Historical Fiction



Madam: A Novel of New Orleans, by Cari Lynn and Kellie Martin (2014)


This novel takes place just before the turn of last century with the creation of Storyville in New Orleans. The characters in this novel are real, although some liberties were taken with the timeline of the events.


The novel follows the life of Mary Deubler, a young prostitute working in a rough area of the city called Venus Alley. She was forced to follow her mother's footsteps into prostitution to support her young brother and his even younger wife.


Sidney Story, a puritanical alderman in the city was the author of an ordinance that created district of the city to be set aside for "vices of the flesh." This area became known as Storyville, and was where the prostitutes and their johns would not be arrested.

Mary meets up with certain people and transformed herself into the notorious Madam Josie Arlington. Along the telling of this story we meet other historical figures such as Jelly Roll Morton and the famous Storyville photographer, E.J. Bellocq.


The novel focused primarily on Mary's life before she became the infamous Madam Arlington.


I enjoyed this historical view of New Orleans.