L.A. historian/author Kim Cooper, renowned for her Esotouric bus tours into “the secret heart of Los Angeles,” recently completed her noir novel THE KEPT GIRL — and is offering readers a terrific opportunity to subscribe to the book’s first printing (details at

The subscription offeravailable from 11/5-12/25/13 — features a variety of benefits, including the subscriber’s name prominently acknowledged in all copies of the book,  which will arrive enclosed in a limited-edition decorative slipcase. Book lovers, collectors, hardboiled fiction fans, don’t miss this chance to take part in a true publishing event. Considering all the benefits, this first-class publication is a tremendous bargain at just $65. A wonderful holiday gift for noir aficionados.

Before Raymond Chandler became LA’s crime laureate, he was an LA oil company executive. Inspired by this historic nugget, Kim Cooper, social historian and co-founder of Esotouric, spins Chandler’s early LA years, a sinister 1920s angel-worshipping cult, an LAPD cop and a heroine who is much more than a ‘kept girl’ into a deeply researched and compulsively readable crime novel.”

Denise Hamilton, author of DAMAGE CONTROL & editor of Edgar Award-winning anthology LOS ANGELES NOIR

ABOUT THIS PUBLISHING METHOD: The Subscription model of publishing flourished in England in the 17th Century. Instead of relying on a single regal (and often capricious) patron, authors and publishers cultivated a select group of literate, engaged readers and collectors whose support encouraged and enabled the publication of books that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to produce. Through Subscription-sponsored publication, important atlases, geographies, and histories saw the light, along with great literature, including Milton’s Paradise Lost.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Kim Cooper‘s The Kept Girl is inspired by a sensational real-life Los Angeles cult murder spree which exploded into the public consciousness when fraud charges were filed against the cult’s leaders in 1929. The victim was the nephew of oil company president Joseph Dabney, Raymond Chandler‘s boss. In the novel, Chandler, still several years away from publishing his first short story, is one of three amateur detectives who uncover the ghastly truth about the Great Eleven cult over one frenetic week. Informed by the author’s extensive research into the literary, spiritual, criminal and architectural history of Southern California, The Kept Girl is a terrifying noir love story, set against the backdrop of a glittering pre-crash metropolis. To learn more about the book, visit the author’s blog. Sign up for the newsletter to receive occasional updates. Read a sample chapter here.

Kim Cooper is the perfect Virgil to 1929 Los Angeles, a city that was both a paradise and an inferno. Her knowledge of the city that was is unparalleled, her imagination unnerving. The real-life characters and crimes that would give birth to the pulp fiction of the 1930s and the film noir of the 1940s can all be found here. Aficionados of noir Los Angeles will read The Kept Girl with fascination and with growing horror as the terrible crime at its core is revealed.” 

John Buntin, author of L.A. NOIR


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including Pasadena Confidential, the Real Black Dahlia and Weird West Adams. Her collaborative L.A. history blogs include On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons of LAVA–The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage,vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For LifeBubblegum Music is the Naked TruthLost in the Grooves and an oral history of the cult band Neutral Milk Hotel. The Kept Girl is her first novel.

COVER ART: Paul Rogers.