BOOK REVIEW: An Inconvenient Woman, by Dominick Dunne

Title: An Inconvenient Woman
Author: Dominick Dunne
Publisher: Bantam Books, 1990 (paperback)
Genre: Fiction
Premise: The rich are different and live in their own universe where adultery, homosexuality, prostitution, divorce and murder are child’s play.
Plot: In The Inconvenient Woman, Flo March pays with her life for cavorting with a billionaire. The billionaire’s wife, Pauline is triumphant in the end, emerging unscathed and with a new rich husband from a scandal that takes with it her husband, his mistress, an “innocent” by-stander and a gossip monger who dug his nose into rich people’s business when he wasn’t welcomed. Jules Mendelson is the billionaire who is married to high society maven, Pauline Mendelson. They are happy in their idyllic estate, Clouds, appropriately set atop a mountain in Beverly Hills, when Jules commences an affair with a pretty red-headed waitress, Flo March, whom he meets in a coffee shop. His lust for this woman is insatiable and only intensifies over the five years of their affair. He begins to fall in love with her even though he has no intentions of divorcing his wife. Make a long story short, Jules expires while in the throes of grand sex with Flo and this sets into motion a series of events that eventually leads to Flo’s murder, another death, and a few incarcerations.
Moral: Adultery can be deadly in more ways than one; so thou shalt get a divorce before cavorting with others in extra-marital trysts.
Weaknesses: The book is well over 400 pages and is a bit long and would have been better if it were about 100 pages shorter. Parts of the plot were melo-dramatic including the handling of the character Cyril Rathbone.
Strengths: It is a delicious and fun look at life in Beverly Hills high society. It is clear that Dunne has witnessed this lifestyle first hand.(The book is supposedly based on the story of Alfred Bloomingdale and his long time mistress, Vicki Morgan)
Readability: On a scale of 1-4, this book earns a 3.5.