Lexington’s Forgotten Murder: The Murder of Marion Miley

People are always fascinated by murder, whether it be in the form of a true crime show, a drama, murder mystery novels, or simply keeping up with the news. The newest murder mystery on the scene is a novel by Beverly Bell, where she explores the murder of the golf champion and aspiring doctor, Marion Miley. Miley was an internationally renowned gold champion, beloved by all she met, including celebrities like jazz crooner Bing Crosby. At 27-years-old, Miley was headed for greatness.

When six gunshots rang out on a September morning in the Lexington Country Club, the city’s day to day life would turn on its head. Miley had been brutally murdered. However, the bombing of Pearl Harbor less than two months later would redirect public attention and sweep Marion’s story to a forgotten corner of time — until now. The narrator oscillates between Marion’s father, her best friend, and one of her killer’s in this novel set around the manhunt and trial.

“Marion Miley was one of the country’s leading amateur golfers during the 1930s until her promising career was cut tragically short. Beverly Bell’s engaging and meticulously researched book explores the twists and turns in the hunt to find Miley’s killers in one of the nation’s most sensational murder cases. The Murder of Marion Miley is a story all golf fans should know.”

Michael Trostel
THE MURDER OF MARION MILEY by Beverly Bell

“If someone else had been shot—in a state other than Kentucky, in a place
other than the isolated and exclusive Lexington Country Club—perhaps
there would have been only one bullet. And with it, a chance to recover and
imagine a different life. Marion would have known which path to choose: pursuing those long-dormant medical aspirations, riding horses again, with-
out her father’s warning voice ringing in her ears telling her how one fall, one fracture, could jeopardize her golfing ambitions. And finally having the time
to give Debussy his due.
But someone else wasn’t the victim of this random, deadly crime, Marion
Miley was. The gifted daughter of a frustrated golf pro. A national celebrity
who had dominated the game for the past decade and could still win the big
one. A golfer who had met movie stars and a former king and thought it was
normal. A girl who died two months before Pearl Harbor and whose name
would be shuttered away after the war with all the other bad memories.
And it wasn’t just one bullet that hit her. The second one blew through
her brain, stealing everything—power, finesse, life, breath, and her one
chance for immortality, winning at nationals. There would be no recovery, no
next act. The twenty-seven-year-old was dead before her body hit the club’s
apartment floor.”

— Excerpt from The Murder of Marion Miley by Beverly Bell

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About University Press of Kentucky

The University Press of Kentucky has a dual mission—the publication of books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields for a largely academic audience and the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. The Press is the statewide mandated nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, operated as an agency of the University of Kentucky and serving all state institutions of higher learning, plus five private colleges and Kentucky's two major historical societies.

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