Historical Fiction: The Butterfly Cage
THE BUTTERFLY CAGE is inspired by the real life disappearance of an heiress in the early 1900s and the women who were the pioneering investigative journalists of the time.
In 1913, New York City journalist Louisa Delafield struggles to support herself, her aging mother, and their lone servant through the power of her pen. She is relegated to the society page of a local paper, but when a wealthy man is poisoned at the opening of Grand Central Terminal, she defies her editor’s edict and investigates the story.
Ellen Malloy, a fiery Irish immigrant and closeted lesbian, comes to Louisa’s aid. Together they learn that the poisoned man may have been murdered because he knew that women were being shipped overseas as prostitutes. Then two women they know — a servant and an heiress — disappear after each having an illegal abortion, and the investigation gets personal. Louisa and Ellen risk their lives in the course of their pursuit, and in the process they discover the power of friendship.
Inspiration: Many years ago, I was a society writer for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and my great-grandmother on my mother's side was a society writer. My paternal grandmother and grandfather were the basis for the "new money" couple in the book. Also, I loved Downton Abbey.