Broadway Butterfly

Thomas & Mercer: Amazon. Aug. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781662510137. $28.99. M
DEBUTIn March 1923, Dot King, a scandalous flapper with multiple men in her life, is murdered in her apartment. The case remains unsolved, although a number of people have keys to it. Ella Bradford, Dot’s Black maid, found the body, but she’s afraid to say too much and call attention to herself in 1920s New York City. Inspector John D. Coughlin, commander of the Detective Division in Manhattan, thinks he has the killer, but he’s stymied by the DA’s office. Julia Harpman, the Daily News crime reporter, covers the case from the beginning, but thinks Coughlin is blinded by his suspect. Suspects include Dot’s gigolo boyfriend and a mysterious Mr. Marshall, the pseudonym for Dot’s sugar daddy. When he’s identified, the case takes a turn influenced by social class, political influence, and corruption. Bradford, Coughlin, and Harpman take turns revealing the twists in this unsolved murder case.
VERDICT Based on the true unsolved case of Dot King’s death, this compelling novel is told from multiple viewpoints. The page-turner of a story with tentacles reaching from Broadway to the White House exposes the influence of money and power. Fans of true crime and true-crime podcasts will be hooked.
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