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and life along the winding road

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Wife, The Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

In the 1930s a prominent judge, Joseph Crater disappeared from the streets of Manhattan and although there has been speculation, there is no concrete evidence of his death or what happened to him. There were many suspicious events leading up to his disappearance and Ariel Lawhon has taken those and woven a fictitious story based on the facts. She follows Stella Crater, his wife; Sally Lou Ritz, the mistress; and the maid Maria Simon who is a fictitious character in the story. The book is peppered with factual events and real characters and leads the reader on an interesting journey through the underground world of deals, and unsavory characters in the New York clubs at that time. (She explains which characters are real in the last few pages).

My thoughts:
It was an interesting plot and shows the strength of three women who had not been treated well either by employers or in the case of Stella Crater, her husband. Ms. Lawhon takes the reader into a den of corruption featuring showgirls, mobsters and corrupt politicians and paints the picture well. I was glad that she put both the location and date on each chapter as it would be easy to get lost with the moving backwards and forwards in time. 

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