Updated and revised, with a special added story about Thelma Todd's murder,Fallen Angels: Chronicles of L.A. Crime and Mystery has been repackaged and released by author Marvin J. Wolf.
This picture of Todd was taken to publicize the movie Corsair.
The book covers most of the sensational murders and crimes of our city, from pre-statehood days up through John Belushi's death. There are so many crimes in there, from Attorney General Earl Warren's 1938 battle with Tony Cornero and his gambling ship (which I haven't read yet--I'm saving it for last since I wrote my own article about it), as well as nasty, brutal murders like the Black Dahlia slaying and the Hillside Strangler spree, that you can just gorge yourself on seediness.
Yes, there are more detailed books on any of the 40ish crimes listed here, but Wolf's book gives the basics of all. Fallen Angels: Chronicles of LA Crime and Mystery was first written based on research done by Katherine Mader (now a Superior Court Judge) and published in the 1980s, and the new version is available on Kindle.