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Award-winning author Matt Cost brings us back to Brooklyn in the Roaring ’20s and introduces us to Hungarian private eye, 8 Ballo, who is hired to find the daughter of a wealthy businessman. The search will lead him to cross paths with Dorothy Parker, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Bugsy Siegel, Babe Ruth, and many more as he tries to uncover why Velma went awry.
8 Ballo’s mother was certain he was going to be born a girl, but when he comes out a boy, she writes down simply the number 8, as he has seven older siblings. She meant to change it to a real name at some point but never got around to it.
Now, in his mid-thirties, 8 is a college-educated man, a veteran of the Great War, jilted in love, and has his own private investigator business. He enjoys his friends, a good book, jazz music, and a very simple life. When he is hired to find the young flapper daughter of a German businessman, life suddenly becomes much more complicated.