Gangsters & Whores

Gangsters and Whores is written in the not-so-distant past of the early 20th century. It is written about the colourful and dangerous villains and criminals that populated most big capitals around the world.

It begins in England during the 1ST World War, with characters that will eventually lead on a journey to Sydney, Australia, where two women begin their infamous journeys into a life of crime and money, which may be argued was brought about by hardships. They, along with other key criminal figures change the face of both Sydney and Melbourne which become very hazardous places to live, with thugs on every corner. The book takes us through their criminal wars, their wins and losses to their ultimate demise, which spawns other notorious criminals.

The book is a very well-written story about the criminal mind and thoughts, not just in Australia but all around the world. It describes in detail the manoeuvrings and mindsets of these people with their lust for power and their ongoing need for money. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the criminal mind. A great read, and thoroughly enjoyable.




WillmottGangsters & Whores is a romp through some of the more colourful characters of Australian history. G. S. Willmott tells their stories with his trademark mix of dramatisation and fact, embellishing them with dialogue and vintage photos, facts, figures and a sly sense of humour. This is not Ned Kelly country—this is the stamping ground of notorious madam Tilly Devine, her violent husband Big Jim, her rival Kate Leigh and Squizzy Taylor. Around them racket the gangs of the 1920s and ‘30s, shooting, slashing, swearing, stealing and terrorising the locals. Feuds and vendettas, blood and sly grog—it’s all here. Who got murdered in his bed during a bout of flu? Who went AWOL so often he was more out of the war than in it? Who stole a shop-load of clothing for his girlfriend? Don’t know? Find out, in Gangsters & Whores.From the turbulent times in Australia, the story moves to the US and then to Britain, piling more facts, figures and local colour onto the foundation. More fun than a run through the gauntlet but similarly buffeting… Gangsters & Whores is an unforgettable visit to the days of yore (and a quick glimpse into the equally lively present as the author brings us up to date).

Sally Odgers


I have had the pleasure of reading several of Garry's books all of which pertained to the various conflagrations of the twentieth century. Apart from a couple of chapters where the

story takes us to the atrocities in the Dardenelles and Northern France/ Belgium, Gangsters and Whores is quite a departure and takes us into the murky and vicious gangland happenings

in pre-WW2 New South Wales and Victoria. Garry has managed to combine the historical facts with plenty of drama making the story very readable and enjoyable. I learnt a lot about a topic I would never even thought about

had it not been for this book. I would certainly recommend this a worthy addition to anyone's Library.



Gangsters and Whores had me captivated from start to finish We have all heard of the Tilly Devine’s, Kate Leigh’s and Squizzy Taylor’s as part of our history but in reality, speaking for myself, knew nothing about them.

Garry S Willmott has brought these and many more of the colourful folk from that era to life in this book, including photos of them, the places they lived and the areas and places they frequented. I can now understand what their life must have been like and why they lived as they did. There is a special place in my heart for Tilly Devine, achieving what she did after such a traumatic childhood. Absolutely a book everyone should read and learn more about our history.

Jan Blakeborough