BN.com Gift Guide

Calpurnia

Overview

Elizabeth Oliver arrives at Calpurnia to manage the sale but soon finds herself piecing together the mysterious life of Maribel Archibald Davies and her heirs: the prodigal, tennis-playing heir apparent; the fashionable niece, designated as the estate's executor; the loyal neighbor and keeper of the Maribel Davies flame; Davies's heartbroken longtime lover; and the famous portraitist with whom Davies had an affair-become-scandal.

Each of them makes one last visit to Calpurnia, ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $2.95   
  • Used (6) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$2.95
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(122)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
0375413804

Ships from: North Dartmouth, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Elizabeth Oliver arrives at Calpurnia to manage the sale but soon finds herself piecing together the mysterious life of Maribel Archibald Davies and her heirs: the prodigal, tennis-playing heir apparent; the fashionable niece, designated as the estate's executor; the loyal neighbor and keeper of the Maribel Davies flame; Davies's heartbroken longtime lover; and the famous portraitist with whom Davies had an affair-become-scandal.

Each of them makes one last visit to Calpurnia, and with each arrival, Elizabeth is drawn further into the family's intrigues and mysteries, and closer to a revelation of its secrets.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
[Scott] has a way of transforming the commonplace into something more profound. In a scene that stayed with me long after I finished the book, Scott shows Elizabeth applying makeup -- a seemingly prosaic activity, yet, as Scott writes it, an examination of what it is to be middle-aged, to see oneself clearly, to struggle to put one's best face forward and to accept limitations without being daunted by them. The activity is also an art form. Compact in hand, Elizabeth is both painter and painting, ''her own work in progress.'' — M.G. Lord
Publishers Weekly
Scott's debut novel unravels the tangled family secrets surrounding an ancestral Philadelphia manse and its deceased owner, Maribel Archibald Davies, the well-born painter and family matriarch who led a quasi-bohemian life (complete with free love and scandals, but minus the poverty). Elizabeth Oliver, the manager of the estate sale, arrives at the mansion, Calpurnia, to discover a morass of resentments and scheming among Maribel's relatives and ex-hangers-on. The mysterious circumstances of Maribel's death (murder? suicide?) foster an atmosphere of suspense. Maribel's prodigal son, Coby, has astounded his relatives and even himself with a series of spectacular failures, which lead to much suspicion about his role in his mother's death. Nina English, Maribel's beloved niece, harbors her own furtive intentions, which she covers by graciously yet pointedly accusing others. Neighbor Peg, reverent and protective of the deceased, keeps an eye on all from behind the safety of her window curtain. With her own jumbled secrets to hide, Elizabeth feels a growing connection to the enigmatic Maribel as she observes the complex, sometimes absurd efforts of the grande dame's family to act as if they are still living in the gracious era of Maribel's heyday. Each new character adds elements of intrigue and extra twists, but the overwhelming number of faces-close to 30 names are tossed about-also serve to confuse the reader and defuse some of the suspense. The intriguing, old-fashioned plot and memorable details draw the reader in, but this promising yet uneven novel never quite gathers force. (Aug. 19) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Upstairs, Downstairs meets Agatha Christie in this charming debut novel. Set in a once elegant Philadelphia mansion called Calpurnia, the action transpires in the months following the death of owner Maribel Archibald Davies. Elizabeth Oliver, a hoity-toity estate manager, has been hired to arrange the sale of the home's dog-eared contents. As she rifles through a century's worth of belongings, she becomes privy to speculation on a number of fronts. Will Calpurnia be sold, or will it be turned into a museum? And what about Maribel? Did she die of cancer, as Elizabeth was initially informed, or did someone help her commit suicide? Oliver's sleuthing takes numerous circuitous but always well-crafted turns and allows Scott to introduce a bevy of recognizable, if quirky, characters. From Maribel's lazy, booze-guzzling son to a leering art trader, the book is stocked with men and women of impeccable taste and scant resources. Droll and perceptive, Scott uses these characters to poke fun at upper-class pretensions, at the same time avoiding mean-spirited cant. A classic whodunit with ample twists, this work is highly recommended for all collections.-Eleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A fastidious first novel of objets d'art unearths ancestral secrets of a once-great Philadelphia house. The estate sale of Villa Calpurnia (pretentiously named after Caesar's conniving wife) brings together a well-mannered, faintly sinister cast of characters to bicker over the possessions of its deceased owner, Maribel Davies, a painter of aristocratic pedigree but bohemian tastes. Maribel, elderly and suffering from breast cancer, has died under cloudy circumstances, casting a whiff of suspicion around surviving loved ones such as her late-30s layabout substance-abusing son Coby; her niece and executor Nina, whom she raised like a spoiled daughter; her weepy lover Roberto; and nosy, protective neighbor Peg, who over the hedge watches the comings-and-goings at Calpurnia. The estate liquidizer, Elizabeth Oliver, a mid-40s blond divorcée struggling to make a respectable living, has been hired by the family to make order of Maribel's Victoriana, which she does with expertly fussy thoroughness; in fact, Elizabeth's reluctant contacts with louche art dealer Ellios, who once made a pass at her, leads to their secret discovery of Maribel's cache of erotic drawings, supposedly the work of the fashionable portrait artist of the day, Lipscomb, once a lover of Maribel's. Each of these characters has his or her own say from one stream-of-consciousness chapter to the next, until Elizabeth's touchingly normal story takes precedence as she tries to maintain her stiff-upper-lip cordiality in the face of Ellios's venal innuendo. Shockingly, Scott's well-spoken Main Liners tend to lapse into similar stock phrases ("tongues will wag," "let's be honest"), and all begin to sound like the same frozenEpiscopalian that Elizabeth is-except for the deliciously villainous Ellios, whose courtly machinations are skillfully delineated. With mastery, Scott obsessively chronicles surfaces-she tends to tell versus show-without delving too deeply into the messy inner lives of her tidy characters. Overall, she achieves a fetishistic catalogue of objects, to the detriment of story and suspense. A debut novel of impeccable manners that will appeal nicely to the artistic set.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375413803
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/12/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 293
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 8.71 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Scott was born and raised in New York City. She has an M.A. in medical anthropology and has worked for the New York City Transit Police, the New York City Board of Education, and the New York City Partnership. This is her first novel.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)