The Slaying of Joseph Bowne Elwell

Jonathon Goodman, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-01513-8
One of the most famous unsolved murders of jazz-age New York was the slaying of Elwell, bridge expert, horse owner, boulevardier and ladies man par excellence. From a lower middle-class family, he married into the social register; his wife was instrumental in helping him capitalize on his skill at cards, and he became the nation's ranking authority on bridge-whist and auction bridge. Among his pupils was Harold Vanderbilt, who later often played as his partner; association with Vanderbilt gave Elwell entree to wealthy clients and his position was enhnaced by the publication of several books, a couple of them ghost-written by his wife. They separated, and he gave free rein to his womanizing. One June morning in 1920, Elwell was shot and died soon thereafter. British crime historian Goodman offers a convincing theory as to who committed the crime, an act of passion most likely caused by Elwell's philandering. Photos. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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