Image of The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress: A Novel


Image of The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress: A Novel

The Prohibition Era holds many secrets, and one of them is the disappearance of Judge Joseph Crater. Lawhon takes the case of the “missingest man in New York” and turns it into an intriguing mystery involving three women who knew him well. Lawhon’s storytelling skills bring the characters to life and will have readers sympathizing with them even when they cheat and steal. She weaves reality and fantasy together so well — if you’re looking for a page-turner filled with glitz and glamour as well as murder, greed and deceit, this one’s for you.

On a summer night in 1930, Joseph Crater got into a cab in Manhattan and vanished. He was due to testify to the commission on corruption and his ties to Tammany Hall were about to be revealed. Thirty-nine years later his wife, Stella, tells the story as she knows it. Along with Stella’s tale is that of the judge’s mistress, showgirl Ritzi, and maid Maria, who owes much to the judge. Each woman adds surprising details about why he disappeared and where he may be. As things are revealed, they are still left to wonder: Where is Joseph Crater? (DOUBLEDAY, Feb., 400 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin