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Karen Abbott (Abbott Kahler) Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Sin in the Second City (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
American Rose (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Karen Abbott is the pseudonym used by one of the highly reputed authors from The United States named Abbott Kahler. She is famous for writing books based on the nonfiction and history genres. Author Abbott was listed as one of the New York Times bestselling novelist after writing a series of successful standalone novels. Her most recent novel is known as Liar Temptress Soldier Spy, which has been included among the best books of the year 2014 by the Library Journal, the Amazon, and Christian Science Monitor. This book has also been optioned for a mini series by the Sony production company. Author Abbott is a native resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was born on January 23, 1973, in Philadelphia. One of her books titled Sin in the Second City describes the real story of a famous brothel in America named Everleigh Club. The main story deals with the lives of the proprietors of the brothel, sisters Minna and Asa Everleigh. In another book, author Abbott has depicted the story of a stripteaser named Gypsy Rose Lee. The most recent novel written by Abbott describes the true story of 4 women, who become spies at the time of the Civil War. In addition to writing her books, author Abbott also contributes to the history blog of the Smithsonian magazine called as Past Perfect. She even writes for the ‘Disunion’, which is a series by the New York Times based on the Civil War. Prior to the beginning of her writing career, author Abbott used to work as a journalist in Philadelphia. After her marriage, she decided to shift to New York City along with her husband. Currently, she spends most of her time in developing the plots of her next books. Author Abbott is very fond of pet birds. She has a couple of African Cray parrots, whom, she has named as Dexter and Poe.

One of the most exciting books written by Karen Abbott is entitled ‘Sin in the Second City’. It was released by Random House in 2007. Author Abbott has set this book’s plot in Chicago, Illinois, United States. At the start of the novel, author Abbott has introduced the Everleigh Club, the most famous brothel in the history of America. It is believed to have served as a catalyst for starting a culture war that had rocked the whole nation. The Club operated from the in the infamous Levee district of Chicago at the beginning of the 20th century. The proprietors of the Club were 2 aristocratic sisters named Minna Everleigh and Ada Everleigh. They welcomed the actors, moguls, athletes, senators, literary icons, foreign dignitaries, and various others into the double mansion of their Club. All the guests were entertained by around 30 stunning ‘butterflies’, as they were called by the sisters. Among them were courtesans named Suzy Poon Tang, Brick Top, and Doll, who devoured meat to Prince Henry’s delight, as well entertained Theodore Dreiser with poetry. The lesser madams at the brothel earned the earnings of a harlot, and even kept a whipper staff to take care of discipline.

The Club was such a huge success that the Everleigh sisters used to arrange gourmet food to their girls at dinner. They even used to arrange honest physicians for the girls’ health. The girls were tutored in Balzac literature. However, the sisters were not appreciated by everyone for their attempts. Numerous attempts were made by the rival madams of Levee to ruin the business of the Everleighs. One of their schemes included framing them wrongly for the death of Marshall Field, an heir of a department store. But, the most daunting enemies of the sisters were the reformers of the Progressive Era, who spread the tales in the whole country that the young girls were allegedly kidnapped and forced to join brothels. This went on to shape the sexual culture of America and the effects were felt even in the White House, which included the information from the FBI. Filled with an interesting set of characters, the novel appears to be a nuanced and colorful portrait of the Everleighs, their popular Club, and their clash with the foes. The plot goes on to culminate in a last stand drama between the crusading reformers and the brothel keepers. It also gave a vivid outlook of the journey of America from the Victorian era to the 20th century modernity.

Another well known book written by Abbott was released under the title ‘Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy’. The Harper published it in 2014. In this book, author Abbott has told the spellbinding real tale of four women, who risked their everything to turn into Civil War spies. With this story, author Abbott has tried to illuminate a fascinating, but lesser known aspect of the War. The 4 couragous women, a farm girl, a widow, a socialite, and an abolitionist, become spies. They include, Belle Boyd, Emma Edmonds, Elizabeth Van Lew, and Rose O’Neale Greenhow. The opening sequence of the plot shows that Belle Boyd shoots a soldier in her hall with her pocket pistol. Following this, she becomes a spy and courier for the army of the Confederates. Belle uses her charm to seduce and lure the men from both sides. Emma Edmonds is shown cutting off all her hair and assuming a man’s identity to get enlisted in the form of a Union private. She witnesses one of the bloodiest battles of war. Rose Greenhow, a beautiful widow, engages in affairs with the powerful politicians from North and gathers intelligence information. She uses her daughter to send the acquired information to the generals in the South. And Elizabeth Lew is shown as a wealthy abolitionist, who orchestrates an espionage ring without getting noticed by the suspicious detectives of the rebels. Author Abbot weaved this book’s story with the use of the wealth of material from primary sources as well as interviews. She has described the adventures of the 4 heroines during the period of the tumultuous war time. The cast included real life characters such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, Stonewall Jackson, Allan Punkerton, Mary Lincoln, and Napoleon III. Because of such a rich cast and intriguing storyline of the book, the readers were drawn into the times of the difficult war, which the daring women lived through. This book was nominated for Goodreads Award in the category of Best History and Biography Book in 2014. It helped to increase the popularity of author Abbott even more.

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