The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

A Novel

eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
7
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Random House, Inc.
“Inspired by a real-life unsolved mystery, this mesmerizing novel features characters that make a lasting impression.”--PEOPLE MAGAZINE

"More meticulously choreographed than a chorus line. It all pays off."--THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW


They say behind every great man, there's a woman. In this case, there are three.
Stella Crater, the judge's wife, is the picture of propriety draped in long pearls and the latest Chanel. Ritzi, a leggy showgirl with Broadway aspirations, thinks moonlighting in the judge's bed is the quickest way off the chorus line. Maria Simon, the dutiful maid, has the judge to thank for her husband's recent promotion to detective in the NYPD. Meanwhile, Crater is equally indebted to Tammany Hall leaders and the city's most notorious gangster, Owney "The Killer" Madden.

On a sultry summer night, as rumors circulate about the judge's involvement in wide-scale political corruption, the Honorable Joseph Crater steps into a cab and disappears without a trace. Or does he?

After 39 years of necessary duplicity, Stella Crater is finally ready to reveal what she knows. Sliding into a plush leather banquette at Club Abbey, the site of many absinthe-soaked affairs and the judge's favorite watering hole back in the day, Stella orders two whiskeys on the rocks—one for her and one in honor of her missing husband. Stirring the ice cubes in the lowball glass, Stella begins to tell a tale—of greed, lust, and deceit. As the novel unfolds and the women slyly break out of their prescribed roles, it becomes clear that each knows more than she has initially let on.

With a layered intensity and prose as effervescent as the bubbly that flows every night, The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is a wickedly entertaining historical mystery that will transport readers to a bygone era with tipsy spins through subterranean jazz clubs and backstage dressing rooms. But beneath the Art Deco skyline and amid the intoxicating smell of smoke and whiskey, the question of why Judge Crater disappeared lingers seductively until a twist in the very last pages.

Baker & Taylor
A steamy reimagining of the scandal-marked 1930 disappearance of Justice Joseph Crater explores events decades later from the perspectives of the three women who knew him best--his Chanel-draped wife, his showgirl mistress, and his dutiful housemaid.

Publisher: New York : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2014
ISBN: 9780385537636
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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b
becker
May 27, 2017

A good fictional story built around a true event ...compelling and interesting.The author did a good job weaving together the individual stories of the 3 woman in the book. I would recommend this.

t
tizzie
Nov 02, 2016

Easy read, period fiction. Writing is ok, pacing slides smoothly but I was disappointed that the character voices did not seem to stay true til the end.

cmlibrary_jfrazier May 19, 2016

Reading this fast-paced, atmospheric story will transport you to the Broadway lights and speakeasies of 1920s New York (including guest appearances by Cole Porter and Billie Holliday) and will keep you turning the page to find out what happens to three very-different, but equally compelling women.

j
jerksister1
Feb 24, 2015

Very interesting story based on a true event. Author describes New York in the 1920-30 era well. Would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys period fiction.

athompson10 Dec 22, 2014

Interesting "what if" about the real-life disappearance of a NY judge in the 1930s. The jumping back and forth between periods of time can get a little confusing.

l
lizhelboe
Aug 29, 2014

Great book. Love how the author took a real life mystery and built a story around it. The 1930s setting in New York, complete with mobsters, corrupt politicians, and broadway show girls made for an entertaining read.

amliny May 28, 2014

Good read, page turner.

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