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Milford House Mysteries: An Interview with JM West

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On this episode of Milford House Mysteries, we feature co-host JM West and her new book of historical nonfiction, Madam Bessie Jones: Her Life and Times. Co-host Sherry Knowlton will interview West about her decision to take on a scandalous southcentral Pennsylvania figure and an unsolved murder for her first foray into historical non-fiction. We’ll also talk about West’s Carlisle Crime Cases series and more.

In Madam Bessie Jones, Her Life and Times, 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  through the 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 historic book 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.

Milford House Mysteries Hosts - Sherry Knowlton is the author of the Alexa Williams suspense series including Dead of Autumn, Dead of Summer, Dead of Spring, Dead of Winter, and Dead on the Delta. Joan West is the author of the Carlisle Crime Cases series including Dying for Vengeance, Courting Doubt and Darkness, Darkness at First Light, Had a Dying Fall, and Things Strangled. West has just released her first historical work, Madam Bessie Jones: Her Life and Times.

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