Lillian, known as Angelica in the art world, was beside herself after her mother died and was running out of jobs and money.
Her landlord was hounding her to pay rent when he murdered his wife, and the police found a note from her that was a bit compromising. They thought Lillian was in on the murder so they could be together.
Lillian escaped out the fire escape when the police arrived, slept on a bench in Central Park for the night, and accidentally was drawn into the Frick Mansion for a job she hadn't applied for but got hired.
Lillian worked for Miss Helen the daughter of Fricks. She was a task master, and Lillian became involved in all the good and bad things happening in that household.
Then in 1966 we meet Veronica a model and Joshua a museum curator.
Veronica was in the Frick Museum for a photo shoot when she was sent out of the room and then became lost in the mansion. When all the models and crew left, she was locked in the museum. That's where she met Joshua and where they worked together on a scavenger hunt that was decades old and was a hunt devised by Helen Frick for her suitor.
Veronica had stumbled upon the clues as she was fumbling her way around in the dark, slipped, and saw pages sticking out of organ pipes. The pages revealed something similar to a game of clue. The clues mention the Magnolia Diamond.
What could the Magnolia Diamond be?
Did Helen hide it in this museum all those years ago when it was the residence of the Frick family?
Would Veronica find it?
What was its significance to the Frick family?
Since Veronica was stuck in the museum, she figured she would have to let Joshua in on this game and solve the clues together. Why not try to find the Magnolia Diamond. They had nothing else to do. It could be very valuable and get Veronica out of debt.
The hunt lead to solving mysteries that were fifty years old.
The blending of the two time lines and the intriguing story line is signature Fiona Davis as she again gives us another wonderful history lesson.
THE MAGNOLIA PALACE is a gem with a mystery, a murder, a famous family, and memorable characters you will connect with and a book you will not want to miss. 5/5
This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.