Samantha Hillas KC, ‘the Duchess of Divorce’ (Legal 500 2023)

All in Monte Carlo follows the exhilarating highs and lows of the lives and loves of four very different women living in Monaco. Their capers may seem far-fetched but it’s clear the characters and plot are extremely well researched and reflective of the principality itself, where – literally – anything goes.

After being betrayed, abused and let down royally by the men in their lives, a doughty female foursome join forces to exact revenge in the most Monegasque ways possible. Whilst one level the novel has a lot in common with the very best of the ‘chick lit’ genre – designer clothes, beautiful people, high-end art and jewellery – is has a dark heart. It does not flinch from exposing the more shadowy side of Monaco: you’re never far from drugs, prostitution, fraud and murder, to say nothing (from the UK perspective at least) of unfair and patriarchal divorce laws. Even the protagonists we are rooting for have their (very) dark sides.

Without giving away any plot spoilers, the way in which the various characters and plot lines come together in this must-read book leads to a massively enjoyable and rewarding dénouement, as well as just the hint of a sequel. All in all, it is a hugely entertaining read which will tell you all you need to know about love, Monaco and revenge.

This is a joyous book: a lot of fun and a fabulous read. Five stars.

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