INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue, returns with a tantalizing novel about the secrets, betrayal, and murder within one of New York City's most impressive Gilded Age mansions.
Eight months since losing her mother in the Spanish flu outbreak of 1919, twenty-one-year-old Lillian Carter's life has completely fallen apart. For the past six years, under the moniker Angelica, Lillian was one of the most sought-after artists' models in New York City, with statues based on her figure gracing landmarks from the Plaza Hotel to the Brooklyn Bridge. But with her mother gone, a grieving Lillian is rudderless and desperate—the work has dried up and a looming scandal has left her entirely without a safe haven. So when she stumbles upon an employment opportunity at the Frick mansion—a building that, ironically, bears her own visage—Lillian jumps at the chance. But the longer she works as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding Helen Frick, the daughter and heiress of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick, the more deeply her life gets intertwined with that of the family—pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death.
Nearly fifty years later, mod English model Veronica Weber has her own chance to make her career—and with it, earn the money she needs to support her family back home—within the walls of the former Frick residence, now converted into one of New York City's most impressive museums. But when she—along with a charming intern/budding art curator named Joshua—is dismissed from the Vogue shoot taking place at the Frick Collection, she chances upon a series of hidden messages in the museum: messages that will lead her and Joshua on a hunt that could not only solve Veronica's financial woes, but could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Two savvy women separated by 50 years ponder the same curious questions in Fiona Davis’ richly detailed historical mystery. In 1919, down-on-her-luck model Lillian Carter gets a job as a private secretary for demanding socialite Helen Frick. Working in Helen’s Upper East Side mansion proves challenging, especially when the wealthy woman’s priceless diamond goes missing. Fifty years later, when Swinging ‘60s fashion model Veronica Weber ends up locked in that same mansion-turned-museum with its handsome young curator, she uncovers clues about the missing jewel…and a possible murder. With her customary lush prose, historical-fiction queen Fiona Davis immerses us in the over-the-top glamour of Art Deco New York. We especially loved Davis’ detailed descriptions of the incomparable art collection that helped found the real-life Frick Museum. A thriller, a romance, and a luscious trip back in time, The Magnolia Palace is an exciting novel that has it all.
Davis (The Lions of Fifth Avenue) returns with the captivating story of a missing diamond and the history of New York's Henry Clay Frick House, before and after it became a museum. Veronica Weber travels from London to New York in 1966, where she works as a model on a photo shoot at the Frick Collection. After a spat with the photographer, Veronica fears she has ruined her chance for a lucrative modeling career. Then she discovers a set of papers in the museum that may provide clues to finding a rare pink diamond owned by Henry Frick, which went missing in 1919, and asks for help from archivist Joshua Lawrence. In a parallel narrative set in that year, Lillian Carter, a once sought-after artists' model, takes a job as private secretary for Henry's daughter, Helen, hoping to finance a move to Hollywood to work as an actor. As Veronica and Joshua continue their search for the missing diamond, Davis illuminates Lillian's role in a long-kept Frick family secret. Davis smoothly combines fact with fiction, and offers beautiful descriptions of the family's art collection. The colliding narratives and comprehensive descriptions of the historic mansion make for Davis's best work to date. Agent: Stefanie Lieberman, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc.
So relaxing and fun
I love a good historical fiction and this definitely was one. Perfect for a calming read to help distress from the day. All the characters were great, flaws and all. I was dying to know about all the little mysteries and was rooting for a happy ending for them all.
If you need a romance palate cleanser or just something to unwind with this is definitely it.
Just an average book with very little intrigue. Fast read, little content. Very disappointing ending
The Magnolia Palace
Like the plot and ax dssable read, but over long.