The Novels

The Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels are a series of historical fiction set during the golden age of Hollywood – 1927 to 1959 – in and around the real-life Garden of Allah Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

  • 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”

Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels by Martin Turnbull


"The Garden on Sunset" by Martin Turnbull

Book 1 – “The Garden on Sunset”

It’s January 1927 – Hollywood doesn’t know it yet but talking pictures are about to change everything. The Garden of Allah Hotel & Villas on Sunset Boulevard–once home to Hollywood’s highest paid actress, the exotic Alla Nazimova–opens its doors. Marcus Adler, Kathryn Massey and Gwendolyn Brick check in as strangers but soon become friends as they dog-paddle together against a tidal wave of casting couches, bootleggers, Zeppelins, gambling boats, William Randolph Hearst, the Long Beach earthquake, starlets, harlots, Harlows and Garbos.



"The Trouble with Scarlett" - book 2, the Garden of Allah novels by Martin Turnbull

Book 2 – “The Trouble With Scarlett”

In 1936, Gone with the Wind is released by first-time author Margaret Mitchell and becomes an international sensation. Everyone in Hollywood knows that Civil War pictures don’t make a dime but renegade movie producer David O. Selznick snaps up the movie rights and suddenly the whole country is obsessed with answering just one question: Who will win the role of Scarlett O’Hara?



"Citizen Hollywood" by Martin Turnbull

Book 3 – “Citizen Hollywood”

It’s 1939 – Orson Welles, the enfant terrible of New York, is coming to Hollywood to make his first movie. Tinsel City is agog! Can he even direct a movie? What will it be about? Will he scandalize the West Coast the way he’s shocked the East Coast? And, more importantly, who will he bed first and does he kiss-and-tell? When William Randolph Hearst realizes Citizen Kane is based on him, he won’t be happy—and when Hearst isn’t happy, nobody’s safe. Marcus, Kathryn, and Gwendolyn need to go for broke, and the clock is ticking.



The first three novels are available in one ebook.

Garden of Allah Novels Trilogy ("The Garden on Sunset" - "The Trouble with Scarlett" - "Citizen Hollywood")

All links available on TRILOGY #1


“Searchlights and Shadows”

Book 4 – “Searchlights and Shadows”

The dark days of Pearl Harbor loom over Los Angeles, and posters warn Hollywoodites that loose lips sink ships. MGM screenwriter, Marcus Adler, needs to come up with a sure-fire hit. Gwendolyn Brick dreams of opening her own dress store, but it threatens to drag her back into the orbit of Bugsy Siegel. Columnist, Kathryn Massey survival depend on a place nobody’s heard of: Las Vegas.



"Reds in the Beds" by Martin Turnbull, book 5 of the Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels

Book 5 – “Reds in the Beds”

As World War II ends, a new boogieman emerges: the Red Menace, and the House un-American Activities Committee prepares to grill the brightest stars in town. MGM writing department head Marcus Adler needs to keep his reputation beyond reproach. Unfortunately in Hollywood, nobody’s past is spotless. Gossip columnist Kathryn Massey may have to take on J. Edgar Hoover himself to shed her FBI informer reputation. And from behind the perfume counter at Bullocks Wilshire, Gwendolyn Brick makes a shocking discovery that could revive her dream and change multiple lives for good. In postwar Hollywood, there are reds in the beds, the sharks are circling, and it’s feeding time.



"Twisted Boulevard" by Martin Turnbull, book six in the Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels

Book 6 – “Twisted Boulevard”

When the Red Scare ends, paranoia lingers. Can Tinseltown recover to take on television? When ousted screenwriter Marcus Adler hatches a plan to start over with a disgraced movie star, a Hollywood censor reminds him that the misdeeds of the past aren’t soon forgotten. Hollywood Reporter columnist Kathryn Massey is dealing with a hot new rival when she glimpses a haunting sight on the set of Sunset Boulevard. Gwendolyn Brick thought her new store would be a hit, but when LA’s most notorious madam threatens it, she’ll need a Hollywood-style miracle to keep her Chez Gwendolyn alive.



The second three novels are available in one ebook.

Hollywood's Garden of Allah Novels trilogy #2 ("Searchlights and Shadows” - “Reds in the Beds” - Twisted Boulevard”)

All links available on TRILOGY #2


Book 7 – “Tinseltown Confidential”

As America embraces the 1950s, that brash upstart called television is poaching Hollywood’s turf, inch by inch. If the studios don’t do something drastic, they may lose the battle. The specter of Joseph McCarthy forces exiled screenwriter Marcus Adler to fight for a final chance to clear his name. Hollywood Reporter Kathryn Massey knows a secret that might take down the rise of a charismatic figure out to intimidate the film industry. When scandal rag Confidential arrives on the Hollywood scene, Gwendolyn Brick figures she’s got nothing to hide…until she does.



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7 Responses to The Novels

  1. seka rados says:

    hi. who sold the gardens of allah, this was a large estate, was it sectioned and sold off, when did this happen, what happened to alla nazimova little house.

    • admin says:

      The Garden of Allah was sold off by the then-current management of the hotel to Lytton Savings and Loan in 1959 who then turned it into a business mini mall. Back in 1927 when the property was converted into a hotel, Alla Nazimova’s house–it was never little, after all she was the highest paid actress in the world at one time!–became the main building which offered smaller, cheaper (and darker) rooms but most people preferred the larger, lighter two-story bungalows. When Lytton bought it the entire thing was razed to the ground.

  2. Vincent says:

    Here’s some more on the Garden of Allah:

    As a classic Hollywood buff who loves researching its history, I’m looking forward to your books.

    • admin says:

      Hey Vincent, Thanks so much for your note. I’m guessing we’re kindred spirits – *love* reading about those endlessly fascinating years of classic Hollywood. After years of researching and writing, the first book is due out late 2011. And thanks for that link about Lombard, Bow and the Garden of Allah. Those nearly identical photos of them are amazing!

  3. When did you publish GARDEN OF ALLAH? It’s uncanny we chose the same year (1927) to begin our adventure…

    • That is kind of remarkable, that we’re writing about LA during the exact same period! I published my first book in January 2012; the second one came out October 2012, and the third one will probably be January 2014.

  4. J. Butler says:

    Wondering if you will ever compile and publish in coffee table book format your photo blog. Such great pics need to be ever ready for quick enjoyable reference when reading other Hollywood bygone era material. Enjoying immensely your Garden of Allah series. Love all things old Hollywood.

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