Monday, February 3, 2014

SheReads Blog Network: Review: THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS by Ariel Lawhon


I am part of the amazing SheReads Blog NetworkWhich means that I am fortunate enough to partner with some of the most savvy, talented, and intelligent book bloggers in the business. Every month we wonderful women read our selections and review them on our personal sites. We are kind and witty and love books more than air. We would love for you to visit each of us online and follow us on our blogs, Facebook and Twitter. You don’t want to miss all the book goodness we have to offer! 

THIS MONTH'S SELECTION:
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A tantalizing reimagining of a scandalous mystery that rocked the nation in 1930—Justice Joseph Crater’s infamous disappearance—as seen through the eyes of the three women who knew him best.
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.
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The 1930's is such a fun era to read about.  In the novel The Wife, The Maid and the Mistress you follow the well drawn out story of three very different women in three very different set of circumstances, but all have a connection to the missing Judge Joseph Carter.  There is mystery, speakeasies, high society life and characters that really grab you and pull you in the world within the pages.   You will want to read until late into the night to follow the mystery.  Will all be revealed?  Or will each of the three women reveal secrets of their own that will pull you even deeper into the pages? Read this fabulous novel to find out for yourself.  It will not disappoint.  

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Ariel Lawhon




Ariel Lawhon is co-founder of She Reads, a novelist, blogger, and life-long reader. She lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and four young sons (whom she calls The Wild Rumpus, except on the days when she calls them The Barbarian Horde–if you ever visit her you’ll know why). Her novel, THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS, is based on the still-unsolved disappearance of a New York State Supreme Court Judge and was published by Doubleday this week. Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart, that marrying her best friend was the best decision she ever made, and that a good nap can cure all ills. And coffee. She really, really believes in coffee.
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