Lillian Carter is still struggling with the unexpected death of her mother to Spanish Flu. She simply has to find some work so that she can pay rent. Her days as the famed model "Angelica" when all the artists and sculptors couldn't get enough of her, seem to have faded. All the while, her likeness graces many of the city's most well known landmarks. She returns home after another lackluster day to find the police at her doorstep with questions regarding the murder of her landlord's wife. While Lillian had nothing to do with it, this type of attention is not what she needs right now if she wants to start her acting career. She escapes the police and unknowingly finds herself on the steps of the Frick Mansion, being mistaken for a job applicant. Lillian accepts the role as personal private secretary to Miss Helen Frick with the intention of having enough money after one month's pay to make the journey to California where movie stardom awaits. This one decision will alter the course of Lillian's life in ways she never could have expected.
Now 50 years later, Veronica Weber has taken her first modeling job, traveling from Britain to America, for a photo shoot at the Frick Museum. The shoot doesn't go as planned, and Veronica finds herself left behind and locked inside the Frick Mansion during a disastrous snowstorm. She finds that she is not alone, but with the young museum intern Joshua Lawrence. They inadvertently discover clues to a scavenger hunt left behind by the young Miss Helen Frick for an apparent love interest. As they follow the clues, will they find the elusive Magnolia diamond that has been missing for decades or will they search lead them to some other discovery?
Fiona Davis's books are so immersive that I just want to go do a deep dive after reading them to learn more about the location that is usually an integral part of the novel, and then also discover all about any of the real life people featured in the storyline. The author's notes happen to be one of my favorite parts of the book as well.
If you haven't read Fiona Davis, what are you waiting for? I assure you that you will love every minute of The Magnolia Palace as I did. Five Stars!
I received this book courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.