When Tracey Aledort of Forest Books in Locust Valley was first asked if she would carry the new mystery novel, “The Burning of The Piping Rock,” she was stunned by the name.
The book’s author, Joseph A. Cutshall-King, quickly explained that that the “Piping Rock” name refers to the arson of Piping Rock Casino in Saratoga Springs, NY. But, he added, the novel traces its roots—and a part of its mystery—to Locust Valley and that very historical name of Piping Rock.
The Burning of The Piping Rock is a “film noir in a book,” a history/mystery transcribed from a confession taped by a dying small town pharmacist in upstate New York. The dying man relates a tale of blackmail, deception and death, as he tells of the night of August 16, 1954 when he drove with arsonist Harry the Torch to burn Piping Rock Casino.
How did Piping Rock Casino, owned by Mafia members Joe Adonis, Frank Costello, and Myer Lansky, come by a name most famously connected with Long Island’s Gold Coast? What were the connections between the racing citadel of Saratoga Springs and North Shore Long Island? What were the arsonist’s connections with Oyster Bay and the Locust Valley area?
These and other questions are part of the history and the mystery detailed in The Burning of The Piping Rock.