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 thirty-nine 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. Download and start listening now!