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J. M. West

Feb 10, 2022

Madame Bessie Jones

Her Life and Times

Local History Press 2021

In J. M. West's Madame Bessie Jones: Her Life and Times (Local History Press, 2021), Jones emerges from the shadows of Carlisle (PA) history, first turning tricks in her mother Cora Andrews' "bawdy house" and then running her brothel from the Roaring Twenties to through chaotic sixties until her murder on October 1, 1972. For fifty years, she catered to the area's elite white clientele-lawyers, judges, businessmen, and senators. This historical work traces the struggles of Jones's operating a successful if illegal business through actual anecdotes despite running afoul of the law, including her murder and the sensational trial. It contains fictional dialogue and scenes to enhance the narrative.

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