The Secret of the Villa Mimosa: A Novel by Elizabeth AdlerThe Secret of the Villa Mimosa: A Novel by Elizabeth Adler

The Secret of the Villa Mimosa: A Novel

byElizabeth Adler

Mass Market Paperback | November 5, 1995

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Was it an accident...or an attempted murder?

Dr. Phyl Forster watched the TV news, horrified at the sight of the broken body in the ravine.  Then she raced to the hospital to see the victim.  Miraculously, the girl was alive, but without name or memory.  An irresistible challenge to Dr. Phyl, the psychiatrist who had buried her own past....

Detective Franco Mahoney was looking for a killer, without a whisper of a clue.  He needed the beautiful psychiatrist to unlock the victim's mind.  But he wasn't prepared for the passion Dr. Phyl inspired or the passion that ensued....

Elizabeth Adler's riveting novel of erotic obsession and revenge sweeps from San Francisco to Paris, from the Côte d'Azur to a remote Hawaiian island, tracing a tale of murder and madness with roots in a decadent past....
Elizabeth Adler is the internationally acclaimed bestselling author of many novels, including Sooner or Later, Now or Never, The Secret of the Villa Mimosa, All or Nothing, and Fortune Is a Woman.
Title:The Secret of the Villa Mimosa: A NovelFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 6.87 × 4.15 × 1.09 inPublished:November 5, 1995Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0440217482

ISBN - 13:9780440217480


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly entertaining - a must read! A story that brings the reader from Hawaii to the French Riviera. You don't have to read the whole book to find out who the bad guy is. A detective that falls in love with a psychiatrist while searching for a killer. The psychiatrist is in love with a killer. The killer is after her patient that he tried to kill once before but did not succeed. The patient has no memory of her past. Can a story get any better. This was my third Adler book and my absolute favourite.
Date published: 2000-09-25

Read from the Book

Homicide Detective Franco Mahoney of the San Francisco Police Department watched impassively as the men from the Fire Department Rescue Services clambered down Mitchell’s Ravine toward the girl’s body. Not that you could see much of her, just her foot in a red sandal and her arm sticking up through the underbrush that had stopped her fall but failed to save her life. Now she would be just another statistic on the unsolved homicide list. He had seen it all before, but now he had a job to do. He had to find her killer.   He glanced at his watch. It was 8:00 A.M. His shift was just finishing, and he thought longingly of the other, luckier guys, heading wearily for home or for breakfast at the diner on Brannan, talking over the night’s mayhem or maybe just talking dirty, letting off steam. It had been a long night: the usual drug killing in an alley; a stabbing in a squalid tenement room with more blood from the tiny Chinese victim than he had ever seen in a butcher’s shop; and a body of a man tossed out onto the highway and run over several times before he was discovered and found to have been shot. The call about the girl in Mitchell’s Ravine had come at 7:34. It was his turn, his bad luck at the tail end of the shift. Some nights he wondered if he had done the right thing, becoming a cop.   He sighed as he surveyed the clearing at the edge of the ravine. It was crowded with guys from the Fire and Public Health departments as well as the paramedics, the medical examiner, the lab technicians, and the TV news crews, plus all their equipment: cables, winches, ladders, stretchers, oxygen tanks, drips, and cameras. The damp grassy clearing was now a sea of mud.   There had been just enough time to look around and assess that there was no sign of a struggle before the rescue services arrived, and by now any vital clues had disappeared, churned into the mud.   Several uniformed cops, their eyes fixed on the ground, were sifting through the undergrowth, but Mahoney knew in his gut they were not going to find anything. There would be no torn-off buttons today, no threads caught on a branch, no spent bullet casings, no perfect clue.   As a murder crime scene it was a dead loss. He grinned, excusing himself the pun. Agatha Christie would have had just one perfect footprint, he thought longingly. Me, I’m left with just a body.   And once the rescue services had arrived, that body had taken precedence. Everything must wait until it had been retrieved, even if it meant trampling on the evidence. The woman in the ravine still had her rights as a person, though probably for the last time. Then she would become just another toe-tagged Jane Doe in the chilly steel drawer in the city morgue until the public medical examiner finally got around to carving her up in search of physical evidence. Or until some distraught parent or grieving—though maybe not—relative recalled that Aunty Flo or sister Joleen or Cousin Peggy Sue hadn’t been seen around in a while and came inquiring.   Mahoney turned reluctantly to face the TV news cameras and told them briefly what he knew: that the body of a woman had been discovered early that morning by a man out walking his dogs. No, the man was not a suspect. And no, he had no other suspect as of that minute. Thank you and good-bye.   Franco Mahoney had been a cop for fourteen years, seven of them as a detective on the Homicide Squad. He was said to be one of the best, a meticulous sifter of information and a finisher. He was known as a cop who never let go of a case. Years might pass, but Mahoney never forgot an unsolved murder. The facts and evidence rerolled themselves in his head in bed at night, and sometimes something clicked. He’d gotten convictions on a number of homicides that had been pushed to the back of the filing cabinet, labeled “unsolved,” by sheer persistence, hard work, and intuition.   He had a “nose” for a killer. “It’s like I can smell them. They are like bad meat, guys. That’s all there is to it,” he would tell the news reporters whose favorite he was because he always kept his sense of humor and always gave them a good story, and besides, he looked good on TV. The perfect macho cop.   “She’s coming up,” the chief of the rescue squad yelled.   Franco watched as the sling stretcher was winched carefully upward. He had seen more murder victims than he cared to remember. Like any cop, he knew the only way to keep his sanity was to keep a mental distance between him and the victim. When that victim was a child, it was humanly impossible, and when it was a young woman, like this one, it was tough.   She was maybe twenty-four; her face was grotesquely swollen, a mass of purple bruises with livid red patches where the skin had been scraped away. There was dried blood on her nose and ears, indicating a fractured skull, and her copper hair was matted with dark, congealed blood. Maybe she had been pretty, he thought bitterly. Fun-loving, free. Until last night, when some cheap bastard decided not to let her live.   He stepped back to let the paramedics take over as she was winched over the edge. Clearing his throat, he began to take notes: “Female Caucasian. Probable age 24. Estimated height 5′7″. Weight 115. Hair red—”   “Jesus, man, there’s a pulse. She’s still alive!”   The paramedics were kneeling over the stretcher, frantically inserting a drip into her arm, feeding her oxygen through a mask, wedging her broken skull with sandbags. They quickly eased pressure pants over her legs, inflating them to constrict the blood flow, forcing the blood pressure into her upper torso and head, then enveloped her in shiny aluminum shock foil.   “Wait a minute.” Franco stared at the double row of puncture wounds along her right forearm. “What’s that?”   The paramedic looked closely at the punctures. “Damn me, Mahoney, those are teeth marks. A dog bite, I’d say. And a biggie.”   Mahoney followed them back through the woods as they rushed the young woman back to the waiting ambulance and loaded her quickly in. “Think she’ll make it?” he asked.   The paramedic shrugged. “I don’t even know if we can stabilize her to get her as far as Trauma.”   Mahoney sighed as he assigned a uniformed cop to the San Francisco General Trauma Unit.   “Stay outside the operating room,” he ordered. “Let me know if she wakes up.” It was no longer his business to care. He was a homicide detective. He needed a body before he could do his job.   “No need for us yet, Mahoney,” said the medical examiner, Pete Preston, climbing into his car. His job also came after death.   “Not yet, Pete,” Mahoney said. “But I have a feeling in my bones this one’s gonna be murder.” He sighed, shrugging off the early morning’s events. “How about I buy you a cup of coffee?”  

From Our Editors

A beautiful Jane Doe is left for dead. From the minute Dr. Foster saw her on TV, she was fascinated. With the help of this successful psychiatrist, the young woman deemed Bea begins to piece together her shocking past. From the beaches of Hawaii to the streets of Paris, the two women embark on a journey of intrigue, romance and self-discovery

Editorial Reviews

"Entertaining...Well-plotted...Lust, greed and murder keep readers on their toes."
--Publishers Weekly

"Spellbinding...Adler is a true genius."
--Affaire de Coeur

"A fun read!"
--San Francisco Examiner