"A fabulous upstairs, downstairs drama... Devenish's plot is as thick as Biddy's broth."
Australian Women's Weekly
"Luke Devenish is a master at the dramatic cliffhanger."
"You can never be quite sure what you are seeing..."
The West Australian
"All the Gothic elements plus a little bit more."
Sydney Morning Herald
"I thought I knew exactly what to expect: a fabled house, old money, and identical twins. I was wrong. This book is so much more... and the twists at the end were well worth it."
New Zealand Herald
Glamorous guests and steadfast servants; secret spies, deluded collaborators, and utterly contemptible Nazis. Drawn from real life characters and extraordinary events in the world’s most famous hotel in wartime…
The South of France, April 1940. With the Phony War against Hitler’s Germany yet to see a single shot fired upon French soil, sixteen-year-old Polly Hartford is haunted by the loss of her father. Longing to do good in a turbulent world, Polly’s life is again upturned when a fresh family tragedy sees her dreams forever abandoned.
Polly finds herself “given” to three best friends: an elegant Comtesse, a gutter-born film star, and a big-hearted American millionairess. Together, they take her to their home in the heart of the Hôtel Ritz in Paris, where guests and staff cling to the belief that money will forever protect them from War. This illusion is shattered when the Nazis invade.
To idealistic Polly comes the chance to achieve the dreams denied her when she meets Tommy, a handsome waiter who is leading a life of secrets. As Paris deteriorates, those at the Ritz face the horrors of the Occupation with courage, humour, and style. But when even wealth and position can’t save them, one by one, the denizens of the Hôtel Ritz step up—and fight back against the terror of the Nazis.
From shattered illusions in the lap of luxury grows the soul of the French Resistance.
More details about my new book will appear on this website in coming months.
As well as writing novels and plays, and thanks to my background in television, I also teach screenwriting at the University of Melbourne. Together with my screenwriting colleagues Ben Michael, Annabelle Murphy and Philippa Burne, I won a prestigious award for Programs that Enhance Learning as part of the Australian Federal Government’s 2017 Awards for University Teaching.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts Screenwriting degree is a pioneer in the design of innovative whole-student learning curricula in screenwriting programs in Australia.
Decidedly smutty fun was had back in September when I joined fellow novelists Anna Campbell and Kate Forsyth in reading out our very best/worst sex scenes, to the horror/delight of our fellow Historical Novelists Society Australasia Conference attendees.