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Download The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago, by Douglas Perry Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,126 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Douglas Perry Narrator: Peter Berkrot Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The true story of the murderesses who became media sensations and inspired the musical Chicago

Chicago, 1924. There was nothing surprising about men turning up dead in the Second City. Life was cheaper than a quart of illicit gin in the gangland capital of the world. But two murders that spring were special—worthy of celebration. So believed Maurine Watkins, a wannabe playwright and a “girl reporter” for the Chicago Tribune, the city’s “hanging paper.” Newspaperwomen were supposed to write about clubs, cooking, and clothes, but the intrepid Miss Watkins, a minister’s daughter from a small town, zeroed in on murderers instead. Looking for subjects to turn into a play, she would make “Stylish Belva” Gaertner and “Beautiful Beulah” Annan—both of whom had brazenly shot down their lovers—the talk of the town. Love-struck men sent flowers to the jail, and newly emancipated women sent impassioned letters to the newspapers. Soon more than a dozen women preened and strutted on “Murderesses’ Row” as they awaited trial, desperate for the same attention that was being lavished on Maurine Watkins’ favorites.

In the tradition of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City and Karen Abbott’s Sin in the Second City, Douglas Perry vividly captures Jazz Age Chicago and the sensationalized circus atmosphere that gave rise to the concept of the celebrity criminal. Fueled by rich period detail and enlivened by a cast of characters who seemed destined for the stage, The Girls of Murder City is crackling social history that simultaneously presents the freewheeling spirit of the age and its sober repercussions.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by C | 2/19/2014

    " This book is "thoroughly grounded in documented facts" yet I felt like I was reading a fiction book!! I enjoyed this book!! Being a theater fan and love Chicago, I was impressed how much of the play/movie was factual. I also enjoyed learning about the women reporters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bedford Library | 2/16/2014

    " Profiles the lady killers that led journalist Maurine Watkins to pen the play Chicago, and inspired the recent film. More than a true crime book - this title draws a picture of Chicago in the 1920s. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nikki | 1/30/2014

    " I love the musical Chicago (but I've only seen the most recent movie), so I was glad to have randomly picked it up at the library. I felt like Perry took what I knew from the movie and made it real in several ways. I really enjoyed it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Maryellen | 1/20/2014

    " This was an interesting book in terms of Chicago history and how women were seen in the 1920's. The writing was rather sedate yet read easy. Just enough interesting things to keep you reading but not gripping. For diehard Chicago history fans. "

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