"All went well until the matador slew the bull and presented Rita with the bloody ear."
On a recent trip to Canberra, I was lucky enough to enjoy a visit to the Cartier exhibition. I was struck by the jewels of one Daisy Fellowes and eager to find out more about the tantalising life of the Singer Sewing Machine Heiress. That led me to this book where she is name checked. Unfortunately she is only a minor character in the proceedings. The book focuses on Maxine Elliot and her palatial digs on the French Riviera. Her initial rise to fame and riches is intriguing and once established the focus changes to her development of the Château de l'Horizon and then the history of its hey day from the thirties until the demise of its next owner, Prince Ali Khan. This is an easy read with some interesting tid-bits - particularly for those interested in the social life of Winston Churchill or my favourite pin up, Rita Hayworth. There are a gaggle of well known names here and some interesting bon-mots which could have perhaps provided even further salacious details to keep the reader on board. Not that the book isn't fantastic, I just wanted a smudge more. 4 out of 5, right now I'm dreaming of expensive vacations on the Riviera while dealing with a rubbish winter.