It seems Bill Dedman stumbled upon a great story when he saw a mansion in New Canaan, Connecticut marked down more than 30 per cent. It was still out of is budget at $24 million but he sensed a great story, and indeed he was right. What followed was a string of empty mansions owned by the mysterious Huguette Clark, who he ultimately tracked down in Beth Israel Medical Center.
Here was a 103 year old heiress spending her last days in a hospital, screening the out the world as best she could, content to watch the Smurfs and the Flintstones and revel in her doll collection fitted with Christian Dior dresses. As Janet Maslin noted in her review, Dedman and co-author, Paul Clark Newell, Jr., could have reveled in all her oddities, but instead they tell a fascinating tale of wealth gained and squandered for the most part, but with still enough left to keep Ms. Clark in relative comfort.
They managed to capture her story the best they could before she passed away the following year, revealing a very interesting past. Her estate remains unsettled.