By Paula Cohen
(St. Martin's Griffin, Paperback, 9780312309978, 368pp.)
Publication Date: February 2003
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New York City, 1894. To Gramercy Park, bordered by elegant town houses, cloistered behind its high iron fence, comes Mario Alfieri, a celebrated tenor and the toast of Europe. Poised for his premier at the Metropolitan Opera, the summit of society, Alfieri needs a refuge from the clamor of New York’s elite . . . and from the eager women who rule it. He finds it, he thinks, at Gramercy Park, in the elegant mansion of the recently deceased Henry Ogden Slade. The house is available, but not quite empty. Clara Adler, Slade’s former ward, lives there still, friendless and alone. Who is this bewitching young woman? Why did Slade take her into his home, only to leave her penniless at his death? And what tragedies and terrors have left Clara little more than a pale and frightened ghost, haunting the deserted mansion? Mystified, then enchanted, Alfieri is soon involved in an intrigue that spans two decades and pits him against a vicious enemy who swears to destroy both him and the woman he loves . . . and whose weapons are scandal, murder, and the revelations of Clara’s past...
Paula Cohen is a native New Yorker with an addiction to the opera and all things Victorian. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband. Gramercy Park is her first novel.
“Leave[s] us amazed at her ability to re-create a vital, graceful, almost elegiac world.” –Chicago Tribune
“High society, mystery and opera merge in Cohen’s haunting first novel.” –New York Daily News
“With a compelling plot and lush description, Paula Cohen tells an involved tale of wealth, power, secrets, and surprise in high society.” –Susan Vreeland, author of The Passion of Artemisia
“Gramercy Park has everything we need in a book: cliffhangers, plot twists, and surprises galore.” –Katherine Neville, author of The Eight and The Magic Circle
“An excellent read, refreshing...brings to mind Victorian novels, with shades of Dickens in its considerable drama and suspense. Moreover, Cohen is a masterful storyteller who skillfully draws readers into her plot and characters.” –Chattanooga Times Free-Press
“A dazzler...[an] intriguing tale of love, suspense and Gothic terror.” –Arizona Daily Star
“Suspenseful drama...with a sly and absorbing plot” –Publishers Weekly
“[An] irresistible concoction of civilized terror.” –Booklist
“Keeps readers engaged” –People
“New twists unfold on every page” –Rocky Mountain News
“Plot twists, a remorseless villain, and a rags-to-riches triumph impel readers to keep turning pages.” –Library Journal
“A plot-twisting tale of scandal, intrigue, and the upper crust.” –Book Street USA
“A talented author whose creativity is matched by a rare fluency, a flow of words almost poetical in nature” –Provincetown Banner