By Cari Lynn & Kellie Martin
Plume, $15.00, 326 pages
Cari Lynn and Kellie Martin’s Madam tells the story of the rise of Storeyville, New Orleans’ notorious legal prostitution district in the days of its formation, and of the rise of the operation of Josie Arlington, who ended up running one of the finest brothels. The story spends relatively little time with Josie at the character’s peak, giving the reader only a brief glimpses of what her life was like. Instead, the focus is on the characters who created Storeyville, from crusading Alderman Storey, to underworld entrepreneur Tom Anderson. Although the book is obviously well-researched, the authors have combined historical figures to create a compelling story. Much of the main branch of the story, Josie’s, is focused more on the emotional elements than larger historical events. Readers who are looking for gossip or stories about the most notorious section of America’s most notorious town will be disappointed with this brief novel. However, fans of historical fiction who enjoy stories of redemption will find a lot to love here.
Reviewed by Katie Richards
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