Three true crime classics of love, murder, and the mob by a Pulitzer Prize finalist who writes with “honest and gritty realism” (Phoenix Gazette).
Award-winning author Joan Barthel uncovers the dark secrets behind some of the strangest cases in the history of American crime in these three captivating works of “first-class journalism” (The New York Times).
A Death in California: Twice-divorced Beverly Hills socialite Hope Masters woke up one morning to find a gun in her mouth and her fiancé dead in the next room. The killer was a new acquaintance who’d been visiting the couple’s ranch. Even more bizarre, however, was what happened when Masters began to fall in love with her tormenter. “Superbly documented, brilliantly written. The suspense will keep readers caught to the very last page” (Ann Rule, author of The Stranger Beside Me).
A Death in Canaan: When eighteen-year-old Peter Reilly arrived home one night to discover his mother lying naked on the bedroom floor with her throat slashed, local police made him their prime suspect. But the townspeople of Canaan, Connecticut, couldn’t believe the naïve teenager was capable of such a gruesome crime. Barthel’s “riveting” account of this fascinating and frightening case was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (People).
Love or Honor: For five years New York City police office Chris Anastos moved back and forth between his comfortable home life and a murky, underground world of wise guys, pimps, and thieves. But when he fell in love with the beautiful, raven-haired daughter of a Long Island capo, Anastos faced his gravest threat yet. “For devotees of cop tales and mob lore . . . Tantalizing” (The New York Times Book Review).
Praise for A Death in California
“Tingling drama . . . The queasy fascination of true evil will draw you, unresisting, through Joan Barthel’s true-crime saga.” —Cosmopolitan
“First rate . . . A contemporary California story, with ramifications and implications reaching far beyond the particular settings.” —Los Angeles Times
Praise for A Death in Canaan
“Appalling . . . Rich and scary.” —The New York Times
“Meticulous . . . A very good book.” —The New York Times Book Review
Praise for Love or Honor
“Fascinating . . . Extraordinary . . . Bizarre . . . Compelling reading.” —Nicholas Pileggi, author of Wiseguy
“Expertly written. [Love or Honor] tells Anastos’ story with the force and flair of a high-caliber TV miniseries.” —Publishers Weekly
Joan Barthel is an award-winning author of nonfiction and a contributor to many national publications, including the Washington Post Magazine and the New York Times Magazine. Her first book, A Death in Canaan (1976), uncovered the miscarriage of justice in the case of a Connecticut teenager accused of murdering his mother. It won the American Bar Association Gavel Award, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and became an Emmy-nominated television movie. A Death in California (1981), the story of a Beverley Hills socialite caught in the thrall of the man who murdered her fiancé, was the basis for a television miniseries. Love or Honor (1989), the extraordinary account of a married undercover cop who infiltrated the Greek mafia only to fall in love with the Capo’s daughter, was called “fascinating” and “compelling” by Nicholas Pileggi. Barthel cowrote Rosemary Clooney’s autobiography, Girl Singer (1999), and is the author of American Saint (2014), a biography of Elizabeth Seton with a foreword by Maya Angelou.