Friday 28 June 2019, 6:30pm | Members FREE | Non Members £10
Enjoy and evening at no.10 with a book launch by Josie Goodbody-Ellis; Author, Jewellery Journalist & Content Writer hosting an evening with members on her new book ‘The Monte Carlo Connection’
Diamond detective, Jemima Fox is tasked with hunting down the priceless Vogel Vanderpless diamonds that were stolen in The Diamond Connection by her nemesis Petrina Lindberg. She finds herself caught between searching for half-a-century-year-old stolen jewels and catching a gang of thieves during the Cannes Film Festival.
While charged with looking after one of the world's most famous film stars, Jemima realises that it’s not just the Vogel jewels which are at stake, but something much more profound.
Will a pair of rare sapphire earrings – thought to be part of the Romanov Imperial Jewel Collection, but stolen from Monaco’s Hotel de Paris in 1956, and now on the hit list of the notorious jewel gang, the Pink Panthers – ever be recovered?
Between diamonds and mega-yachts, death-defying car chases and a devastating murder, The Monte Carlo Connection transports you to the sumptuous surroundings of the Côte d’Azur, as though you were spending the summer there.
When Josie was quite young her mother took her to London’s V&A Museum. She fell in love with the jewellery department there and much later found out that several of the pieces that she had so admired had in fact belonged to an ancestor, the great aunt of her paternal grandmother, Theresa, the Marchioness of Londonderry. The Londonderry Tiara which is on display was worn by the Marchioness at the coronation of Edward VII in 1902 at Westminster Abbey.
After university and a year working in the press offices of both Chanel and Dior in Paris, Josie was a PR Assistant for Bulgari and Ritz Fine Jewellery, before getting the job of a lifetime with Graff Diamonds, as Head of PR. While there, she was lucky enough to be taught everything there is to know about diamonds and precious gemstones, by the king of diamonds, Laurence Graff. Of course this only enhanced her love affair with fine jewellery.
Having spent almost fifteen years working in PR, Josie moved to Monaco and in 2011 after the death of her mother she started The Monte Carlo Connection to help heal her pain. It is loosely based on her 10 months living on the Riviera and her years in jewellery PR, first portrayed in The Diamond Connection and The Christmas Connection – available on Amazon. Josie had always wanted to write novels – having spent years reading innumerable books and decided to start with what she knew best and loved most – jewels, and their mysterious stories.
Her novels purposefully describe and depict jewellery as beautifully and truthfully as possible. She wanted to include elements of the industry or specific gemstones, where her readers would pick up pieces of information that they might not otherwise know. “I am always amazed at how little people know about gemstones – so few have any idea how, for example, the De Beers Group and Gem Diamonds, go about discovering and recovering gems; or really appreciate the skill of the brands who buy and then make these gemstones into the most exquisite pieces of jewellery.” Josie Goodbody explains. This series of books, is based on real life mysteries of the jewellery world – particularly when jewels have gone missing or being stolen.
“People I talk to seem to be as fascinated as me by the mysteries and indeed histories of jewels.” Josie says, “So I wanted to create a series of books which bring both to life, as well as the sumptuous surroundings of the books’ settings.”
After putting the first few parts of the novel started in Monaco in a file on her computer, she started, what became, her first novel - The Diamond Connection. It is based around the 1905 discovery of the Cullinan diamond – the largest ever found – and the mysterious myth about its fabled ‘other half’. There is a chapter set at the Cullinan mine (from where this time was found) near Pretoria in South Africa. She writes the section of the book from her own experience of visiting the mine in 2010 and seeing how diamonds were mined.
Her second, The Christmas Connection is in fact a novella and is set where she grew up – in Dorset in South West of the UK. Her protagonist spends a snowy Christmas in a huge stately home and discover the mystery of a pretty unknown event, when the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels were stolen in 1946. She came back to The Monte Carlo Connection whilst pregnant, and wrote the whole book in a matter of months, helped by memories of living on the Cote d’Azur and reminiscing about the beauty and splendour of Monaco and the Riviera. And the characters she met along the way.
Josie now lives on a large farm in Wiltshire with her husband, their son Arthur, dog Milo and are expecting a little baby girl in August. She has most recently worked on the development of an educational programme for the De Beers Group and writes about jewellery for various publications and brands. She is currently penning her fourth novel in the series – The Paris Connection.