About the Book
The Wheeler-Dealer is the story of a man who came out of the streets of New York during the Great Depression where prohibition, gambling, loose women, and Speak-Easies were a way of life. The man was known as William 'Bismarck' Jones. To survive in those poor days, a man had to use whatever means was available to him to support himself. Bismarck took the gambling route. When this became boring to him, he upgraded himself into the confidence racket and fraud. He was very successful in all his endeavors, whether it be in sports or cards, he would always use his practices skills to win a scam.
Bismarck was not born bad. It was a way of life at that time among his generation, so Bismarck became a pool shark. When no one would challenge him in New York any longer, he tried other forms of gambling. He graduated to the confidence racket and eventually began stealing. He was not a bad man, he thought. When Bismarck embezzled money from a mark he wouldn't intentionally drive that person into bankruptcy. He would always leave the pigeon with enough assets to recoup himself. His greatest enjoyment was the challenge of the Con game and the thrill of victory. Bismarck's only weakness was the opposite sex. He had a tendency to fall in love with his young female victims. This indulgent is considered taboo in the confidence racket. He did, however, fall in love with an Italian Countess whose father was one of his marks. This affair was almost his downfall.
Bismarck's main enemy was a Mr. Nichols who lost $100,000 in a golf game to Bismarck under a devious manner. Mr. Nichols became obsessed over his loss and decided to get even with Bismarck in a double sting operation employing the help of many of the people that Bismarck had fleeced. He was almost successful but Bismarck was too cunning. The worst crime that Bismarck committed was to steal 5 million dollars worth of cocaine from the Mafia. The Mafia chief was enraged by this and was relentless in his effort to get his property back and to destroy Bismarck. This caused Bismarck to go on the run and he finally moved to England where he thought he would be safe. This distance did not stop the Mafia and attacked him in England.
When World War II began, Bismarck was afraid he would be drafted into the U.S. Army and become a lowly infantryman so he joined the Canadian Air Force. He bribed a key Canadian General into giving him a cushy job and to guarantee him that he would never have to fight in the war. It turned out by accident, that this was not possible and Bismarck found himself right in the middle of it all. He had no interest in the war at all. He didn't care who won. He only cared about himself. His money was secure in other countries so why should he put his life on the line? In spite of his reluctance to fight he was forced into action and, because of some bizarre circumstances, he even became a hero.
About the Author
Joseph Francis Panicello was born in Queens, New York, in 1927. He was married for thirty years to his late wife, Rose, and is now residing with Barbara Coulter for the past nine years. He has three daughters and seven grandchildren.
Mr. Panicellos is a World War II veteran. He has used his navy experiences to write his first book, 'Vindicated,' and has incorporated his aerospace experience to write his second book, 'Brian's Comet.'
Prior to pursuing his writing career, the author maintained a successful 40-year career as an electronic engineer for Lockheed Aerospace in Burbank, California and Bell Telephone Laboratories in Whippany, New Jersey.
Mr. Panicello has already completed seven manuscripts and two have been published. He is a member of the American Fiction Society and the National Writers Association.