Karen Abbott



"From the first page of SIN IN THE SECOND CITY, Abbott transported me to a forgotten era; I could hear the ragtime music, smell the perfumed parlors, and eavesdrop on the hushed conversations of the Everleigh Club's fabulous proprietors and famous clients. With gleaming prose and authoritative knowledge Abbott elucidates one of the most colorful periods in American history, and the result reads like the very best fiction. Sex, opulence, murder—what's not to love? "

Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants

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"Abbott's vibrant first book probes the titillating milieu of the posh, world-famous Everleigh Club. The madams, Ada and Minna Everleigh, were sisters whose shifting identities had them as traveling actors, Edgar Allan Poe's relatives, Kentucky debutantes fleeing violent husbands and daughters of a once-wealthy Virginia lawyer crushed by the Civil War. While lesser whorehouses specialized in deflowering virgins, beatings and bondage, the Everleighs spoiled their whores with couture gowns, gourmet meals and extraordinary salaries. The bordello attracted such patrons as Theodore Dreiser, John Barrymore and Prussian Prince Henry... With colorful characters, this is an entertaining, well-researched slice of Windy City history."

Publishers Weekly

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thanks for reading

 

michiganave

 

Borders on michigan ave., Chicago

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“The Everleigh sisters’ world of velvet-covered parlors, mirrored boudoirs, "johns" in top hats, and skulking politicians comes alive in SIN IN THE SECOND CITY. Karen Abbott has combined bodice-ripping salaciousness with top-notch scholarship to produce a work more vivid than a Hollywood movie."

Melissa Fay Greene, author of There is No Me Without You

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"Abbott has given us that rarest of gifts, the triple play of publishing: SIN IN THE SECOND CITY is a masterful history lesson, a harrowing biography, and, best of all, a superfun read. The Everleigh story closely follows the turns of American history like a little sister. I can't recommend this book loudly enough.”

Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng

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"Abbott masterfully intertwines the lives the Everleigh sisters with the Chicago that made them, revealing how two extraordinary women were able to reinvent themselves during a time when America was doing the same. This is a story of debauchery and corruption, but it is also a story of sisterhood, and unerring devotion. Meticulously researched, and beautifully crafted, SIN IN THE SECOND CITY is an utterly captivating piece of history."

Julian Rubinstein, author of Ballad of the Whiskey Robber

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"A rollicking tale from a more vibrant time: history to a ragtime beat."


Kirkus reviews

 

 

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"Abbott gives us a detailed and intimate portrait of the Ritz of brothels, the famed Everleigh Club of turn-of-the-century Chicago, right down to the practices of its girls and the tastes of its clientele. After doing research to find out what other brothels had done wrong, the Everleigh sisters set out to break the mold and did, attracting the elites of the world to such glamorous chambers as the Room of 1,000 Mirrors, complete with a reflective floor. And isn't Minna's advice to her resident prostitutes worthy advice for us all: 'Give, but give interestingly and with mystery.' "

Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City


 

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