‘Sidney Sheldon’s

Mistress of the Game’

by Tilly Bagshawe

 

Eenie, meenie, minie, mo. Remember when playing games was a pastime? Shake the dice with two fists and move the appropriate number of squares. If you can’t bluff, fold ’em. Whoever gets to 500 points loses — or wins, depending on what you’re playing and who you’re playing with, because games have rules that you can change, even if you want to.

But sometimes the rules of grown-up games are strictly set and the stakes are more than mere bragging rights.

In the new book “Sidney Sheldon’s Mistress of the Game.” by Tilly Bagshawe, the loser of this skirmish may end up penniless.

As Kate Blackwell’s coffin was lowered into the ground, Alexandra Templeton and Eve Blackwell Webster stood sobbing over their grandmother’s remains. Iron-fisted Kate had ruled over Kruger Brent for decades. She made the corporation the giant that it was, and now her only remaining heirs were grieving. But just one face had authentic tears.

Identical at birth, Eve and Alexandra were completely different now, physically and otherwise. Alexandra, glowing with pregnancy, was her grandmother’s favorite and heir to the company. Eve, the victim of plastic surgery gone awry, was as disfigured inside as she was outside. Though she, too, was pregnant, the glow emanating from her face came from burning anger.

Seeing Kate Blackwell’s remains sent underground made Eve smile. She hated her grandmother, and she hated her sister. So when Alexandra died giving birth, Eve rejoiced. There was one less bother on her quest to regain control over Kruger Brent.

Despite a traumatic kidnapping when she was a child, motherless Lexi Templeton grew up to be a beautiful media darling, and rumor had it that she would be the next CEO of Kruger Brent. Handsome, dark-eyed Max, Lexi’s cousin, inherited his father’s looks and Eve’s hatred for the other side of the Blackwell family, but his intelligence made him a valid contender, too.

Both Lexi and Max had their supporters and detractors at Kruger Brent, and neither trusted the other — for good reason.

Max was fueled by his mother’s hatred, but he severely underestimated his cousin. Kate Blackwell was ruthless in growing the corporation. And Lexi very definitely had her great-grandmother’s blood in her veins.

Following author Sidney Sheldon’s death in early 2007, it was inevitable that his family would hire someone to continue writing under his name. Readers should rejoice in their choice of Tilly Bagshawe.

With over-the-top wealthy characters who jet to other countries as easily as most of us cross the street, furtive financial wars and barrelsful of scandal, it’s easy to develop a love-hate relationship with almost everyone in this book. Yet the story wasn’t predictable, and the ending was satisfying.

While I’m generally doubtful of these writing-under-the-name-of kinds of sequels, I’m happy to say that “Mistress of the Game” is very, very close to being vintage Sheldon.

Scandal-lovers should buy this book, or take their turn at the library because it’s a great deal of fun.

In fact, missing “Mistress of the Game” could be dicey.

 

“Sidney Sheldon’s Mistress of the Game”

by Tilly Bagshawe c.2009,

William Morrow, $25.99, 336 pages