In 1919, Lillian’s landlord killed his wife. Lillian is not connected to the murder, but police want to question her. Lillian is afraid that any connection with a murder will destroy her modeling career. She runs away, ending up at the Frick family home hoping for a cup of tea. However, it’s assumed she’s there to interview for the position of private secretary to Helen Clay Frick, Henry’s spinster daughter. Lillian is hired and does not correct anyone about who she really is. Henry offers Lillian a huge bonus if she can arrange for his lonely daughter’s engagement. Things progress, but…
In 1966, English model Veronica Weber ends up at the Frick Museum for a photo shoot. She is separated from the others and ends up locked in the museum during a winter storm. The archivist is also locked in and together the pair discover remnants of a scavenger hunt created by Helen Clay Frick for her suitor. With time on their hands, they decide to follow the hunt and see where it leads them.
This book is a treat for readers who enjoy historical fiction or art history. Readers will learn about the family of Henry Clay Frick, meet an in-demand model, and solve a decades-long murder mystery.
Two points of historical note:
#1) Henry Clay Frick left much of his estate to the city of New York. Currently the Frick Collection is at a temporary location while the original building is undergoing renovation. (See https://www.frick.org/madison)
#2) The character of Lillian Carter is based on real-life artists’ model Audrey Munson (June 8, 1891 – February 20, 1996). She was considered America’s first supermodel, the inspiration for many statues in New York City and elsewhere that can still be seen today.