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The Big Thrill Recommends: THE FINAL ACT OF JULIETTE WILLOUGHBY by Ellery Lloyd

Recommended by Sandra Hoover

THE FINAL ACT OF JULIETTE WILLOUGHBY is the third book from Ellery Lloyd, a pseudonym for the London-based husband-and-wife writing team of Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos. A compelling conflation of several genres, including mystery, suspense, romance, and history, with hints of mythology woven throughout, the story catapults readers back in time to find themselves entwined in a dark, century-old family drama steeped in ugly secrets, betrayal, manic obsession, and revenge. Readers are challenged to determine if the answers to three mysterious deaths are hidden in a once-lost painting by deceased surrealist artist Juliette Willoughby.

THE FINAL ACT OF JULIETTE WILLOUGHBY is an epic, richly atmospheric, often sordid, dark family saga spanning more than a decade. The story unfolds through dual points of view, beginning with the tragic love affair between surrealist artists Juliette Willoughby and her married lover, Oskar Erlich, who perished in a suspicious fire in 1938 Paris. The couple’s story surfaces again in 1991 Cambridge when two university students in possession of Juliette’s diary and long-lost painting, Self-Portrait As Sphinx, raise significant questions concerning the death of Juliette that threatens to divulge long-buried secrets of the famous Willoughby family. The story continues in the current time with a scandal surrounding the arrest of art dealer Patrick Lambert for the murder of the last remaining descendant of the Willoughby family in Dubai.

Flawlessly executed through brilliant characterizations, THE FINAL ACT OF JULIETTE WILLOUGHBY accentuates the fascinating world of historical art and women’s struggle for recognition within it, a sordid illicit love affair, a highly dysfunctional family drama, and an intriguing murder and missing person mystery. The duo’s mesmerizing writing style draws readers in, holding them in the palm of their hands until the final page. This book is a highly entertaining, fast-paced, scandalous murder mystery I recommend to art history buffs, as well as mystery and suspense readers.


The Big Thrill Recommends: THE FINAL ACT OF JULIETTE WILLOUGHBY by Ellery Lloyd

Sandra Hoover