Former NBC News producer Pamela Hamilton shares an exhilarating, poignant story of the Jazz Age that’s been lost to time for more than half a century.


“Meticulously researched and well told, Lady be Good is a magnificent debut novel that takes readers on an enthralling and heartbreaking journey. Hamilton beautifully captures the themes of love and betrayal, class and culture, and the price of fame.”
—Bill Dedman, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times #1 bestselling author of Empty Mansions

From former NBC News producer Pamela Hamilton comes a story ripped from the headlines of the 1930’s, centering on a fascinating woman at the nexus of arts and letters, politics, Hollywood and high society—a woman who embodies a remarkable era when women’s rights were expanding.

LADY BE GOOD: The Life and Times of Dorothy Hale by Pamela Hamilton is a fictionalized biography of the American actress, artist, and trendsetter Dorothy Hale, the legendary beauty immortalized in one of Frida Kahlo’s most famous and controversial paintings, donated to the Phoenix Art Museum by Hale’s confidante Clare Boothe Luce. An escape into the glamour, extravagance, and genius of the Jazz Age, the narrative, “with prose as stylish as Hale herself,” traces the steps of Hale and Luce as they break from tradition to pursue their dreams.

LADY BE GOOD transports us to the glittering, sumptuous era of 1920s New York where the exquisite Dorothy Hale comes of age. From convent-school debutante runaway to sculptress, actress, writer, and adored figure in the highest echelons of society, her remarkable journey seems idyllic. Yet behind the public façade she contends with heart-rending loss and betrayal, and a tempestuous friendship with Luce, the famed playwright and editor of Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Surrounded by her fabulous circle of friends—Elsa Maxwell, Fred Astaire, Cole Porter, James Roosevelt, and other notable figures—Dorothy finds her way to the other side of heartbreak and prepares for a White House wedding. Then, suddenly, at age thirty-three, at the height of happiness and peak of her fame, she falls to her death. Her life story is written into history by the tabloids, the famed and the feted—leading to the novel’s stunning conclusion.

Author Pamela Hamilton learned of Dorothy Hale when she stayed at the Hampshire House, the Manhattan high-rise where Hale lived, and found inconsistencies in the public accounts. Turning her journalism skills to discovering the facts of Hale’s life, she uncovered an exhilarating, poignant story of the Jazz Age that’s been lost to time for more than half a century.

“A finely crafted gem of a novel. Rich with smart dialogue and period detail, it’s a mirror that helps us see our own society more clearly.”
—Kermit Roosevelt, award-winning author of Allegiance

“Poignant, heartbreaking, and a whole lot of fun. Pop open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and fall into Dorothy Hale’s rarified world of glitz, glamour, and grand times during the Jazz Age. This elegant, absorbing tale tells the true story of a misunderstood woman who captured the hearts of all of those who knew her. Irresistible.”
—Andrea Cagan, New York Times and Los Angeles Times #1 bestselling author

“Hamilton takes us, as only superb fiction can, deep into the mind of Dorothy Hale. Based on meticulous research and with prose as stylish as Hale herself, Hamilton recounts the mystery of the dazzling socialite. Lady Be Good is a fascinating investigation of fame, class, gender, appearance, and the American dream. It’s a truly compelling story.”
—Dennis McNally, New York Times bestselling author of A Long Strange Trip

Pamela Hamilton is a writer and consultant who has worked with notable figures in business, US intelligence, music and the arts and has covered some of the most significant events of the 21st century. For more than a decade she was a producer for NBC News, and she was a producer on the award-winning documentary Grateful Dawg. Based in Manhattan, she serves on the board of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Deadline Club and on the advisory board of the Art Deco Society of New York.

Lady Be Good:
The Life and Times of Dorothy Hale
Pamela Hamilton
Koehler Books / On-sale: April 2021
Hardcover, 298 pages, 978-1-646632725, $29.95

Erin Cox
ELC Productions
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