Reader’s Annotation: The events leading up to the funeral of 17-year-old Elizabeth Holland reveal that all that glitters is not gold, especially amid the upper class of Victorian New York.
Summary: The novel opens in 1899 with the funeral of Elizabeth Holland, a dearly loved daughter of New York’s high society. From Elizabeth’s funeral, which is attended by the extensive cast of characters including Diana Holland, the deceased’s sister, the story flashes back to the short weeks leading up to the tragedy. What really happened to seventeen-year-old Elizabeth that fateful morning by the river? At least two people wish her dead: her best friend/chief rival who covets her fiancé, and her ladies maid who covets her true love. Possibly Elizabeth’s life is in danger from the debtors who extracted payment from her father by killing him. But in a world where mothers lie to their daughters and best friends lie to each other, how will anyone uncover the truth?
Notes: Book one of series. An entertaining read with a predictable conclusion, this novel never gives the reader a good reason to love any of the numerous characters introduced. The plot rather than the characters engages the reader.