The Neenah Public Library will host Author Genevieve Davis for an author talk regarding her Wisconsin History book, Secret Life, Secret Death.
SECRET LIFE, SECRET DEATH is a non-fiction mystery, in which Author Genevieve Davis unravels the true story of a young mother who fell into crime, in Gangland Chicago in the Roaring 20’s and later ran a shady hotel in Wisconsin during the Depression. The author leads you through the unglamorized underworld of gangsters in Wisconsin and Chicago, as she hunts down the family secret.
Davis spent 10 years researching the fascinating story of her own grandmother’s hidden life in crime. Davis began with just a handful of facts, the most telling being the story her father told her that when he was 5 years old, his mother took him to Big Jim Colosimo’s funeral in Chicago, a gangster who had been shot by his own lieutenant. Some years after her father’s death, Davis went to the library, in the day before the internet, to see if Colosimo was a real character. She found the entire first chapter of a book on Chicago crime devoted to him. Davis continued doggedly on the trail of her family’s black sheep, following her grandmother’s story from Philadelphia to Chicago to Northern Wisconsin. There her grandmother ran a shady hotel, imbedded in the corruption of the north country, until she died under mysterious circumstances.
Through the course of her research, Davis found her father’s family in Virginia, a feat nothing short of miraculous, since she was searching for the common name, Davis. The author has been to several family reunions with the Davises in Virginia, where she learned that she was descended from Jamestown ship captain James Davis, who landed on the shores of America in 1607. Author Genevieve Davis, who was born on her father’s birthday, also discovered, unbelievably, that her great grandfather and her great, great grandfather were also born on the same day.
Davis also produced and directed SECRET LIFE, SECRET DEATH, a critically acclaimed, award winning film, which has played from Chicago to LA, and London to Rome. The film won Best Art Film at Indie Fest U.S.A. and was described as “innovative and dazzling" by Marty Rubin, Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.