Gilded Needles is a novel written by Michael McDowell. It was first published in 1980.
Welcome to the Black Triangle, New York's decadent district of opium dens, gambling casinos, drunken sailors, gaudy hookers, and back room abortions. The queen of this unsavory neighborhood is Black Lena Shanks, whose family leads a ring of female criminals-women skilled in the art of cruelty.
Only a few blocks away, amidst the elegant mansions and lily-white reputations of Gramercy Park and Washington Square, lives Judge James Stallworth. On a crusade to crush Lena's evil empire, the judge has sentenced three of her family members to death. And now she wants revenge.
One Sunday, all the Stallworths receive invitations-to their own funerals. Can even the wealth and power of the Stallworth family protect them from Lena's diabolical lust for vengeance?