Palm Beach Confidential
Maxie Roberts, the hero of Robert Mykle's mystery novel Palm Beach Confidential, is a Palm Beach gallery owner and he has just come from a murder scene. Not only has his wealthy socialite client been brutally murdered in the boudoir of her Palm Beach mansion, Maxie suspects the paintings he was hired to appraise are forgeries. When he discovers the forgeries were substituted for the real paintings he is determined to find the forger and the originals and the murder. Unfortunately Maxie's questionable past is as tinted as many of his wealthy clients fortunes. As Balzac said, "Behind every fortune is a crime." Maxie like so many of his Palm Beach neighbors has reinvented himself. "Don't ask don't tell," as a universal disclaimer is alive and well in Palm Beach. When his murdered client's teddy-boy husband, Count Sergio Ordenoff, is accused of his wife's death another Palm Beach scandal erupts and Maxie finds himself drawn into a high profile murder that threatens not only his fortune but his life.
When Maxie's gallery becomes an arson target of the forger he is forced to find the arsonist before he or members of his family become victims. Palm Beach is noted for its big money and big toes and Maxie is forced to stomp on more than his share as his search takes him into a surprising subterranean culture festering just below the refined patina of wealth and patronage.
Maxie runs into high-end strippers, teddy-boy husbands and escort walkers, and discovers a Palm Beach lady's sex club where many wannabe socialites whose sole passion is getting their photographs in the Palm Beach Daily News society pages end up dead. Many of the forgeries were switched decades ago. So why is the killer murdering his victims years afterwards?