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Bugsy's Baby: The Secret Life of Mob Queen Virginia Hill Hardcover – April, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Birch Lane Pr (April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559721642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559721646
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,058,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edmonds ( Hot Toddy ) here focuses on one of the more notorious women of mid-century America, who was brought to prominence by the Kefauver Senate crime hearings of 1951-1952. Born into grinding poverty in Alabama, Hill discovered as a teenager that sex brought money. At the age of 17, when she went to Chicago to work at the 1933 World's Fair, she was picked up by the Mafia. The gangsters quickly discovered that she knew how to keep her mouth shut and that she did not skim cash from the large sums she couriered for them. As both the Chicago and New York mobs began to eye California and Nevada for expansion, Hill became a spy of sorts for the Chicago branch, moving to New York City and taking up with Joe Adonis and Bugsy Siegel. Siegel cheated the mob in building the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and was killed in 1947, while Hill was conveniently in Europe. But then her usefulness to the mobs diminished, and she was found dead in Austria in 1966. Edmonds contends that she was murdered because of a diary she threatened to make public. While there are new revelations in the book, much of the material is already known. Nevertheless, the story of the cunning, devious, ruthless Hill should draw a wide readership. Photos not seen by Publishers Weekly. TV rights to Lorimar.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Edmonds, a TV investigative journalist, presents a biography of the life and death of Virginia Hill, female gangster extraordinaire made famous by the movie Bugsy. Hill was significant as an organized crime figure because of her gender, her paramours (who included Bugsy Siegel and Joe Adonis), and the fact that she kept a diary of her dealings that served as an insurance policy long after her usefulness to the mob had ended. We learn how Hill rose to prominence at a time when organized crime offered wealth, glamour, and a chance to make good copy. Despite a cliche-ridden style, Edmonds tells an entertaining and well-researched story that will have wide appeal--especially since the book has already been sold to TV for a possible miniseries.
- Gary Williams, Southeastern Ohio Regional Lib., Caldwell
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Vintage Film Buff on May 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"...based on first-hand interviews with underworld figures, law enforcement officials and never-before released government files, as well as Virginia's secret diary" So reads the jacket cover of a book that contains no footnotes, no citations, not one scrap of evidence that much of the detail isn't a figment of the author's imagination. Not even a photograph or a copy from the author's touted Virginia Hill diary that she claimed to have,"...found wrapped in butcher paper". Miss Edmonds also makes assertions about the intimate doings of underworld luminaries such as Hill's boyfriend, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel, Frank Costello, Joe Adonis, Jack Dragna, etc. that are fascinating, rich in revelatory detail and not to be found in any other organized crime book or reference that I have ever read and I've read plenty. Her claim about the identity of the triggerman on the Bugsy Siegel hit who was "hired" by L.A. Mafia boss Jack Dragna is contradicted in other references... Dragna was a boss and didn't need to hire anyone to do his killings back in 1947.The jacket states that the book is "compulsively readable." Perhaps, but in my view, Bugsy's Baby is a largely fictional creation that was written solely to be packaged as a screenplay. Less than history, this book is more of a slick product designed for the big screen. Buyer beware!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rick Warner on January 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Bugsy's Baby" is closer to a docu-drama than a biography. It contains a mixture of true information from other books, FBI files, Senate hearings, and newspaper articles, and filler material that seems like it came out of the writer's imagination. She refers to an early dispute between Lucky Luciano and Al Capone when both were young boys. The problem is that Capone lived in Brooklyn while Luciano was in lower to mid-Manhattan during their boyhoods, and there is no evidence that this fight from any other source. Elsewhere she calls Charles Fischetti and Frank Nitti "Sicilians" when they were not. Both came from the mainland Italy; Nitti was from Angri in the province of Salerno and was a cousin of Capone. She describes Eddie Cannizzaro as a paid hit man who killed Bugsy Siegel, when in reality he was a mob soldier for Jack Dragna. She also misspells his name (his story is found in Los Angeles newspapers like the Times and the Examiner). Most of all, where's the proof for the existence of Viginia Hill's mysterious diary? After all these years why not publish it and make a fortune? There are just too many credibility problems in this book for it to be trusted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Shackelford on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a very detailed account of Virginia's life and death. I very much appreciate that someone took the time to write a book like this about one of the key women figures of the mob. Even though she attempted suicide many times, I truly believe her death was not.
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Format: Hardcover
Another great book about the Mafia, but this time the main focus is on Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel's infamous girlfriend Virginia Hill, whose Los Angeles home was the site of Bugsy's eventual mob hit. There's plenty about Bugsy, but the story is mainly about Virgina's life and her relationship with Siegel. Fascinating read!
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