True Burlesque Gypsy Rose Lee Murder Mob Mayhem and Mother! Gypsy
Not too many celebrity authors will find their book is still in print 75 years after publication, but Gypsy Rose Lee's is…and it has a blurb from The New Yorker which reads "Pure ozone to those tired of ordinary oxygen." Not only that, unlike, oh…say media whore and best-selling fake history writer Bill O'Reilly, she actually wrote it herself!
Mother Finds a Body was notable stripper Gypsy Rose Lee's second murder mystery. The first publication was in 1942. It isn't unusual for a peeler to get in trouble...on the contrary. But Gypsy's problems were the lurid problems of true crime and mayhem. It was first anthologized in Triple Detective Magazine in the same year, from which the lurid drawings and cover above come. It followed her first novel, The G-String Murders which is probably better known, so I'm doing this one. I think Gypsy did actually write the thing, as she was bright as a burlesque spotlight beam and could type. I've seen the picture of her typing and you can too!
Gypsy had a few names, as all strippers do. Rose Louise Hovick or Ellen June Hovick depending on who you believe. Another thing Gypsy did common to strippers was eloping at age 15. I could almost save that phrase and cut and paste it into my burlesque posts.
Gypsy's first successful dancing was apparently "marathon" dances, which were common around the Depression. The last couple standing wins the prize and a pair of exhausted feet. The grueling contest prepared Gypsy for years of hoofing…nearly naked on stage but standing tall.
Another notable thing Gypsy did was get pregnant from the film director Otto Preminger, a filmmaker way before his time and one who challenged convention often. The resulting spawn, her son Erik Lee Preminger, untimely donated her papers to the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library, which apparently has the actual manuscript for this book. Preminger also wrote the introduction to the current edition HERE on Amazon.
Jim Linderman is author of ten art and photography books, you can browse them HERE