Saturday, 14 December 2013

Dead Rich by Louise Fennell

published 2012



There was an urgent tapping on the garden door. For once, Zelda was quite relieved to see her mother. Things felt a bit uncomfortable.

Cleo didn’t sense a thing. She looked gorgeous in her black Chanel snow-suit with a fabulous, luxurious fur trim and large diamond Cs on the breast pocket. She gave a little twirl. ‘What do you think? For the summit?’

‘The summit! Mum, don’t you think you should be managing your expectations a bit?’ Zelda said archly. ‘Anyway, why are you wearing that now?’

‘Manage your own expectations, Zelda, mine are fine. And I’m wearing it because Milo and I have just done a press call at mine, thank you very much.’

‘Ah, fame at last!’




observations: There’s an intriguing backstory to this book: superagent Ed Victor believed in it so much that he started his own firm to publish it, because it couldn’t find a home anywhere else. Ever ready to mock publishers, I was hoping it would be a great book, one that they were mad to turn down. But sadly, no. I was also under the misapprehension that it was a murder story – but it isn’t really. Someone dies in the book, but it seemed obvious early on who must be responsible.

Everyone in the book is horrible, with the possible exception of a 14 year old girl and a baby – this is why it was turned down by publishers apparently. Everyone is very rich, and behaves in an odd way, and has unreal conversations. There is a complicated family tree, not really worth the effort to keep track of, and many clothes descriptions (usually with brand names included). Adjectives are piled on to nouns:
The early-morning sun was streaming into the vast library, spotlighting an old leather chair.
It’s all a bit like the worst kind of creative writing assignment.

There are many positive Amazon reviews – some people really enjoyed it, found it hilarious and unputdownable. It has sold many copies. So, good for Louise Fennell and Ed Victor.

And I think we can all enjoy the idea and the pictures of the black Chanel snowsuit.

10 comments:

  1. The snow suit looks gorgeous for pre-ski or apres-ski drinks but no sane woman ever wore that snow suit up a mountain for skiing in the Canadian Rockies. She would be frozen before she got to the top of the ski lift.

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    1. Bill - I should employ you as my fashion practicality consultant: your take is always helpful. And you could solve any legal problems too....

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    2. No one has ever thought I could be a fashion consultant of any kind. Maybe it is time for a change after 38 years of being a lawyer ...

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    3. It's always good to have a backup career at the ready Bill...

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  2. Moira - I must say I do like those 'photos of the snowsuit. But the story doesn't sound at all appealing. Certainly the characters really don't. I love your description of it though: the worse kind of creative writing assignment. That says so much! Hmmm...maybe those publishers/agents were right for once in a way...

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    1. I know! I was unsure whether to feature it at all, but once I found the pics of the black snowsuit, I couldn't miss the chance to use them. And well worth it for Bill's stern Canadian views on skiwear above...

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  3. The story of the publication of the book seems more interesting than the book. I do like to read about the rich in vintage mysteries, but the closer you get to our time period, the less patience I have. It looks like a silly ski outfit to me, but I have never skied and never will, so who am I to say?

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    1. Well Bill agrees with you, see your comments above. I think you wouldn't have much patience with quite a lot about this book...

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  4. "Everyone in the book is horrible...." sounds like my kind of read!

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    1. yes but they're probably horrible enough but not violent enough for you!

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