An engaging mystery novel about an alluring French woman, the wealthy Los Angeles community she marries into, and the many bizarre incidents that happen while she’s around.
Catherine Thompson, the woman at the center of Schiller’s (The Inheritance of Death, 2012) novel, is a charismatic, charming LA resident who is initially loved by everyone she meets. Thompson, not a native Californian, was born in Avignon, France, and eventually brought to the West Coast by Jeffery Reynolds, an artist she met and married in London. At first, Thompson is happy in LA, and she has a son named Fredrick. However, she is quickly seduced by the riches and glamour of the world around her, and she both begins an affair with her Mexican handyman, Sergio, and divorces her husband in order to find someone richer and more powerful to marry. Eventually, Catherine gives custody of her son to Jeffery, and she marries her affluent neighbor, Ed, which enables her to begin living the life she always imagined. Catherine and Ed inherit his twin nephews, Mark and Jason, when the boys’ parents die in a house fire, and Catherine is able to open two successful French clothing boutiques in LA, For Women Only. Tragically, however, Catherine’s charmed life turns into anything but. As investigators delve into the events and people surrounding a terrible accident, they discover much more than they bargained for—including a series of bizarre events involving Catherine, such as the deaths of two elderly women in Catherine’s care. Ultimately, everyone involved begins to realize that Catherine might not be an innocent victim; maybe her fairy-tale life wasn’t as perfect as it seemed. Schiller’s suspenseful, well-crafted novel has plenty of intrigue. While there is nothing particularly smart or mind-blowing about the mystery’s plot or its resolution, the engaging story will keep readers guessing until the end. Also, as the author is an established Hollywood production designer and art director, the book offers an entertaining insider’s glimpse into some of the intricacies and little-known secrets of high-society Los Angeles.
An enjoyable novel in the style of a classic whodunit mystery set against the backdrop of glamorous Hollywood.