While I was writing Affairs Valentino, I worked with a literary agent in New York. He was an exceptionally influential person in the creation of the book and the development of my research. He called me one day to say he was at a party in Manhattan the previous evening where he told people he was working on a book about Rudolph Valentino. Someone overheard him and gave him a story. The eager contributor was the then owner of the Gotham Book Mart, Andreas Brown.https://www.avpress.com/news/longtime-owner-of-gotham-book-mart-dies/article_eea94ad6-666c-11ea-92c7-33430725894d.html
Andreas Brown knew Frances Steloff, the iconic owner of the book store,
Steloff was a fascinating woman who knew Rudy and Natacha well and I believe was the source of most of their book collection. In telling me about their friendship, Steloff's friend and successor as owner of the Gotham Book Mart, Andreas Brown made an important contribution to Affairs Valentino. Frances Steloff told him how she helped Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova find quiet time together in her store while they were being stalked by detectives in the winter of 1922-23.
Mr. Brown referred me to the book, Wise Men Fish Here: The Story of Frances Steloff and the Gotham Book Mart by W. G. Rogers, and sent me a letter which I treasure. I am grateful to Andreas Brown for our conversation, for being there at that moment in that party many years ago and for overhearing my agent talking about Affairs Valentino. So what were Rudy and Natacha doing while hidden in those mountains of books? Oh the trolls hopped on this story when Affairs Valentino came out, but I say what prudes! Leave these two lovers alone.
The Gotham Book Mart is no longer in existence.
I excerpt Affairs Valentino:Natacha and Rudy's friend, Frances Steloff in the 1970's. She lived to be 101 years old.