Angel of Death: Dulcie Markham, Femme Fatale of the Australian Underworld by Leigh Straw

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Angel of Death: Dulcie Markham, Femme Fatale of the Australian Underworld

Angel of Death: Dulcie Markham, Femme Fatale of the Australian Underworld by Leigh Straw

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Angel Of Death: Dulcie Markham, Australia’s most beautiful bad woman



I heard about Angel of Death from a podcast Conversations which airs on ABC in Australia. The author was discussing the book and its subject. You can listen to the author Leigh Straw on Conversations. It’s often the case that my interest in books is piqued by an interview with the author. This is apparently the third in a series of books on women in the Australian underworld during the 1920’s and !930’s. The other title s focus on Lillian Armfield Australia’s first woman detective and another notorious woman called Kate Leigh. This is a world I am not familiar with at all the prevailing narrative is one of male dominated crime.

Dulcie Markham’s life is astounding starting off as a runaway at age 15 and gradually moving into a world of prostitution. This is at a time when Sydney was a dangerous place. There were gangs on the streets that used razors as weapons. Dulcie Markham progressed through this underworld arguable reaching her peak in the 1940s. What makes her notorious is the number of men in her life that met a grizzly end. This is how she attracted the moniker of the Angel of Death. They did not die at her hands.

Angel of death is an interesting social history that throws some light in the underworlds of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth during the period. Dulcie Markham was quite the survivor.



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