• The Magnolia Palace

  • A Novel
  • By: Fiona Davis
  • Narrated by: Karissa Vacker
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,057 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times Best Seller!

Fiona Davis, New York Times best-selling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue, returns with a tantalizing novel about the secrets, betrayal, and murder within one of New York City's most impressive Gilded Age mansions.

Eight months since losing her mother in the Spanish flu outbreak of 1919, 21-year-old Lillian Carter's life has completely fallen apart. For the past six years, under the moniker Angelica, Lillian was one of the most sought-after artists' models in New York City, with statues based on her figure gracing landmarks from the Plaza Hotel to the Brooklyn Bridge. But with her mother gone, a grieving Lillian is rudderless and desperate - the work has dried up and a looming scandal has left her entirely without a safe haven. So when she stumbles upon an employment opportunity at the Frick mansion - a building that, ironically, bears her own visage - Lillian jumps at the chance. But the longer she works as a private secretary to the imperious and demanding Helen Frick, the daughter and heiress of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick, the more deeply her life gets intertwined with that of the family - pulling her into a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death.

Nearly 50 years later, mod English model Veronica Weber has her own chance to make her career - and with it, earn the money she needs to support her family back home - within the walls of the former Frick residence, now converted into one of New York City's most impressive museums. But when she - along with a charming intern/budding art curator named Joshua - is dismissed from the Vogue shoot taking place at the Frick Collection, she chances upon a series of hidden messages in the museum: messages that will lead her and Joshua on a hunt that could not only solve Veronica's financial woes, but could finally reveal the truth behind a decades-old murder in the infamous Frick family.

©2022 Fiona Davis (P)2022 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Magnolia Palace

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This isn't my favorite but entertaining

I enjoyed The Magnolia Place as very basic. It it felt like not much money, time or energy was spent on the set to paint the picture in my brain but also found it a little fragmented and just a tad unbelievable. I understand several characters are based loosely on real life people's careers and circumstances but I had a hard time seeing them in my head or feeling them with my heart if that makes sense. I loved The Address as a scale of 5 but The Magnolia Palace is more of a 3 for me. I Love most of her work. This was just a tad disappointing.

7 people found this helpful

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Loved it!!

Another fabulous book by a advisors historical fiction author. This one presents in 1919 and 1966 with scandals and secrets. I listened via Audible and loved the narration. I actually got some housework done as I didn’t want to stop listening! Great story and loved the ending.

6 people found this helpful

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Off to The Frick

I am always so impressed with the amount of research Ms Davis does on her books, always makes me put that particular setting on my list of things to do in New York City. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and all of the history that was wound into it. In the end her books always wrap up in a sort of silly way, in my opinion. That being said. I will listen to every book she ever writes, they’re extremely entertaining and detailed.

4 people found this helpful

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It was just Meh! for me

I had to force myself to finish it. I honestly skipped several chapters to get to the end and do not feel like I missed anything. The author uses the same formula in all her books. The story of Lillian Carter was a great story. The other story sucked. I skipped over it. it was so bad.

3 people found this helpful

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Not My Favorite Fiona Davis, but…

I’m a huge fan of Fiona Davis’ books, and get excited whenever I see one that is due to be released. As an architectural historian with an interest in Gilded Age and Progressive Era NYC, I love that Davis chooses a landmark and devises a story around it. Sometimes these stories are not necessarily compelling but they do shine a light on people, places, and events that have either been forgotten or overshadowed.

I was certain that the character of Lillian was based on Evelyn Nesbit, an early supermodel, who’s life took a tragic turn after marrying an unstable millionaire. I was pleasantly surprised to hear in the author’s note that Lillian was actually inspired by Audrey Munson, a contemporary of Nesbit’s, who had an equally tragic life.

I did find some of the plot lines a bit contrived but not every book can be a slam dunk. Davis’ love for art and architecture, and her commitment to bringing it in an accessible manner to the masses, as explained in her excellent author’s note, is laudable. Ultimately my respect for her as a writer outweighs my minor quibbles with the book, and I look forward to reading her next endeavor.

2 people found this helpful

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Boring

I have enjoyed other books by this author but this was horrible in comparison. Narration didn't help either. Basically hated it.

1 person found this helpful

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Another hit!

You can’t go wrong with Fiona Davis! Loved everything about this book. Narrated well, great plot, lots of mystery!

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely fantastic!

This story is wonderfully constructed and performed. It's a story told from the inside out.
completely engaging and memorable.

1 person found this helpful

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The Magnolia Palace

I have listened to all of Fiona Davis’s book on Audible . Fiona’s writing style , duel timeline, keeps you on the edge of your seat . Her attention to detail of the characters she writes about and the iconic buildings is in my opinion what sets her apart from other authors . When people ask me for recommendations I say love them all and can’t decide . I enjoy listening to the books being read aloud . The voice over actors make the stories come alive. Karissa Vacker did a phenomenal job with all of the characters in the book. I live how Fiona gives the listener information about where to find additional information about the Frock Collection itself . I live in NY and can’t wait to visit and take the virtual tour mentioned in the authors notes at the end of the book . I hope one day they make a movie from one of her books

1 person found this helpful

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A NYC gem

I love this author & cannot wait to read her newest installment of NYC historical fiction. This one was wonderful. The lives behind modeling at the turn of the century was fascinating & the link to NYC many decades later worked well. The story was captivating & satisfying. Fiona Davis weaves another historical fiction masterpiece. Well done!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-05-22

Frick Magic

What a treasure. Having enjoyed cocktails with the curator during lockdown (as my Monday tea-break) and more recently the Gilded Cage. I looked for a book by this author and found this magic.