What People Are Saying

“District Attorney William Travers Jerome’s name rang out like a death knell to a criminal element that had previously acted with impunity in turn-of-the-century New York. Jerome wasn’t intimidated by the enormous sway that Tammany Hall held over the city or the exalted social standing of the targets of his investigations. His most infamous case, however, was the cold-blooded murder of the renowned architect and dedicated hedonist, Stanford White, by the husband of Evelyn Nesbit, the celebrated Girl in the Red Velvet Swing. An atmospheric and exciting recreation of an era that pulsed with the kind of tacky, vulgar glamour that seems uniquely American.”

Alden Graves Northshire Bookstore

“Mary Cummings breathes new and exciting life into the White-Thaw-Nesbit case, turning the eternal triangle into a dramatic pentagon with an ambitious DA and suave defense lawyer locked in a battle of images stronger than facts. She tells it all: flawed personalities, a range of motivations, and sensational behind-the-scenes revelations that keep us eager for more. She narrates this page-turner as if it had happened yesterday at a time not unlike our own.” 

James Presley Author of The Phantom Killer

“This story–of a Gilded Age love triangle gone bloody and dark–has been told before, but not like this. Cummings finally magnifies the role of William Travers Jerome, the district attorney, revealing at last how an open-and-shut murder–in front of witnesses, no less–became a truly unforgettable case for the ages. At the end, a kind of justice would finally be reached, but at great personal and political cost. True crime readers and courtroom aficionados alike will absorb Cummings’ quick, journalistic style as if they were reading a newspaper in 1906, following every typeset word with hyperactive flurry in a attempt to reach the truth.”

Brad Ricca Author of Mrs. Sherlock Holmes and Super Boys

“Saving Sin City is the Age of Innocence meets Dominick Dunne. Mary Cummings is a wonderful storyteller and brings to life a rich, fascinating era at the turn of the last century, from ballrooms to courtrooms, with a fascinating cast of characters, high and low.” 

Steven Gaines Author of Philistines at the Hedgerow


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.