Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2022

MYSTERY AT THE BLUE SEA COTTAGE

A TRUE STORY OF MURDER IN SAN DIEGO'S JAZZ AGE

Effectively shows how the relative liberalism of the Roaring ’20s collided with a lingering Victorian moral code.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2022

In this debut nonfiction work, Stewart investigates the circumstances surrounding the murder of a 20-year-old dancer in Jazz Age Southern California.

Frieda “Fritzie” Mann didn’t get to experience much of the Roaring ’20s. In January 1923, the 20-year-old dancer was found dead on Torrey Pines State Beach a few miles north of San Diego. The case isn’t as well known as other contemporaneous Hollywood-connected scandals, like silent film star’s Fatty Arbuckle’s arrest. Stewart uses trial transcripts, newspaper articles, and other primary sources to bring Mann—and the rapidly changing times in which she lived—alive in a fast-paced, thoughtful true-crime work that contextualizes the dancer’s demise within the sociocultural climate of Prohibition-era America. “The story of Fritzie’s tragic death was much more than an intriguing Jazz Age murder mystery; in many ways, it defined one of the most fascinating eras in U.S. history,” he writes. At the time, Stewart reports, San Diego was “a backwater and Fritzie Mann wasn’t famous,” but in an age of yellow journalism that would make today’s tabloids blanch, the media pounced on the case. Mann was the “right kind of victim, not just a young white woman, but a beautiful exotic dancer washed up dead in her teddies, who cavorted with Hollywood players and enjoyed assignations at beach cottages and got pregnant out of wedlock.” Louis Jacobs, a physician in the U.S. Public Health Service who had been dating Mann, was charged with the murder. He was acquitted after a trial in which the prosecution theorized that he killed Mann while attempting to perform an abortion on her in a beachside cottage. Stewart ably depicts how the case reflects “the status of women in a changing—and unchanging—society” in which, “despite the apparent wave of liberalism and sexual freedom, the Victorian era moral code and associated laws lingered.” Those laws included an almost complete ban on abortions, driving women to extremes to terminate their pregnancies. As America lurches toward overturning Roe v. Wade, Fritzie Mann’s death carries a haunting resonance.

Effectively shows how the relative liberalism of the Roaring ’20s collided with a lingering Victorian moral code.

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-952225-78-9

Page Count: 302

Publisher: WildBlue Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Close Quickview