Fame and Infamy
by Iva Polansky
Stranded in 1870’s Paris, the sharp-shooting contest winner Miss Nelly McKay, formerly of Butte, Montana, is already walking the thin line between fame and infamy when she is noticed by Chancellor Bismarck and the German Secret Service. Yet all she ever wanted was to marry a gentleman!
Fame and Infamy is an entertaining blend of comedy, mystery, romance and hard facts. Sarah Bernhardt and Victor Hugo are among the celebrities who share the scene with gritty characters emerging from the bohemian Latin Quarter. Paris, mopping up after the twin calamities of war and revolution, provides a background for this hearty clash of French and American cultures.
(Word count 156,000, print 417 pages)
Reviews of Fame and Infamy
“Fame and Infamy has it all: intrigue, atmosphere, love and most of all: delightful characters. Be prepared to become completely beguiled by this well-told tale of one woman’s adventures, which take you from Butte to Paris, from abject poverty to Parisian high life, from abandonment to love. Fascinating tension is ever present as it carries you through the mystery.” —John Campbell
“Fame and Infamy is a very interesting look at the life of a young woman, who, despite her good intentions, finds herself the victim of her own lofty aspirations. When offered the opportunity to leave her dirty home in the wilds of the American West and travel Europe as a lady’s maid to a titled and newly married heiress, she jumps at the chance. Events unfold she could not have expected, and she soon finds herself answering questions in a police station. In embarrassed circumstances, and forced to hide for her life, and yet unable to return home, she suffers very nearly every deprivation, but is saved just in time, only to find herself in a very different sort of hot water. I found this book to be a truly engaging adventure, well written. With memorable characters and witty dialogue throughout, I don’t think this is a book I’ll soon forget. Any fan of Historical Fiction should love Fame and Infamy.” —VR Christensen
“This book was a very pleasant surprise. I loved following the main character, Nelly, through her trials and triumphs in Paris. Although the book takes place in the 19th century, Nelly’s experiences are totally relatable… The author paints a beautiful picture of both the idealistic and more dire circumstances that Nelly faces over the course of her young life. The payoff at the end is perfect, with just enough comedic relief to lighten the dramatic load of the well-deserved happy ending. Don’t be put-off by the length of this major tale, it’s well-worth the extended ride.” —Caitlin Avery