So Ruby arrived a week ago and oh, my, a world of change. She’s a Havanese, now 9 weeks old and weights 3 1/2 pounds. I was going to call her Sadie, but when I first saw her at the breeder’s, she wasn’t a Sadie. My friend Jane Dentinger insists she’s named for Barbara Stanwyck, whose real name was Ruby Stevens.
The Four Seasons, the famous restaurant in the Seagram’s Building, is being kicked out when their lease is up next year by a very greedy (Mr. “fair market value”) landlord who has no sense of New York history. He applied to the New York City Landmarks Commission to make extensive renovations (would you believe?) of the site, and he was turned down. I sometimes think the Landmarks Commission goes overboard, but not this time. Mr. Fair Market Value was even going to toss out the Picasso tapestry which hung at the entrance, until the New York Historical Society took it. I feel particularly attached to the Four Seasons because Smith and Wetzon interviewed brokers there and because it was there I set my first ever murder in The Big Killing.
I’m not even going to comment on Night Train to Lisbon, which was my book group’s last choice. An exercise in navel gazing. Read 149 painful pages. Also read 102 pages of Camilla Lackberg’s The Preacher. She is wildly hailed as the new Stieg Larsson. The Washington Post reviewer thinks she’s terrific. I don’t get it. I didn’t get it. After 102 pages of Lackberg, I needed an antidote and went to my stack of books looking for a Joseph Finder. Found Vanished. He never fails me.