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The G-String Murders
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A mystery set in the underworld of burlesque theater, "The G-String Murders" was penned in 1941 by the legendary queen of the stripteasers-the witty and wisecracking Gypsy Rose Lee. Narrating a twisted tale of a backstage double murder, Lee provides a fascinating look behind the scenes of burlesque, richly populated by the likes of strippers Lolita LaVerne and Gee Gee Graham, comic Biff Brannigan and Siggy the g-string salesman. This is a world where women struggle to earn a living performing bumps and grinds, have gangster boyfriends, sip beer between acts and pay their own way at dinner.

The story unfolds in a New York theater modeled on the legendary Minsky's, prone to raids by corrupt city cops and fierce competition among strippers. When one performer is found strangled with a g-string, no one is above suspicion. But when a second murder follows, the trail-and the action-really heats up. In the police procedural that follows, a host of clueless coppers faces off against the theater's tough-talking guys and dolls, and it's clear that Gypsy and her cohorts will have to crack the case themselves.

The basis of the 1943 film "Lady of Burlesque" starring Barbara Stanwyck, "The G-String Murders" was the first of two murder mysteries written by Gypsy Rose Lee. A natural-born raconteur, Lee also contributed short pieces to "The New Yorker" and hosted her own television talk show; even her unparalleled stardom in the burlesque world was attributed more to her witty banter than to her risque moves. It is this fabled wit, along with Gypsy's brassy sociology, that make "The G-String Murders" a must-read primer of sex, commerce and urban living.

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About the Author

Gypsy Rose Lee (1911-1970) was the most acclaimed strip tease artist of her day. She later made 12 films and hosted her own TV show. Her autobiography Gypsy spawned the famed musical and two film versions.

Reviews

"Burlesque is the background . . . [and] the background is perfect. Recommended for the readers who feel better when their eyebrows are raised." --The New Yorker "[Lee's] novel is a rich and lusty job, brimming over with infectious vitality and a hilarious jargon of her own." --Life "A lurid, witty and highly competent detective story . . . Rich show business vocabulary and stage door gags make her book almost a social document. . . . The G-String Murders build up to a hair-raising climax." --Time

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