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.