Candace Wheeler, Mississippi Author
Candace Wheeler, Mississippi Author
Squall in the Gulf

Squall in the Gulf

Published by: Dogwood Press

Moving twenty-three years forward in time from my 2021 debut novel, Cradle in the Oak, my sequel, Squall in the Gulf, takes place once again along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, this time in the Roaring Twenties. This was a fascinating time, when doughboys were still coping with shellshock from the Great War and the Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transport of liquor, leading to medical prescriptions for alcohol, rumrunning, bootlegging, speakeasies, and jazz.

My historical research led to some interesting connections between the Coast and the cities of Chicago and New Orleans, which inspired me to include all three in my storyline forSquall in the Gulf.

One intriguing connection was the celebrity gangster, Al Capone, whose Chicago empire was rumored to be worth over one hundred million dollars. One of his many homes was located on a bayou in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. From this bayou, Capone and his gang would board a fast powerboat and take off for Cat Island, located a few miles offshore, to supervise their rumrunners. I took this information and let my imagination run wild over the waves and through the frequent squalls in the Gulf of Mexico.

Book Reviews and Media

"Squall in the Gulf takes place on the Mississippi Gulf Coast at the climax of the Roaring Twenties and mixes rapid-fire suspense with fascinating Gulf Coast history."

— Mississippi Magazine

Interview with Ricky Mathews

Watch the interview on YouTube

WLOX 4 O'Clock Show

Watch the interview online here

"Readers will enjoy “Squall in the Gulf” for its sense of place and mysteries, as well as its clean style and narrative."

The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS)

WLOX Spotlight

Southern Writers Magazine

Wheeler visits Winston library with second novel


These photographs helped me travel back in time to the Roaring Twenties and inspired the scenery for Squall in the Gulf.

Gulf Coast Map
This map shows where the Isle of Caprice was located and some of the areas where rumrunners transported their whiskey while dodging squalls in the Gulf.
Cat Island and Light House
This is the lighthouse that was located on Cat Island, the island where Al Capone would sometimes meet with his rumrunners.
Isle of Caprice
Over 40,000 visitors a year boarded excursion vessels to enjoy gambling, dancing, fine dining and drinking at the Isle of Caprice in 1929.
Swimming Competition
In the late 1920s, swimmers from throughout the United States would compete in an annual regatta from Biloxi to the Isle of Caprice.
Coast Guard Cutters
Coast Guard Cutters patrolled the Gulf in search of rumrunners during prohibition.
Coast Guard
This photo by Anthony Ragusin shows a Coast Guard patrol boat trying to stop a suspected rumrunning schooner during prohibition.
Goose Point Tarpon Club
Goose Point Tarpon Club was a very prestigious Sportsmen's Lodge located on Cat Island in 1929.
Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet
Biloxi's first annual Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet began in 1929.
Saenger Theatre
The Saenger Theatre opened its doors to the public for the first time in January of 1929 in Biloxi.
Mardi Gras Parade
The Biloxi Literary and Carnival Association parade stopped in front of the Biloxi Elks Lodge #606 for a Royal Toast.
Buena Vista Hotel
On Fat Tuesday, the Biloxi Carnival and Literary Association would gather after the parade at the Buena Vista Hotel to continue their festivities.
Tivoli Hotel
The Tivoli Hotel was the site of some of the Mardi Gras festivities during Carnival season in 1929.
The White House Hotel Biloxi, MS
In the Roaring Twenties, The White House Hotel was one of the most popular hotels in Biloxi.
Ocean Springs Al Capone House
This is a photograph of the house where Al Capone stayed in Ocean Springs during prohibition.
French Quarter, New Orleans
French Quarter in New Orleans in the Roaring Twenties.
French Market, New Orleans
In the 1920s, the French Market was a popular area in New Orleans.
A Residence on St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA.
Some residents of St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans had vacation homes on the beach along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
New Orleans was known as the birthplace of jazz and Louis Armstrong.
Chicago Water Tower
In 1929, this elaborate architectural structure housed the Chicago Water Tower.
Union Rail Station in Chicago
Union Rail Station in Chicago
These medals of honor were found on display at Arlington National Cemetery. During the Great War, Henry Jetton Tudury from Bay St. Louis was Mississippi's most decorated war hero, receiving the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre.