Favorite Factor: The Wife, The Maid & The Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

Posted on Jan 17, 2014 in Adult Fiction, Debut, Favorite Factor, Review | 7 comments


TheWifeTheMaidand the Mistress

The Wife, The Maid, & The Mistress

by: Ariel Lawhon

Release Date: January 28th, 2014
A tantalizing reimagining of a scandalous mystery that rocked the nation in 1930-Justice Joseph Crater’s infamous disappearance-as seen through the eyes of the three women who knew him best.

They say behind every great man, there’s a woman. In this case, there are three. Stella Crater, the judge’s wife, is the picture of propriety draped in long pearls and the latest Chanel. Ritzi, a leggy showgirl with Broadway aspirations, thinks moonlighting in the judge’s bed is the quickest way off the chorus line. Maria Simon, the dutiful maid, has the judge to thank for her husband’s recent promotion to detective in the NYPD. Meanwhile, Crater is equally indebted to Tammany Hall leaders and the city’s most notorious gangster, Owney “The Killer” Madden.

On a sultry summer night, as rumors circulate about the judge’s involvement in wide-scale political corruption, the Honorable Joseph Crater steps into a cab and disappears without a trace. Or does he?

After 39 years of necessary duplicity, Stella Crater is finally ready to reveal what she knows. Sliding into a plush leather banquette at Club Abbey, the site of many absinthe-soaked affairs and the judge’s favorite watering hole back in the day, Stella orders two whiskeys on the rocks-one for her and one in honor of her missing husband. Stirring the ice cubes in the lowball glass, Stella begins to tell a tale-of greed, lust, and deceit. As the novel unfolds and the women slyly break out of their prescribed roles, it becomes clear that each knows more than she has initially let on.

Pre-Order Your Copy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Welcome To..

favoritefactorwith Hannah and Cassie

Favorite Factor is a feature in which Hannah and I take some adult novels that we both have an interest in, do review with a TWIST, and let you know about the five factors:

  • The Faces: Characters
  • The Frame: Setting
  • The Flow: Plot
  • The Feelings: Relationships
  • The Function: Overall
  • The Finale: Chat style wrap-up!

At the end is when we talk a bit together about how we each felt about the book at hand, and then we give it a shiny rating, the rating shows how much, or little, of a favorite the novel is!

 Firstly, this book was received via the publisher, a huge thanks to Doubleday!



1930’s New York City is where Miss Lawhon takes us, and she paints a vivid picture of the city itself, the class system that was in place, and the overall vibe of the city itself. I loved getting to experience everything from the attire to the politics involved with this time period in the USA’s greatest city!ffflow

Told from three extremely different points of view, there was a lot to live up to.; Would one woman’s storyline fall flat? The answer? Not in the least. While I definitely had a favorite storyline, each one was interesting in its own right, and the alternating points of view kept it fresh and fast paced! Plus, Ariel’s writing is gorgeous, which always helps. fffunction

Overall, I absolutely adored this book. Historical fiction is rising to the top of my list, and I also LOVE NYC, disappearances, possible murder, and alternating points of view! [IF they are done well!]. This book is one that will remain in my mind, especially because it is BASED on a true event. The events in the novel aren’t necessarily true, but the disappearance of Judge Joseph Crater, is indeed, fact. fffeelings

On this, I don’t want to say too much. There was a lot going through my head while reading and I had a favorite guy, and a favorite gal that I felt so pained for. And I also hated seeing Maria have to struggle and be disrespected day after day when I felt she deserved so much more. These character go through a LOT and I felt for them all. I loved also that my mind kept wandering to try to figure out how it was all going to play out! [HINT: I was WRONG.] fffinale

Cass: Ok so Hannah! The Wife, The Maid & The Mistress, can you believe this was a debut!?

Hannah:  Not at all! This definitely seemed like it was written by a pro. It makes me all the more excited to see what Lawhon will write in the future!


 Cass:  I totally agree! I love the three different POV’s, each was so different from the others, AND kinda reminded me of our FIRST favorite factor book, The Husband’s Secret in that respect!


 Hannah:  I thought the same thing! I had a hard time distinguishing between the three right at first, but that soon went away. The women were so distinct and memorable in their own way.
 Cass:  Agreed.  I’m gonna ask, did you have a FAVORITE?


Hannah:  I did! I think I loved Maria the most – but I’m not really sure why.
I did love her relationship with her husband, too, so that probably contributed.


 Cass:  Same! Though, by the end, I had a different kind of respect for each woman.
ALSO! What did you think of the setting/time period? I LOVEEEE NYC in the 30s! It seemed so vivid in Ariel’s writing!


 Hannah:  Exactly! That’s something I said in my comments about the characters and relationships. It would have been really easy for these characters to become stereotypes, but they really never did!
I thought the time period came alive! I loved that you saw the darkness behind the fancy facade without the book ever becoming depressing.


 Cass:  YES.  Entirely agree.
Anything you’d like to add to our talk!?


 Hannah:  I think this will really appeal to people who don’t read a lot of historical fiction. It’s fast-paced and has that mystery at the heart that really sucks you into the story. I love this genre, but I know it’s not everyone’s favorite. This is definitely one I’d recommend to people who are new to it! Don’t you think?


 Cass:  YES.  I think its a WONDERRFUL starting point for historical fiction and the mystery was such a lovely addition to the story! I know in the end we didn’t agree on our consensus, BUT! What was yours!?


 Hannah:  This was “Almost A Favorite” for me, but it was SO close! I think the only reason I’m not bumping it up is because I don’t see myself re-reading it. That’s usually the mark for me of an “Absolute Favorite.”
But really, it’s like borderline favorite and I HIGHLY recommend it.


 Cass:  Its definitely an ABSOLUTE FAVORITE for me! Between the combination of multi-POV’s, mystery and historical.  Lawhon did a stellar job and I loveeddd it :)

Hannah:  Points to me for picking this one and putting it on your radar!

Cass:  :) THANK YOU — YET again.


-The Consensus-


I’m in such awe that this is a debut, much like Hannah Kent, I will now devour anything Ariel Lawhon releases!

Don’t forget to go check out Hannah’s thoughts!



  1. You are right. This sounds like something I would like. I love classic NYC settings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing.
    Estelle recently posted…Estelle: Going Rogue by Robin BenwayMy Profile

    • I told u!!!! Don’t buy it tho 😉

  2. I am thoroughly convinced that you and Hannah are conspiring to get me to add even more books to my TBR this year. This book sounds FANTASTIC! I love the sound of the setting and these three narrators, and I think I might need to go put it on hold at the library.
    Alexa S. recently posted…2014 Bingo Bucket BoardMy Profile

  3. I have been hearing such great things about this one. It is on my must-read list for the month. I can’t wait to get to it!
    Michelle recently posted…The Sunday Salon – January 19th EditionMy Profile

  4. Awww I love doing this feature with you! Yay adult reads <3
    Hannah @ So Obsessed With recently posted…Recommendations: Love or Hate?My Profile

  5. Yay: “I think this will really appeal to people who don’t read a lot of historical fiction.” <—- that's me! I'm excited to read this one now that y'all said that. It's not that I don't like historical fiction, it's just that I never really give it a chance. This one is going on my list.

  6. This is very attention-grabbing, You are an far too skilled digg. I have got became a member of ones give and show off onward so that you can inside the search for added of the fantastic article. Also, I shared your blog around my myspace


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