Merchant of Venus
By Ellen Hart
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312266189, 384pp.)
Publication Date: February 1, 2001
List Price: $24.95*
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Jane Lawless is a woman at a crossroads - her lover has left, she has finally recovered from a vicious attack sustained last year, and the holidays are closing in. With no one to help her ring in the new year, Jane reluctantly agrees to accompany her good friend Cordelia Thorn on a peculiar holiday trip: Cordelia's estranged sister, Broadway star Octavia Thorn, has asked them to attend her wedding.
Octavia getting married is no surprise - she's done it three times before - but her candidate for hubby #4 certainly is. Roland Lester is a reclusive eighty-three-year-old retired Hollywood director, a relic from the golden age of Tinseltown with a controversial past. No one can understand how the two met, much less fell in love. When the bodies start to drop, Jane realizes it might not be love at all that brought the young diva and the aged director together, but something much deeper, and perhaps more sinister.
Delving deep into film history, Jane finds unsettling connections between Roland and a murder that was never solved. Finding out what happened 40 years ago could be the key to unlock the mystery of Octavia's curious marriage, but laying bare such long-buried secrets also promises grave consequences for everyone involved.