Lee, Gypsy Rose G-String Murders

ISBN 13: 9780891901471

G-String Murders

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9780891901471: G-String Murders

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 risqué 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. She also wrote a sequel to G-STRING MURDERS, MOTHERS FINDS A BODY, and contributed occasional pieces to (Yes!) The New Yorker. Rachel Shteir is the author of STRIPTEASE: THE UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE GIRLIE SHOW, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. She teaches in the Theater Department at DePaul University in Chicago.

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