The G-String Murders

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Monday, July 30, 2007
by Gypsy Rose Lee: Good grief! I'm back up to over 50 items checked out at the library (CURSE YOU, poetry section at Central Branch! In my defense, poetry books are usually small). Anyway, many of them are books I keep renewing with the thought that one day I will write them up. Oh, how they laugh at me from the teetering pile on my desk. But let's get back to the strippers and murder! (How many chances do you get to say "let's get back to strippers and murder?" "All the time on CSI," is one answer... but I have to say I enjoyed this novel with its show-biz pizzazz and personable stripper detective much more than the relentless pole dancing and gruesome murder on CSI.)

Where was I? Oh, yes... back to the strippers and murder! The mystery is not what is compelling about this novel -- did I care who the g-string strangler was? Not really, although the answer did surprise me. Part of this is because I often find the puzzle aspect of mysteries/crime novels the least interesting bit; part of it is because even with that in mind, the plot is not particularly inspiring. But I did L-O-V-E getting the inside view of backstage at the burlesque house! I loved the lingo (very Runyonesque), I loved the names (Lolita LaVerne, Biff Brannigan, Gee Gee Graham, etc.) I loved the tiny details of how the girls build their own costumes and the particulars of stage makeup (wax mascara!), the fact that there is a guy who sells g-strings to show girls out of a suitcase, how an act comes together, how a show comes together and the larger social view of how burlesque was viewed from outside of that world. (Show business is already on the fringe of what Other People in this book would consider polite society, burlesque is the fringe on the fringe.) I loved the character of Gypsy (written by Gypsy), and I must admit there were some moments of genuine suspense.

Here are some quotes from the back of the book that sum it up better than I can: Burlesque is the background... [and] the background is perfect. Recommended for readers who feel better when their eyebrows are raised." -- The New Yorker

"A lurid, witty and highly competent detective story... Rich show business vocabulary and stage door gags make her book almost a social document..." -- Time
4 comments on "The G-String Murders"
  1. Well, I am now up to 15 holds so I hope this G-String one comes in quick...I just started a book called Dork Whore and, well...I don't really know. It makes my stomach hurt but is easy to read? And I should add that it is from the lovely library so it is sorta free and all.

  2. Ooh -- I'll take it back tonight. It's not really that great as a mystery, but I loved all the backstage stuff. I have never even heard of Dork Whore! I live in a CAVE. (with internet, so I will do some research...)

  3. Dork Whore is a book I saw at B&N and I was a bit intrigued so I checked it out from the library. I do not care for her use of "language", though. Sorry about the aq's but sometimes they are necessary...

  4. The book is in transit and I am so excited, all Pointer Sister's style and whatnot...


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