Gangsters at the Grand Atlantic
It's 1925. Thanks to Prohibition, bootleg liquor is big business, and organized crime is thriving.As summer vacation begins, 12-year-old Emily Scott witnesses a gangland attack on her landlord, who runs a grocery downstairs from her family's Philadelphia flat. Emily is badly frightened by the violence and the thugs' warnings to keep quiet about it. So she jumps at the chance to accompany her sister Dorothy to the Jersey shore, where they'll be guests of Dorothy's wealthy college friend, Bitsy. The Grand Atlantic Hotel proves to be fabulously luxurious -- right on the ocean and full of fascinating characters, from Madame Serena the sceance leader to costumed mah jongg players and flappers dancing the Charleston. But Emily isn't entirely happy. Dorothy is much more interested in impressing her rich friends, going yachting, and winning dance marathons than spending time with her gawky little sister. Even worse, Emily spots a sinister man who looks exactly like Mr. M, the mob leader from Philly. Emily has heard of gangsters "wiping out" witnesses -- what if the man really is Mr. M and recognizes her? With her new friend Gwen, who's a pet-sitter at the hotel and a polio victim who relies on crutches and a wheelchair, Emily sets about finding out whether the mysterious man is really Mr. M. Dorothy just laughs at Emily's fears, but it turns out that Emily is right -- and that Mr. M is in Ocean View to carry out a rum-running scheme that means terrible danger for someone near and dear to Dorothy!
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A Surprise Encounter
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agents arrested ballroom beach bellboy Bitsy boardwalk boat bootleggers Brewster called cat's pajamas Chadwick and Frank Coast Guard connecting door dachshund dining room dinner Dodo Dorothy asked Dorothy exclaimed Dorothy looked Dorothy's dress elevator Emily asked Emily felt Emily looked Emily nodded Emily saw Emily thought Emily tried Emily's eyes face Florio gangsters Geez girls glanced golf gone goose bumps Grand Atlantic guess Gwen explained Gwen whispered Gwen's hair head heard hurried Izzy Einstein Kathryn Reiss Lady Luck laughed liquor lobby Madame Serena mah-jongg Milton morning Mother Murphy night numbers ocean oh-two hundred pets Philadelphia polio pulled raid remembered Rum Row rumrunners Scott Shell Cove sister Sleepy Seagull smiled someone speakeasy stay stood Suddenly sure swim talk tell third floor tonight took turned upstairs voice waiting walked watched waves wondered worry yacht