A Chicago socialite tries to recover from financial losses by finding an industrialist’s missing wife.
Poor Pauline! After sailing the Adriatic in the arms of a splendidly muscled captain who turns out to have a splendidly pregnant wife ashore, ultra-wealthy Henry Cook’s widow (Well Bred and Dead, 2007) comes home to find her fortune lost to Enron and her Vuitton luggage sent to Tahiti by Air France. Renovations to her penthouse, under the direction of impudent (but sexy and surprisingly literate) contractor Tag McKay, have stalled. So she checks into the Drake, stopping on the way to retrieve her cat Fleur, who’s been parked for the duration with her best friend Whitney Armstrong. Alas, Fleur is gone, along with Whitney, who disappeared shortly after joining a women’s book group. Whitney’s teary-eyed husband Jack, owner of Verry Lingerie—whose panties sell for more than you earn in a week—offers Pauline $5 million to find his vanished bride. After a brief trip to Aspen and an abortive attempt to marry into Dexter Worthington Senior’s considerable fortune, Pauline settles down to sleuth her way out of poverty. Getting in touch with her inner cougar, she teams up with Marcel, a 30-something computer geek whose office is the local Starbucks. Soon she’s traced her quarry to Bangkok and is off to Indochina to collect her bounty.
The battle between overbearing, superficial Pauline and her nascent social conscience is almost interesting until it’s trashed by a climax out of deep left field.