From M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of Tiffany Blues, “a lush, romantic historical mystery” (Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale), comes a gorgeously wrought novel of ambition and betrayal set in the Gilded Age.
New York, 1910: A city of extravagant balls in Fifth Avenue mansions and poor immigrants crammed into crumbling Lower East Side tenements. A city where the suffrage movement is growing stronger every day, but most women reporters are still delegated to the fashion and lifestyle pages. But Vera Garland is set on making her mark in a man’s world of serious journalism.
Shortly after the world-famous Hope Diamond is acquired for a record sum, Vera begins investigating rumors about schemes by its new owner, jeweler Pierre Cartier, to manipulate its value. Vera is determined to find the truth behind the notorious diamond and its legendary curses—even better when the expose puts her in the same orbit as a magazine publisher whose blackmailing schemes led to the death of her beloved father.
Appealing to a young Russian jeweler for help, Vera is unprepared when she begins falling in love with him…and even more unprepared when she gets caught up in his deceptions and finds herself at risk of losing all she has worked so hard to achieve.
Set against the backdrop of New York’s glitter and grit, of ruthless men and the atrocities they commit in the pursuit of power, this enthralling historical novel explores our very human needs for love, retribution—and to pursue one’s destiny, regardless of the cost.
A reporter seeks to uncover the secrets of the Hope Diamond in the vivid latest from Rose (Tiffany Blues). In 1910 New York, heiress Vera Garland works as a reporter using the pen name of Vee Swann so that she can dredge up secrets of New York's high society for her gossip column, "Silk, Satin and Scandals." When Vera finds a letter addressed to her recently deceased father, she discovers that he and his male lover were being blackmailed by the owner and editor of another paper, Thelonious Oxley, who threatened to disclose their affair if her father's lover would not pay for ads in Oxley's publication. Vera believes that he will again resort to blackmail. After visiting Cartier's store and learning about how the Hope Diamond has a history of bringing bad luck to those who touched it, Vera devises a scheme: she will agree to write a story for Oxley about how jeweler Pierre Cartier has used fictitious legends to increase the value of the diamond, and then write an expos on Oxley's expected blackmail of Cartier to suppress her story. At Cartier's, Vera also meets and is charmed by Jacob Asher, a Russian jeweler. As Vera falls under Jacob's spell, she starts to feel guilty about using him to get information for her story. Vera must determine whether her quest to avenge her father is worth destroying her budding relationship with Jacob. The narrative cleverly explores highlights of early 20-century history and heaps on plenty of intrigue. Rose irresistibly combines elements of mystery, romance, and historical events in this memorable novel.
How many clichés in one novel?
From the very first page to the final line, this book was one cliché after another, with improbable story lines, and incredibly hard to believe attitudes given the time period in which it is set. It’s too bad, because it could have been a fun read, but it ended up as almost a caricature of what it was supposed to be.