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From the Publisher
"Inspired by a real-life unsolved mystery, this
mesmerizing novel features characters that make a lasting
"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
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.