When Jo Slater, one of the grandest of New York’s grandes dames and great patron of the arts, befriends a young French countess against the warnings of her friends, she’s asking for trouble. But by the time Jo discovers the truth about the mysterious newcomer, it’s already too late. Abruptly dethroned and dispossessed—knocked from her pedestal by the treacherous young woman she took under her wing—Jo finds herself an outcast in the privileged world she once ruled.
But she’s not about to surrender her throne and her fortune so easily. Reaching back into the eighteenth century, Jo concocts an elegant and ingenious scheme involving Marie Antoinette and the greatest historical swindle of all time. In order for her plan to work, however, Jo must resort to the most desperate of all measures: murder.
A compulsively readable novel that scales the heights and plumbs the depths of the New York social scene, Social Crimes also tells a riveting tale of mystery and manners, obsession and revenge.
“Jane Stanton Hitchcock’s mysteries are savvy social satires and well-constructed clocks, ticking down to nail-biting climaxes.“
— New York Post
“This novel’s got everything – passion, betrayal, money, obsession, murder. It’s the book Patricia Highsmith and Edith Wharton might have written together.“
“Sophisticated entertainment for readers with a taste for luxury and a peeping-Tom urge to spy on high society.“
— New York Observer
“Ruth Rendell meets Dominick Dunne in this deliciously dark and witty novel about social climbing and murder.“
— Library Journal
“Foie gras, champagne, a famous pearl necklace, and socialites at each other’s throats. What more could you ask for? Great fun.“
— Christopher Buckley
“Thrums with wicked wit and an insider’s view of court life in the Manhattan and Southampton of the twenty-first century. Hitchcock has seen it and lived it and shares all. She has a keen eye and a perfect ear.“
— Marie Brenner