As the author of Bergdorf Blondes and a frequent contributor at Vogue, Plum Sykes transports readers to glitzy worlds where ladies wear ball gowns most days of the week. But her latest tome, Party Girls Die in Pearls, opens with a horrific crime.
The dishy read is set at Oxford College in the 1980s, where a tiara-wearing student is found lifeless on a chaise lounge. (The victim has just come, of course, from a party filled with pink cocktails and bonbons.) So, who committed this ghastly party foul?
We'll never tell—and you won't find out until the very last page. "The clues are right in the beginning. But so far, no one has guessed the ending," Plum told Most Wanted at a recent book party held at Burberry Chicago. "When they do find out, they're like [smacks head] Oh, that's who did it!"
While the culpriut may be tricky to identify, readers will never forget which decade they're in. Before delving into the story of her heroines, Ursula Flowerbutton and Nancy Feingold, Plum did "loads of research" on '80s fashion.
Poring over photos of era-appropriate style icons like Ivanka Trump, Plum filled the pages with vivid descriptions of old-school lewks. As they dredge up clues, the characters are wearing drainpipe jeans, "tea-bag-size diamante earrings," and ruched, neon-yellow party dresses.
Speaking of parties, the book is filled with fabulous descriptions of them. At every turn, there's a new invitation on thick white stock, a new dress code to follow, and a bar stocked with fizzy cocktails. So, what should you serve at your own book-club bash? "Pink champange and macarons!" the author exclaims. She adds: "I really hope people invite me to their book clubs."
Sounds like our summer reading just took a deliciously dark turn.
Party Girls Die in Pearls
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