SSN – Saving Sin City – A Book by Mary Cummings

“Deliciously Dishy” review by All Things Jill-Elizabeth

Book Review: Saving Sin City by Mary Cummings

I LOVE non-fiction that reads like fiction. Let’s be honest, truth often IS stranger than anything an author could come up with, largely because authors realize that there’s a limit to what people will believe. Unfortunately for life, and
fortunately for readers, reality holds with no such constraints…

Saving Sin City is about the original “Trial of the Century” – the murder of society architect and man-about-town Stanford White by the husband of his previous (underage) mistress, Evelyn Nesbit, one of the most famous actress/models of her time. Mary Cummings – writer, historian, and award-winning journalist – tells the story of the murder of White in a voice that is equally entertaining and informative. Harry K. Thaw, the unbalanced heir to a Pittsburgh fortune, killed White in retaliation for taking the virginity of his wife, showgirl Evelyn Nesbit when she was just a teenager. There’s drama enough there until you add in the other vital part of this sordid crime – the ambitious District Attorney William Travers Jerome, a colorful hero/anti-hero in his own right, who had the opportunity to make — or break — his career with his prosecution of Thaw.

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About the Author

Mary Cummings is a writer, historian, and an award-winning journalist whose work has been recognized by the New York Press Association. She was a regular contributor to the New York Times for ten years, writing feature stories for its Long Island coverage. She has also written for TimeOut New York, Newsday, Columbia Today and numerous other publications. She was the arts editor and principal feature writer at The Southampton Press for seven years and has written three books on local history: “Southampton,” “Hurricane, 1938,” and “One Hundred Years of Healing,” a study of the role of Southampton Hospital in the social history of the Hamptons. In recent years, she has been a staff member at the Southampton History Museum, managing its Research Center and using her free time to indulge her fascination with Gilded Age New York, gathering the material and writing the story that became “Saving Sin City.” Raised in Southampton, New York, she is a graduate of Smith College and holds a master’s degree in liberal studies from Stony Brook University. She lived in France for two years, and after her marriage, she and her husband lived in several American cities, as well as in Ethiopia, before returning to the States to raise their two sons. She currently lives in Southampton.