Broadway Butterfly
Sara Divello
Thomas & Mercer

Manhattan, March 15, 1923: Flapper Dot King partied as hard as anyone on Broadway, but now she lies dead in her bed, overcome by chloroform, her luxury apartment plundered. Called in as a suicide by an inept patrolman, the cops soon realize Dot was murdered. Top Detective John D. Coughlin figures two men could have killed her: Dot’s abusive gigolo boyfriend Albert Guimares or her Sugar Daddy, the mysterious “Mr. Marshall.” Coughlin’s under pressure to make a speedy arrest, but the Chief Assistant DA throws a wrench in the works. Mr. Marshall has come forward to explain his part in the mystery, and will only give his account in the DA’s office. Furious, Coughlin confronts the DA and discovers Mr. Marshall is none other than prominent millionaire socialite John Kearsley Mitchell. With the DA’s interference and allegations of corruption filling the air, the police case is effectively pushed into a dead end.

… a tour-de-force from the opening scene to the twist in the tale ending.

For New York’s top female crime reporter Julia Harpman, the case offers an opportunity to score in an almost exclusively male world, yet she soon comes to feel for Dot King’s plight and wants justice for the dead girl. Julia’s investigation throws up a lot of interesting facts about the Broadway Butterfly’s intimate links to organized crime, but it’s her connection to the high society world of Mitchell that fascinates Julia. He’s related by marriage to the mega-wealthy Stotesbury family of Philadelphia, and through them to the notoriously corrupt Harding administration. Julia sympathizes with Mitchell’s wife Frances, but high-powered politics and organized crime always sells newspapers. It’s not long before Julia realizes how dangerous the case is. Is it worth risking her life to probe further into the affair?

Sara Divello has written a tour-de-force from the opening scene to the twist in the tale ending. Broadway Butterfly brings the world of the Roaring Twenties to life with consummate historical research resonating from every page. A gripping account of the notorious Dot King murder and its consequences, any fan of true crime will welcome this in their collection.