THE BOOK

THE MULTI-AWARD WINNING NOVEL, NOW IN PAPERBACK

“READERS WHO LOVE GLAMOROUS HISTORICAL FICTION WILL BE MESMERIZED BY THE LIFE OF DOROTHY HALE… A WOMAN DETERMINED TO MAKE A NAME FOR HERSELF IN A WORLD RULED BY MEN AND GOVERNED BY MONEY, POWER, AND CONNECTIONS.”
BookLife Reviews by Publishers’ Weekly, Editor’s Pick

“Gripping… A smart and touchingly sympathetic fictional portrayal of an enigmatic woman.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Lady Be Good

by Pamela Hamilton
Koehler Books, March 31, 2021
A Kirkus Best Indie Book of the Year
Winner of the 2022 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award

A moving portrait of Dorothy Hale, the legendary 1930s American socialite immortalized in one of Frida Kahlo’s most celebrated paintings.

In  her vibrant debut novel Pamela Hamilton delivers glamour, romance, tragedy, a close and stormy friendship with famed playwright and Vogue and Vanity Fair editor Clare Boothe Luce and an enchanting story of a woman navigating incredible wealth and power in New York, Paris, Hollywood, and grand estates of the Gold Coast—a perfect book club read.

“A magnificent debut novel, taking readers on an enthralling journey with the famed and fêted as they make their mark on American culture.” — Bill Dedman, Pulitzer Prize winner, New York TImes #1 bestselling author

Lady Be Good transports us to the glittering, sumptuous era of 1920s New York as the exquisite American socialite Dorothy Hale comes of age. From convent-school debutante runaway to Ziegfeld showgirl to millionaire’s wife, Hale transforms herself into one of the most adored figures in the highest echelons of society. Yet behind the public façade the darling of the press contends with heart-rending loss, gossip and betrayal, and a tempestuous friendship with Clare Boothe Luce.

Surrounded by her fabulous circle of friends—Gertrude Stein, Fred Astaire, Cole Porter, James Roosevelt, Elsa Maxwell, and other iconic 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 revised and written into history by the tabloids and the famed and fêted that once stood by her side—leading to this novel’s stunning conclusion.

In her vibrant debut novel, former NBC producer Pamela Hamilton turns her journalism skills to discovering the facts about Dorothy Hale’s story, then spins them with color and life into breathtaking revelations about the irresistible and misunderstood glamour girl whose legend has endured for more than half a century.

“This book is delicately woven into a masterpiece of fact and fiction.”
— Manhattan Book Review (five-star review)

LADY BE GOOD: THE OFFICIAL BOOK TRAILER

Honors and Awards

Kirkus Starred Review · A Kirkus Best Book of the Year · Booklife by Publishers’ Weekly Editors Pick · Winner of the 2022 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction · Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award for Chick-Lit · National Indie Excellence Award Silver Medal for Faction · Winner of the Royal Dragonfly Book Award in the Fiction and Historical Fiction categories · Readers’ Favorite International Book Award · American Fiction Award · IAN Book of the Year Award · Finalist for the 2022 Mark Twain Book Award for Humor and Satire and the Goethe Book Award for Historical Fiction —Winners to be announced in June.


“An intoxicating mix of glitz, glamour, love, and betrayal, complete with a heartbreaking ending that lingers long after the final page.” IndieReader