swear it was a conversation amongst friends. Combining the story with the dazzling history of Los Angeles only makes it more real. I recommend this book to everyone, whether you’re familiar with the Hollywood of yore or not. Greatly anticipating the next installment. Thank you Mr. Turnbull!”

“Did you ever want to time travel back to Hollywood in the 1930s? Do you inhale the films of Hollywood’s Golden Age? Do you ever wonder what Hollywood was truly like at that time? If you can answer “yes” to at least one of these questions, then you must read Martin Turnbull’s The Garden On Sunset. … The Garden on Sunset is an exceptional book. If you love time traveling while sitting in your comfortable, reading place, you will think so too.”

“The best Hollywood history I have devoured in a long time. By “devoured” I mean I ate, drank and slept this book for 2 days. Loved it. Can’t wait to dive into the next book.”

See all reader reviews for The Garden on Sunset on


The Garden on Sunset

  • Book One of the Garden of Allah novels
  • Historical Fiction, set in Hollywood from the late 1920s to the early 1930s
  • ISBN – 978-1466218956
  • 324 pages
  • Available in paperback and ebook
  • Published: 2011

Available in all formats – ebook and paperback

Amazon (US) Kindle ebook

Amazon (US) Paperback

Amazon UK

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Apple iBook

Book Depository paperback (free shipping worldwide)

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→ Audio book version: or or iTunes


 THE GARDEN ON SUNSET is now available in Spanish – click here

Este libro está también disponible ahora en español – haga clic aquí


"The Garden on Sunset" - Spanish version - "El Jardin en Sunset" by Martin Turnbull

Amazon (US)

Amazon (UK)

Amazon (Spain)


Barnes & Noble Nook



Overdrive (Germany)


"The Garden on Sunset" book trailer



  • Book 1 – “The Garden on Sunset”
  • Book 2 – “The Trouble with Scarlett”
  • Book 3 – “Citizen Hollywood”
  • Book 4 – “Searchlights and Shadows”
  • Book 5 – “Reds in the Beds”
  • Book 6 – “Twisted Boulevard”
  • Book 7 – “Tinseltown Confidential”
  • Book 8 – “City of Myths”
  • Book 9 – details to be announced.


Martin Turnbull is currently offering the first two books in his ‘Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels’ for FREE. All you have to do is tell us where to send them!
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4 Responses to Book 1 – “The Garden on Sunset”

  1. Celene wolf says:

    Best book I’ve read in years.

  2. Vickie Lee says:

    Just finished Tinseltown Confidential. I loved this entire series. Wish there was another book!

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