Book 3 – “Citizen Hollywood”

"Citizen Hollywood" - book 3, the Garden of Allah novels

“Citizen Hollywood”

Book Three in the Hollywood’s Garden of Allah series

Hollywood, 1939: When Tinseltown begins to woo wunderkind Orson Welles, he stashes himself at the Chateau Marmont until he’s ready to make his splashy entrance. But gossip columnist Kathryn Massey knows he’s there.

Kathryn has been on the outs with Hollywood since her ill-fated move to Life, but now that she’s back at the Hollywood Reporter, she’s desperate to find the Next Big Thing. Scooping Welles’ secret retreat would put her back on the map, but by the time she hears rumors about his dangerous new movie, she’s fallen prey to his charms. She needs to repair her reputation, find out if Welles will take on the tycoon, and extricate herself from an affair with a man whose kisses make her melt like milk chocolate.

Hollywood writers are only as good as their last screen credit, but Marcus Adler is still scrambling for his first. His Strange Cargo will star Clark Gable after Gone with the Wind wraps, but Machiavellian studio politics mean Marcus’ name might not make it to the screen. It’s time to play No More Mr. Nice Guy. Opportunity knocks when his boss challenges the writing department to outdo The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Marcus is confident—until the love of his life bursts back onto the scene. How can he write another word until he knows for once and for all whether he and Ramon Navarro will be together? And to make matters worse, it seems like someone in town is trying to sabotage him.

Everyone knows if you haven’t made it in Hollywood by the time you’re thirty, it’s curtains . . . and Gwendolyn Brick is starting to panic. She’s considering moving to a naval base in the Philippines with her baby brother, but she wants to give Hollywood one last go before she gives up. When she saves Twentieth Century Fox honcho Daryl F. Zanuck from an appalling fate at a poker game that goes awry, he rewards her with a chance at a role in a major movie. Gwendolyn needs to win before her ship sets sail.

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.

You can read Chapter 1 now!


“Martin Turnbull is a master at historical fiction. He isn’t afraid to name names, air the dirty laundry, or reveal the (literal) skeletons in the closet. Citizen Hollywood is sexy, gritty, and cheeky, yet still retains its moments of tenderness without sentimentality bogging down the text.” Shylock Books blog

Sample reviews from readers (

I literally just finished Citizen Hollywood, the third in Martin Turnbull’s “The Garden of Allah” novels. Once again he has delivered. Gwendolyn, Katherine and Marcus are so well developed that you feel like they are old friends. The way Martin brings old Hollywood to life is a joy and I find myself wishing I had been a part of it. Since reading the trilogy, I can’t watch an old movie with Orson Wells, Tallulah Bankhead, Errol Flynn, Humprey Bogart, et al, without thinking about the residents of The Garden and wondering how Gwendolyn, Katherine and Marcus would feel about how their movies have stood the test of time and what Hollywood has become over the years… Please tell me there is a fourth book on the way.

Having read the other two already (and out of order), I bought the 3rd one last Friday night and finished it Saturday night. I literally stopped for bio breaks and food….that’s it. I love the characters with all their flaws – they seem real – and the period seems spot on. I moved to Los Angeles in 1986 and love all the history. Very familiar with the area where the Garden of Allah used to be. I’ve already emailed the author to see when the next book is coming out. Hope you enjoy the series as much as I do.

I’m completely hooked on this series. The characters are completely affable and I love the plot. It’s the kind of book that you don’t want to end because it’s so enjoyable, yet you compulsively keep turning the page thus ending the journey too early. I look forward to reading more. Mr. Turnbull is a master at cliffhangers, breathes vivid life into long gone celebrities in a manner that allows one to live vicariously through the story’s hero and heroines. This is a great and fascinating period in entertainment history and is thoroughly a worthwhile read. Have fun!

Living in the shadow of the Hollywood sign drew me to the The Garden On Sunset (Book One in this series) in the first place. I enjoyed getting to know the main characters as much as the book’s realistic portrayal of Hollywood at the time. I went on to read The Trouble With Scarlett (the second in the series) and was equally enthralled – so much so that I had to re-watch Gone With The Wind (SPOILER ALERT) to see if I could spot Marcus in the battle scene. After reading the book, I must say, I actually enjoy watching the film more now. And then came Citizen Hollywood, in my opinion, the best of the series yet! By now the character development is such that I can actually anticipate how Gwendolyn, Marcus and Kathryn will react to a situation and sometimes be right, unless of course, the author has a juicy surprise waiting for us! If you’re a fan of historical fiction, the Garden Of Allah series has everything you want – a compelling narrative, lovable characters (oh, and some you’ll love to hate), historical accuracy, page-turning excitement, and something that is important to me, believable dialog from the era. Citizen Hollywood, like its two predecessors, instantly transports its readers to that special time and place in Hollywood, and by the time you’re finished, you don’t ever want to leave. C’mon HBO, Showtime, and AMC – what are you waiting for? It’s time to check into the Garden Of Allah!


Citizen Hollywood

  • Book Three of the Garden of Allah novels
  • Historical Fiction, set in Hollywood from 1939 to late 1941
  • ISBN – 978-1494963972
  • 379 pages
  • Available in paperback and ebook
  • Published: 2014

Available in all formats – ebook and paperback

Amazon (US) Kindle ebook

Amazon (US) Paperback

Amazon (UK) Kindle ebook

Amazon (UK) paperback

Barnes & Noble Nook ebook

Barnes & Noble (paperback)

Book Depository paperback (free worldwide shipping)


Apple iBook

Kobo ebook

→ Audio book version:


And when you have read it (and assuming, of course, that you enjoyed it), if you have the chance and inclination, I’d really appreciate it if you could leave a review on my Amazon page. Rate it as many stars as you see fit, and give your honest opinion. The more reviews a book has, the higher its Amazon profile. Thanks!


  • 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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11 Responses to Book 3 – “Citizen Hollywood”

  1. Caitlin Crowley says:

    I love it!!!!

  2. Lea Campbell says:

    Hi Martin, thoroughly enjoyed your first two novels and am waiting with great anticipation for the third.
    Not sure if you remember me Martin, but I am a friend of Iain’s and we have met a few times.

    All the best

    Lea Campbell

  3. TM says:

    I am in love with the Garden of Allah series, and I can’t even tell you how excited I am for Citizen! I had a feeling you’d find a way to bring Citizen Kane & Welles into this series, and I’m so happy that you did 🙂

    • Hi there, and thanks so much for your note. I’m so happy to hear that you like my work so much! “Citizen Hollywood” is on its way – not much longer to wait.

      And I mean really, how could I be writing about this place at this time without pulling Kane into the picture? That wouldn’t ring true at all!

      And if you have the chance, could I ask you to write a review on either (or both) of my books? Each review helps boost the profile on Amazon so I’d really appreciate it. Just give it the number of stars you think it deserves and perhaps mention a few of the things you liked about it. That’s be great, thanks!

      And when you’ve read “Citizen Hollywood” do drop me a note and tell me what you thought.

  4. Steve Weddle says:

    Is there a place on your website where I might sign up to be notified each time you release a new book?

    Steve Weddle

  5. rick mechtly says:

    will shortly get to savor yr latest opus or is that octopus ?

  6. rick mechtly says:

    will shortly get to savor yr latest OPUS !!

  7. Jeannie Butler says:

    Martin, what a delight it has been. I’ve read the first two books of the trilogy and can hardly wait to get on to the third. I was 7 years old when Gone With The Wind came out. It’s as if I lived this time that you write about. Can’t wait to start Citizen Hollywood. My family thinks I may have finally “gone around the bend”. Usual bedtime is 10:30 and now up reading into the night. Keep writing…….I’ll keep reading!

    • Hello Jeannie, and thank you so much for your message. I love it when people take the time to tell me how much they’re enjoying my work. And if you liked “Scarlett” then I’m sure you’ll enjoy “Citizen.” When you’re done with it, let me know! And as for going around the bend…what better bend to go around than one that takes you back in time to the height of old Hollywood?!

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