The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder
On July 28, 1841, the battered body of a young woman was found floating in the Hudson River. It was soon discovered to be the lovely Mary Rogers, a twenty-year-old cigar salesgirl who had gone missing three days earlier. In the months that followed, the gruesome details of the murder pushed American journalism into previously unimagined realms of lurid sensationalism. New York City's unregulated and disjointed police force proved unable to mount an effective investigation, and the crime remained unsolved. A year after Mary Rogers was murdered, as public interest in the case began to wane, a struggling writer named Edgar Allan Poe decided to take on the case. Desperate for success, Poe sent his famous detective, C. Auguste Dupin, on the case of a lifetime: to solve the baffling murder of Mary Rogers in The Mystery of Marie Rogjt. In The Beautiful Cigar Girl, Edgar Award-winning author Daniel Stashower deftly captures the drama and mystery of New York in the mid-nineteenth century, illuminating the spellbinding crime that transformed a city.