Cradle of Crime

Cradle of Crime

A Daughter's Tribute

Non-Fiction - Drama
264 Pages
Reviewed on 08/23/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Luellen is a creative nonfiction writer and newspaper columnist. She wrote a weekly column, “Smiley’s Dice-Adventures in Livingness, for the Del Mar Times in San Diego. Smiley’s Dice earned a Blue-Ribbon Award in the California Newspapers Association for her Growing Up With Gangsters columns. She resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she works as a full-time writer. She published and released her first book
CRADLE OF CRIME- A Daughter’s Tribute in 2017.

BOOK REVIEWS & PUBLICITY
READERS’ FAVORITE – Book Review
THE MOB MUSEUM LAS VEGAS – Book Signing August 5, 2017
JEWISH POST & NEWS WINNIPEG - Book Review
THE SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN - Book review
THE BALLSTON SPA JOURNAL- Book review
THE SARATOGIAN -Book review
ARTISTS FIRST CRIME BEAT RADIO - Book review
GANGSTERS INC – Book Preview
THE VOICE OF SANTA FE 101.5- Book Interview
CRAVEN WILD – UK Book Review
ANGELA KAY – Book Review
LA COSTA NOSTRA - Print excerpt from book
GANGSTERS INC. - Print Interview
WINNIPEG JEWISH TIMES- Excerpt from book
KLAS-TV LAS VEGAS- INTERVIEW –BUGSY SIEGEL
KNPR RADIO LAS VEGAS, NEVADA MOB EXPERIENCE
KABC TELEVISION INTERVIEW MOB EXPERIENCE
KPBS: On-/Air Magazine Interview featuring her dance troupe; The Jammers.
SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE: Health Feature on the Jammers.
PUBLICATIONS
MORE MAGAZINE- Monthly contributor
NEW YORK POST: Confessions of a Mob Kid
THE JOCKEY CLUB NEWSLETTER: Feature “Jockey’s Wear Nikes Too.”
THE SARATOGIAN: Feature story, “For the Love of Molly.”
TIMES UNION ALBANY: “The Village of Friends.”


    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

Luellen Smiley’s Cradle of Crime: A Daughter's Tribute is a narrative account of a hidden family history. The narrator of the story is hounded by her fear of her father, but after watching the documentary of Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel’s life, her father’s best friend, hearing comments from friends and acquaintances hinting at her father’s ‘other life’, and her inability to answer questions regarding her father’s past pique her curiosity and direct her to a path she never imagined she would take. Eventually she is driven to search for the hidden part of her father’s past that he tried so hard to hide from her and deny. She is thrust into a journey she never expected.

This a refreshing, wonderful story in the fact that I got to see the unfolding of Allen Smiley and Ben Siegel’s story through the eyes of Allen Smiley’s daughter. I got to see the point of view of someone who personally knew Allen Smiley, the other side of him: the family man and her reactions to discovering her father’s past, secrets, and how people viewed her father and the Mafia. To my delight, the author also included journals and files relating to the criminal speculations of Ben Siegel’s murder which helped shape the book’s framework. I felt like a detective myself as I read through the story and found out more and more about her father’s other life. I learned a lot through her journey and admired how she pursued knowledge despite how difficult and hurtful it must have been to uncover her father’s secrets. Through her journey of denial, curiosity, and disbelief, she managed to find people who understood her history and accepted her. Eventually she found the final destination of her search; she found family, acceptance, and belonging, and in her own way she became the connection her newfound family needed.