Gypsy Rose Lee in 1937 (AP Photo)
What makes Gypsy Rose Lee stand apart from other Femme Fatales I’ve written about so far, is that she is both author and protagonist of her noir thriller, Mother Finds a Body.
Written in 1942, Mother Finds a Body is an off-the-wall novel set in a desert mobile home inhabited by wacky burlesque characters. Gypsy Rose Lee was herself an American burlesque entertainer famous for her striptease act. She made her New York Broadway debut in 1931 at The Republic theater.
Mother Finds a Body was Lee’s second murder mystery, although there is controversy as to whether Lee hired Craig Rice ( Queen of the Screwball Mystery) as ghost writer or collaborated (as editor, perhaps) on the writing of Mother Finds a Body.
In her later years, Gypsy Rose Lee appeared on television, hosted her own radio show and entertained troops in Vietnam during USO tours. She died April 26, 1970. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/news/legends-and-legacies/the-untalented-gypsy-rose-lee/430/#sthash.KZ8lDV5q.dpuf
I used to come home at night full of inspiration, and sit up with a bottle of Scotch. As I wrote, the words seemed wonderful, just too wonderful to be coming from me. Next morning I always found they were terrible and I could never use anything I wrote. ― Gypsy Rose Lee