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Mother Finds a Body (Femmes Fatales) by Gypsy Rose Lee
Review by Nick Sauer
The Feminist Press at CUNY Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781558618015
Date: 03 July 2012 List Price $13.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Wikipedia Entry / Publisher's Book Page / Show Official Info /

Gypsy Rose Lee, while on her honeymoon in a trailer is soon confronted with the discovery of a body in the tub. That the body belongs to the best man of their wedding is not that important since he was someone they picked up in a bar just for the ceremony. That her mother decides that the best action is to bury the body right after it is found rather than call the police is far more troubling.

Of course, mom has the best intentions since she is concerned that the discovery of a body in Gypsy's trailer might have negative PR effects and business ain't exactly booming to begin with. To make matters worse, mom sets fire to the woods after burying the body in order to cover up her tracks. It does not work and, in fact, leads to the discovery of a second body.

As you can probably tell, Gypsy is the main character in her own book. Not only that but the character is her, down to who knows what detail. For all we know, this book falls more into autobiographical detail than fiction. In either case it's an interesting story, told in the vernacular of the time and quite the story on top of it all. There's a large cast of characters all with their own agendas and behaviors and the basic plot is convoluted enough for the most hardened mystery fan.

The book is surprisingly well written. Surprising because Gypsy Rose Lee was not well educated, spending more of her life on stage and moving from town to town on the Vaudeville circuit. The writing is very good and the story is also top rate.

I should also give a shout out to the Feminist Press for finding this and the prequel and publishing them, along with a whole batch of other books. If you like this book you should definitely check them out. And you probably will like this book. Definitely recommended.

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