February 15, 2023 Publication Date
Did you know that, in the Spring of 1940, the once famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald was recruited by an agent of the French Resistance to assassinate the premier of Vichy France? He had hijacked the “Jazz Age” and made it his own in the Roaring 20s, but now a struggling, impecunious alcoholic, his only real comforts are multiple Coca-Colas and the elusive embrace of his paramour, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham.
Hemingway has become the real ticket, making the big money, but when our narrator Henri Duval, a double agent for the Vichy government and the French Resistance, surfaces at the legendary Garden of Allah hotel on Sunset Boulevard across the street from the star-studded Schwab’s Pharmacy, he hatches a harebrained scheme that might just change the entire course of history and restore Fitzgerald to his rightful position on the top of the literary heap.
As we peruse Duval’s secret correspondence to his colleague in Washington D.C., we eavesdrop on wild nights with the Marx Brothers, intrigues engineered by dangerous Kewpie dolls, passionate amours with Marion Davies, and run-ins with William Randolph Hearst. The action culminates in a mission to Paris and the seat of the Nazi-occupied French government in Vichy, by way of Manhattan and a visit with editor Maxwell Perkins, enroute to a clandestine meeting with Charles De Galle at Heathrow Airport in London and an appointment with destiny and the premier of Vichy France, Marshal Phillipe Petain.