A wealthy madam who was known from San Francisco to Victoria in the early part of the 20th century, Stella Carroll was glamorous, worldly and determined to succeed. Her bordellos were fashionably decorated and patronized by the affluent and the powerful; she offered the best of everything—fine food and wine, cigars, entertainment and, of course, girls.
The author, with the cooperation of Stella’s family in California and New Mexico, has provided an intimate portrait of this infamous, unrepentant woman, her business and her tenuous relationships with double-dealing politicians and corrupt police, whose cooperation was essential to her success in the shadowy world she inhabited.
Stella was a woman of contrasts. Her scandalous lifestyle and fiery temper often landed her in court on morals charges, yet she was devoted to and supportive of her family and gave generously to orphans and charities.
This compelling non-fiction narrative is a fascinating look at Stella’s life and at how things were in Victoria 100 years ago.