cover image Maestra


L.S. Hilton. Putnam, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-18426-0

The talents of Judith Rashleigh, the sardonic narrator of Hilton’s deliciously Highsmithian thriller, the first of a trilogy, are clearly underutilized as an assistant at a top London art auction house and as a hostess at a seedy nightclub where she moonlights. But a mark she hooks at the club—middle-aged, married, and morbidly obese James—proves to be her ticket to the Riviera. With the aid of a femme fatale facility that surprises even herself, she enters a dangerous beau monde of possibility seemingly as limitless as the view of the Mediterranean from the billionaire’s yacht onto which she wangles her way. That is, if she can stay one step ahead of the law. As Judith assumes and sheds identities as effortlessly as her Louboutins during a twisty series of increasingly treacherous escapades (several X-rated), Hilton (Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince as Lisa Hilton) artfully conjures a glossy world where just about everything—and everyone—has its price. Optioned by Sony Pictures, this hot title has already sold rights in more than 25 countries. Agent: Toby Mundy, TMA Creative Management (U.K.). (Apr.)