Thursday, May 24, 2012

The G-String Murders

1941, 1984 Penguin edition
Gypsy Rose Lee
The G-String Murders
Original price $3.95, purchase price unknown
Very worn paperback with stains

A murder mystery by the world's most famous stripper?  Yes, and it's pretty good.  It's more interesting for the glimpses of backstage (and onstage) life than for the mystery, although that's fairly well done.  Gypsy herself is a character, in both senses, with her book-only boyfriend Biff helping her figure out whodunnit.  This was later made into Lady of Burlesque with Barbara Stanwyck, which I've never seen. 

The novel is one of the racier pre-1960s ones I own, with not only references to nudity and breasts, but cocaine, prostitution, and lesbians.  And yet, some of the innuendo is just hinted at, like with the Pickle Persuader skit.  There's mild racism, about blacks and Chinese, although most of this comes from characters other than Gypsy.  Another weakness is I had trouble keeping track of all the other girls, beyond lisping Alith and union-organizer Jannine.

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