When Babette Hughes was two years old her bootlegging father (and innocent uncle who was in the wrong place at the wrong time) were murdered in a turf war with the Mafia. When she was old enough to ask about her father, her traumatized mother said that he died of pneumonia and refused to answer her questions, mention his name or acknowledge his existence.
“He died of murder,” her older brother told her when she asked him for the truth. It was all over the newspapers. They’re stored downtown in the public library.”
Which is where, on the front page of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, she discovered the life and death of her father. She was twelve years old.
Her family’s drama inspires her novels. Gangsters and guns, women and wine, sin and society are all melded together in riveting detail. In a unique event of the book publishing industry her novels, The Hat, The Red Scarf, and The Necklace were published a month apart by Post Hill Press beginning in April 2015. The series takes Kate Brady from the ages of eighteen to eighty and from the drama of Prohibition and The Great Depression to contemporary life fantasized from the headlines.
Now 94, she writes every day with a fluidity and grace of a woman half her age; her most recent novel is Searching For Vivian. Her earned wisdom has enriched her contributions to the Huffington Post.