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Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case. It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the "soul of pampered self-absorption"; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.
In the early morning of May 2, 1981, Danny Hansford was shot dead by James Williams with a World War II vintage Luger in a historic Savannah mansion. For the next eight-and-a-half years, through four murder trials and intrigue which reached the highest levels of Georgia politics—including a former governor and the Georgia Supreme Court—lawyers battled over whether the 50-year-old Williams shot the 21-year-old Hansford in self-defense. The case inspired a best-selling book and a movie directed by Clint Eastwood. Written by Dep Kirkland, who arrived at the scene when Hansford’s body was still on the floor, Lawyer Games is the true story of this remarkable case. Kirkland, the Chief Assistant DA at the time, made the decision to arrest Williams and tried the first of four murder trials alongside the district attorney. His firsthand knowledge allows him not only to deeply analyze the murder case but also to expose the legal mischief spawned when a defendant facing unshakable physical evidence possesses almost unlimited funds. True crime aficionados will be drawn to the two stories told in the book: The riveting story of the case, its evidence (including facts never heard in the courtroom), trials and results, and the incredible eight-year campaign to beat a murder rap no matter what, with a look behind the curtain at a darker side of the American criminal justice system.
The #1 Wall Street Journal ebook bestseller about the murder that shocked Savannah society and inspired the blockbuster film. As a premier antiques dealer in Savannah, Jim Williams had it all: style, culture, charisma, and sophistication. But three decades of hard work came crashing down the night he shot Danny Hansford, his wild young lover. Jim Williams stood trial four times over the next decade for premeditated murder. While Clint Eastwood’s movie—starring Kevin Spacey and Jude Law—and the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt portrayed the natives of Savannah as remarkably decadent, exotic characters, they missed the surprising dark side of Jim Williams himself. He was a smooth predator whose crimes could have put him behind bars long before the death of Danny Hansford. After Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is Marilyn Bardsley’s continuation of the story, which includes crucial testimony recreating the courtroom drama between a gifted prosecutor and a brilliant defense attorney as they battle over the future of a self-made aristocrat. More than forty photos and revealing insider interviews bring new life to the vivid cast of characters in this unique southern crime story. “[A] provocative summer read.” —Savannahnow.com
So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil tells you what you need to know—before or after you read John Berendt’s book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader. This short summary and analysis of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story includes: Historical context Chapter-by-chapter overviews Profiles of the main characters What’s what in Savannah Important quotes Fascinating trivia Glossary of terms Supporting material to enhance your understanding of the original work About Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story by John Berendt: John Berendt’s engrossing bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil tells the story of his time spent in Savannah, Georgia. Berendt didn’t just observe the city’s lovely locales and its quirky characters—he also became immersed in a murder case that would shock and fascinate much of Georgia. Part true crime saga, part travel diary, part reportage, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a suspenseful, sharply observed account of Berendt’s sojourns in Savannah and the murder trial of one if its socialites. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of nonfiction.
Filled with intrigue and juicy stories, The Vamp of Savannah tells the story of one of Savannah's most colorful characters, Ms. Nancy Hillis. Now with ALS, Miss Hillis is telling the real story of Mandy Nichols, her character in the best selling book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. From her partnership with the piano playing, loving scoundrel Joe Odom in Sweet Georgia Browns, the hot jazz club in Savannah, Georgia; to her escapades with Minerva, the Voodoo Priestess; to her reign as a national beauty queen; and her heartbreaking dealings with the molestation of her son; Nancy tells it all--the good and not so good. You will laugh, cry and be amazed to read the story of this remarkable woman whose motto is "never, never, never give up."
If you enjoyed reading about “The Lady of 6,000 Songs” in the best seller “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” you will love going behind the scenes to learn more about how the remarkable entertainer and her husband successfully juggled their marriage, her Hall of Fame music career, his sign business, and at the same time, raise ten children. Though Emma Kelly was mostly known as the piano player who could seemingly play any song ever written, the close friend and collaborator of songwriter Johnny Mercer is revealed in “What’s Your Favorite Song?” to have achieved even greater accomplishments as a wife and mother. Learn how she and her husband overcame challenges and hardships through the Great Depression, a World War, and through the baby boom years to raise ten children who would become an integral part of her musical performances and, later, successful college-educated adults. Author Ross Kelly chronicles a firsthand account of a nonstop, whirlwind family music fest that will border on feeling out of control, only in the end to reveal a loving, close-knit family guided by their commitment to one another, their love of music, and a foundation of principles employed by his parents to guide and shape his life and the lives of his nine brothers and sisters. Far beyond being about a large musical family growing up in South Georgia in the 1960s, “What’s Your Favorite Song?” could almost serve as a guide for how families of any size, anywhere, can successfully manage their own challenges of juggling relationships, careers, and children. “Emma Kelly was known as ‘The Lady of Six Thousand Songs,’ but she could also have been called the Lady of Six Million Fans, among whom I enthusiastically include myself. Read this affectionate tribute by her son Ross, and you will understand why.” John Berendt, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. What makes the Kellys such an intriguing family? On the surface, it was thought that it was simply the musical genius and celebrity of Emma Kelly, the famed ‘Lady of 6,000 Songs.’ But there seemed to be more, much more. Was it the added dimension of how she and her husband together raised ten children, each of whom was an active participant in the Kelly family music shows performed around south Georgia during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s? Or was it the unusual, but seemingly highly effective formula George and Emma Kelly employed to balance their two careers, their marriage, and raise each of their children to become college educated and successful adults, and instill an almost unheard of closeness between each of them that continues to this day? Or is it that the family legacy that George and Emma Kelly left, today now numbers close to 100 members, all of whom carry on that same tradition of a devotion to music and family that began almost eighty years ago. Perhaps it is all of those factors... and even more.
Miller, fresh from too many pampered years at university, has managed to lose a PhD, a girlfriend, and her father's car. With parents now committed to a regime of find-your-own-way tough love, he's fallen off the fast track to success, and finds himself working in a shabby garden centre on the edge of nowhere. The staff are a collection of dropouts and oddballs, the boss is very shady, and Miller's not sure half the stuff they sell is legal. Still, he's learning to get on with things and make do, finding a brand new path through life, but... an alien invasion disguised as a bright and shiny big-box store from out of town? That really isn't helping. If Miller wants to protect his job and save the world, he's going to have to dig deep and get his hands dirty.