A WEEKEND AT BLENHEIM, by J. P. Morrissey
If you adore rubbing shoulders with Britain's crème de la crème, this atmospheric historical thriller is for you. In 1905, American architect John Vanbrugh is asked to Blenheim, English largest stately pile, to plan renovations for the dazzling, seductive Consuelo, the Duchess of Marlboro. The American-born Duchess (maiden name Vanderbilt) and her boorish, not-too-bright husband Charles, plus an assortment of self-absorbed guests, turn Vanbrugh and his wife's stay into one of upset, intrigue, confrontation, sexual innuendo and murder. Struggling to understand the massive stately home's guests and their aristocratic and brittle milieu, democratic-to-the-core Vanbrugh must uncover the reasons for the murder, find a stolen clue, and keep himself and his pregnant wife safe. The denouement is hair-raising and unexpected. A 4.