If you can’t be too rich or too thin, can you be too dead, or not dead enough?
Her best friend Ethan Campbell’s suicide makes socialite Pauline Cook wonder whether his life was a sham—a question she needs to answer before laying him to rest. The birth certificate in his apartment bears the name Daniel Kehoe. That’s enough information to start Pauline on a search that leads to England, where she falls for handsome Irishman Terrance Sullivan. She travels to Boston to discover that the Kehoes had moved to Rochester, where she finds Daniel’s half-sister. But a trip to the Charleston area with Terrance uncovers hints that her Ethan may have killed the real Ethan and stolen his identity. Back in Chicago, she’s approached by an estate bounty hunter who tells her that Ethan/Daniel was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Boston man who’s left him half his estate. As his legatee, Pauline stands to inherits a hunk of $33 million—money she badly needs, because since running through her late husband’s small estate, she’s been maintaining her extravagant lifestyle on credit that is about to run dry. The newly rich Pauline is leaving for Paris when Ethan comes back from the dead, provoking a dangerous duel of wits.
O’Connell’s debut is a wry look at the lifestyles of the rich and an amusing mystery with a twist in its tail.