What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

The Beggar Bride
This topic is about The Beggar Bride
SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. 80s or 90s psychological thriller novel. Identity theft, woman steals a coat with a key in the pocket. Ruth Rendell? [s]

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments I thought this was a Ruth Rendell book but I've read summaries of a lot of her novels and couldn't find what I'm looking for. Could be another author with a similar writing style.

I read this as a teenager in the late 90s, and it seemed fairly recent at the time. The main thing I remember is that the plot involved identity theft. A woman stole an expensive coat from a restaurant and this somehow led to her assuming another identity. I'm not sure if it was the specific identity of the person who owned the coat, but people definitely started mistaking her for someone much more wealthy and she got invited to events where she had to play along and pretend to be rich.

I think there was also some part of the plot which involved her finding a key in the coat pocket and trying to work out what the key was for, but I can't remember how that turned out.

It was quite a fat paperback and I'm pretty sure the author was female. I'm picturing the book cover as dark grey or black with a picture of a woman and a red dress or coat. But after this length of time I might be inventing that detail.

Any suggestions welcome.

message 2: by C. (new)

C. | 219 comments This sounds interesting Rachel. I hope someone will be able to help, so I could read it.

message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments bump

message 4: by Kris (last edited Nov 24, 2017 03:48PM) (new)

Kris | 32111 comments Mod
A guess - The Artificial Silk Girl (1932) by Irmgard Keun? One Goodreads reviewer says, "Semi-stream of consciousness tale of the travails of young Doris, who steals a fur coat and flees to Berlin, determined to get ahead without working."
--- The new Search box at the top of the Goodreads reviews for this book is very helpful (e.g. search for "coat").

Rachel, did she steal a fur coat (mink, etc.)? What was her job before she stole the coat?

What's the time period and location - country, region, big city/small town?

Is this a murder mystery (with a featured detective/cop/PI)?

message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments Thanks Kris, but it's not The Artificial Silk Girl. I think it's more recent than that. I read it around 1998-2005 and it seemed contemporary. The story was set in the same time period.

I don't think it was a fur coat she stole but it was expensive. She stole it from a coat hook at a restaurant, and I'm pretty sure it was in a city, either US or UK (maybe Canada?) but can't narrow it down further than that.

It's not a murder mystery, more of a psychological thriller. The police might have become involved at some point but it was all told from the main character's perspective (the coat thief).

message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments bump

message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments bump

message 8: by Gillian (new)

Gillian Wiseman (gillianwiseman) | 146 comments I think I may have read this book - the one I remember, she picked the coat up in the restaurant because it was being worn by her husband's girlfriend? Maybe? She and the other woman resemble each other. I think the coat was blue. She may have admired it in a shop window for a while but not have been able to afford it.

message 9: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments Gillian, it's been so long since I read this book I honestly can't tell if we are talking about the same one, but you may well be right! Please post here if you remember the author/title so I can check it out.

message 10: by Paige (new)

Paige | 588 comments Very curious about this one since it seems to bear a resemblance to the 1936 film "Easy Living."

message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments bump

message 12: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments bump

message 13: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments bump

message 14: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments bump

message 15: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments bump

message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments bump

message 17: by Rachel (last edited Feb 19, 2019 03:34AM) (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments I've found a possibility for this book - The Beggar Bride by Gillian White. I'll update if it is the one I'm looking for.

message 18: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1532 comments 99% sure that The Beggar Bride is the book, so I'm moving to Solved.

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