Stephen G. Yanoff

Stephen G. Yanoff is a former insurance company executive from Long Island, New York. He received a bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree from Texas A & M University System. During college, he served as the playwright-in-residence at the University of Texas, and won several prestigious playwriting contests. After completing his education, he worked in Manhattan for over twenty years and became an acknowledged expert in the field of high risk insurance. (All of his mystery novels are based on actual insurance  ...See more >

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"An immensely readable narrative that portrays the mood and tumultuous events of the day."

Kirkus Reviews


Hometown Austin, Texas

Favorite author Elmore Leonard

Favorite book The Autobiography of Mark Twain

Day job Mystery novelist

Favorite line from a book "When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not." (Mark Twain)

Favorite word Abbreviation. (Why is it so long?)

Unexpected skill or talent Collegiate wrestling champion.

Passion in life Laughter.


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1491899892
Page count: 492pp

An analysis of the life and death of the 20th president, James Garfield, and his assassin, Charles Guiteau.

In a parallel and fascinating narrative, Yanoff (The Graceland Gang, 2013 etc.) chronicles the lives of the two widely different men in the style of a suspense novel. The book covers new ground—the life story and trial of Guiteau. Extremely unhappy in childhood and ruled by a violent father who despised him, Guiteau became a drifter and fraudster. He joined the Oneida Community (or “Perfectionists”) religious cult, which had peculiar views on sex and women. God and religion became the rationale for his increasingly erratic behavior. Guiteau qualified as a lawyer in Illinois, collecting overdue bills and pocketing the money for himself. His marriage was a mirror of his upbringing—except that he dished out the beatings and humiliation. Living in a series of rooming houses, the couple often skipped out without paying; Guiteau’s terrified, ashamed wife was sometimes forced to sneak back to recover their belongings. She divorced him, and his life steadily worsened. He got the notion that he would be made an ambassador to Europe. He became convinced he needed to get rid of Garfield to be appointed. At Guiteau’s trial, the defense claimed insanity: Guiteau said that he was following orders from God, but the jury unanimously agreed otherwise. Just as fascinating as the main thread is the analysis of medical knowledge at the time and the implication that the president’s death was probably caused as much by the doctors’ ineptitude as the bullet wound. Garfield’s exploits in the Civil War are highlighted along with absorbing analysis of how he became the Republican nominee for president in 1880 out of nowhere on the 36th ballot when Ulysses Grant  failed to get the majority vote. Scandals such as Crédit Mobilier are covered, along with controversies such as the political storm over Chinese immigration fears. All the facts are presented in clear, uncluttered and unbiased prose. A convincing case is made that Guiteau should have been declared insane, but society wanted revenge on Garfield’s assassin.

An immensely readable narrative that portrays the mood and tumultuous events of the day.


DEVIL'S COVE (Unpublished)

The body of a Choctaw Indian woman is discovered in a drought-stricken lake in the Texas Hill Country. Insurance investigator Adam Gold journeys to Austin, where he is drawn into the dark world of a dangerous religious cult led by a cold-blooded killer who plans to steal one of the world's most valuable manuscripts in order to finance his ministry. A deadly game of cat and mouse will ensue culminating in a startling climax at the West Texas compound of America's most bizarre cult.
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The theft of a priceless Gobelin tapestry leads insurance investigator Adam Gold into the dark and violent world of international "art-napping" -- and a confrontation with the Corsican mafia. The valuable artwork is being held for ransom, and if the Anchor Insurance Company does not pay a two million dollar fee, the tapestry will be dumped into the Rhone River. Gold has one week to find the thieves, negotiate a trade, and recover the artwork... while he navigates through the treacherous world of revenge and vendetta.

THE PIRATE PATH (Unpublished)

While excavating a vacant lot in Lower Manhattan, workers unearth a 300-year-old skeleton and some coins that might be part of a pirate treasure. The discovery halts the construction of a skyscraper, drawing the ire of corrupt politicians, greedy developers, and the Russian mob. It also attracts the attention of a mysterious young woman who claims to be a descendant of a famous pirate... a woman who is willing to do whatever it takes to get her hands on the treasure.
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