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In-Conversation with Melanie Benjamin

  • Saint Louis County Library Headquarters 1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard St. Louis, MO, 63124 United States (map)

Author talk & signing for "Mistress of the Ritz"

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From the bestselling author of “The Aviator’s Wife” and “The Swans of Fifth Avenue,” “Mistress of the Ritz” is a love story for the ages. June 1940: When the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the iconic Hôtel Ritz, beautiful, reckless American Blanche Auzello, and her very proper French husband, Claude, must navigate a terrifying new reality. For the falsehoods they tell to survive, and to strike a blow against their Nazi “guests,” spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish. Based on true events, “Mistress of the Ritz” is an inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

In-Conversation with Fiona Davis

In-Conversation with Fiona Davis

Mistress of the Ritz: A Novel
By Melanie Benjamin

About Mistress of the Ritz:

Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its gilded walls every woman looks beautiful, every man appears witty. Favored guests like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor walk through its famous doors to be welcomed and pampered by Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude, the hotel’s director. The Auzellos are the mistress and master of the Ritz, allowing the glamour and glitz to take their minds off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests—and each other.

Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, with the likes of Hermann Goëring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. One that entails even more secrets and lies. One that may destroy the tempestuous marriage between this beautiful, reckless American and her very proper Frenchman. For in order to survive—and strike a blow against their Nazi “guests”—Blanche and Claude must spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish.

But one secret is shared between Blanche and Claude alone—the secret that, in the end, threatens to imperil both of their lives, and to bring down the legendary Ritz itself.

Based on true events, Mistress of the Ritz is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.