Annal: 1990 Gold Dagger Award for Nonfiction

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 1990.

Book:The Passing of Starr Faithfull

The Passing of Starr Faithfull

Jonathan Goodman

In this true crime reprint, Jonathan Goodman focuses his masterful detective skills on a criminal case that has inspired several novels, among them John O’Hara’s Butterfield 8, which became a major feature film.

The discovery of Starr Faithfull’s body on a Long Island beach in 1931 prompted front-page headlines on both sides of the Atlantic as the events leading to her death unfolded: her clandestine, sordid love affairs (one with a former Boston mayor) and unconventional sex life; her misuse of drugs and bootleg alcohol; and details of her stepfather’s unsavory business ventures, including his involvement in a murder investigation. Mindful of the still unanswered question of whether her death resulted from accident, suicide, or murder, Goodman attempts to demystify this enigmatic case. The only author granted full access to the massive police dossier, Goodman unveils through his meticulous research a startling yet credible conclusion. Chilling crime-scene photographs supplement the text.

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