Today, the name Marion Miley is largely unrecognizable, but in the fall of 1941, she was an internationally renowned golf champion, winning every leading women's tournament except the elusive national title. This unassuming 27-year-old girl was beloved by all she met, including celebrities like jazz crooner Bing Crosby. With ambitions to become a doctor, it seemed Marion Miley was headed for greatness.
But on September 28, six gunshots broke through the early morning stillness of the Lexington Country Club. Marion had been brutally murdered. News of her death spread quickly, headlining major papers such as the New York Times. Support flooded in, spurring police in the hunt for her killers. However, the bombing of Pearl Harbor less than two months later would redirect public attention and sweep Marion's story to a forgotten corner of time -- until now.
The Murder of Marion Miley recounts the ensuing manhunt and trial, exploring the impact of class, family, and opportunity in a world where steely determination is juxtaposed with callous murderous intent. As the narrative voice oscillates between Marion's father, her best friend, and one of her killers, an ever-present specter of what could have been -- not just for Marion, but for all those affected by her tragic death -- is conjured. By blending intensive research with the true crime genre, Beverly Bell succeeds in producing a passionate homage to one of the greatest golfers of the early twentieth century.
"Don't let Beverly Bell fool you: She must have been reporting live in 1941 from Lexington's most notorious crime. Bell writes with a golden erudition and preternatural imagination that keep the wide-eyed reader up all night -- think Truman Capote." -- Patty Friedmann, author of Where Do They All Come From?
"Marion Miley was one of the country's leading amateur golfers during the 1930s until her promising career was cut tragically short. Beverly Bell's engaging and meticulously researched book explores the twists and turns in the hunt to find Miley's killers in one of the nation's most sensational murder cases. The Murder of Marion Miley is a story all golf fans should know." -- Michael Trostel, USGA Historian and author of Great Moments of the U.S. Open