Being super-rich must have a downside---somewhere. It couldn't happen to a nicer person than Jo Slater, the heroine of this finely crafted psychological novel. Jo started off poor, became the mistress and later the wife of an obscenely rich man. She paid her dues, was the perfect wife and hostess, educated herself and became an arbitrator of Society.
Jo knows her 18th century French furniture, her Porthault linens, her couture wardrobe----knows it all except her incredibly conniving older husband and her former great friend, the young Countess de Passy. Her husband dies suddenly in shocking circumstances, and Jo finds she is left with nothing but her jewelry and wardrobe while the Countess is left half his fortune.
Picture a cross among psychological thriller writer Minette Walters, "W"'s savvy society columnist Suzy, and the light hearted wit of George Plimpton and you will have an idea of what Ms. Hitchcock is about here. Jo is so likeable even when she is thinking her darkest thoughts that you feel like you want her for your new best friend.
Though "Social Crimes" is eminently readable and witty, it is no fluffy beach book. The author zeros in on the pain and belittlement of obsession and humiliation; how even the best of us can become emotionally crippled by a sudden change in our fortunes. Revenge is a very cold dish indeed.
This report prepared by sweetmolly