Fame and Infamy: Adventures of an American Maid in Paris
Tired of small town living, Cornelia “Nelly” McKay is ready to get out of Montana and have an adventure. Never did Nelly imagine that a new life would mean getting dragged into a murder investigation and falling from grace. With only her wits to keep her, Nelly turns a bad situation into the opportunity of a lifetime, transforming herself from penniless maid to Parisian landowner and celebrity. Romance, women’s independence, mystery, art, and French politics come together to create an evocative and engaging plot as Nelly strives to establish her place among the bourgeoisie.
Polansky brings late 18th century Paris to life with a wealth of detail. Her characters are believable, the dialogue is fast-paced and intelligent, and the author has a way of introducing real-life historical figures in a manner that allows them to blend naturally within the narrative. The text is very well edited, and the novel is nicely packaged with an attractive cover. This is Polansky’s debut novel and it is an excellent introduction to a new historical fiction writer.