MADAME CLEO'S GIRLS by Lucianne Goldberg


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Three top-of-the-line international call girls and their Parisian madame befuddle an American journalist who can't figure out whether he has been commissioned to tell all or nothing about their very scandalous, very entertaining lives. Free of the restraints of co-authoring (with Sandy Till Robinson, Friends in High Places, 1979) and ghostwriting, author Goldberg cuts loose and may never have to go back to the old grind. The story drips with as many furs and gems as a Collins or Sheldon, but everyone seems to be having much more fun and there is no poky, unbelievable high finance or business mumbo-jumbo in this entertaining diversion about sex, loyalty, love, money, romance, and writing. Reporter Peter Shea's first contact with one of procuress-to-the powerful Madame Cleo's splendidly skilled employees at a posh orgiastic do outside Paris was smashing and never-to-be-forgotten, but the home office heard about it and Peter got the axe. Several years later, after painfully rebuilding his career with the help of his clever, zaftig, and shamelessly lovelorn editor, Peter is offered the chance to ghost the memoirs of Madame Cleo, who is now in the clutches of the French IRS and badly in need of big money. Word of Madame's decision to Tell All has already resulted in an attempt on her life, and, given the wealth and power of her clientele, there's no end of suspects. It's a bit frightening, but a million-dollar advance is enough to take care of any reservations Peter might have, and he settles into one of Madame's hotels to begin taping her richly fascinating memories. But the memories are all about her star American pupils and never about herself. Fascinating and amusing as the girls may be, Peter was hired to write about Madame, and he persists until, with help from the girls themselves, Cleo's tragically romantic story comes to light. Good-natured, lightly amoral entertainment.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0595001831
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster